Smooth Moves: Dry Skin Solutions from the Pros
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Fitness

Smooth Moves: Dry Skin Solutions from the Pros

If you recently peeled off your running tights only to find a blizzard of flakes underneath, you're not alone: Dermatologists say that dry skin is their patients' number one complaint come wintertime. Fortunately we've got you covered. Here our experts share smart, easy solutions that will leave your skin baby soft.

Five Surprising Skin Saboteurs

1. Cuddling up in front of a fireplace.

"Sitting by a fire is cozy, but it's also dehydrating," says Renée Rouleau, a Dallas-based celebrity aesthetician. "Lather up with lotion first to create a barrier."

2. Wearing your fave wool sweater.

"Wool can cause friction and irritate your skin," Rouleau says. "Layer a cotton T-shirt underneath and swap a wool scarf for one made of cotton."

3. Spritzing on your signature fragrance.

"Check the ingredients list on the body mist in your gym bag. If it has alcohol, which is drying, replace it with an essential oil," suggests Jeannette Graf, MD, a dermatologist in Great Neck, New York

4. Checking Facebook.

"Resting your laptop on your legs heats up your skin and can cause irritation. Place a pillow underneath to protect yourself," Rouleau advises.

5. Taking a dip in a hot tub.

"The chlorine and heat equal double dryness," Rouleau says. "Skip the hot tub altogether."

Save Your Skin

Bathe your skin in mega moisture and save time with these simple tips.

In the Shower

"Make your shower shorter by cleansing and exfoliating at the same time," recommends Doris Day, MD, a dermatologist in New York City. Invest in a Clarisonic Plus with Body Brush ($225, clarisonic.com) and squeeze a moisturizing body wash onto its head. "It'll lift off dead cells without stripping your skin," Dr. Day says. Also, switch your shampoo. "Use one for color-treated hair; the milder formula is less drying on your hands, neck, and back," says Rouleau. And don't linger under the spray, no matter how tempting it is on a frigid day. The water dries out your skin, says Dr. Graf. Set a timer for 10 minutes or less and get out as soon as it goes off.

After the Shower

To lock in moisture, "pat yourself dry with a towel and then, within three minutes of stepping out of the shower, apply a generous amount of cream that contains ceramides, shea butter, and hyaluronic acid," Dr. Day says. One we love: Cetaphil Restoraderm Skin Restoring Moisturizer ($16, drugstores). To cover hard-to-reach spots like your back, mist on a dry-oil spray such as J.R. Watkins Naturals Lavender Body Oil Mist ($9, jrwatkins.com) or Moroccanoil Dry Body Oil ($38, moroccanoil.com).

TLC for Your Trouble Zones

These speedy, derm-approved DIY fixes will make rough hands, elbows, knees, and feet history.

Hands and Feet

Combine two tablespoons of olive oil, two tablespoons of honey, and two cups of warm water. Soak your hands and feet in the mixture for five minutes. Then pat them dry, apply Aquaphor Healing Ointment ($5, drugstores), and slip on cotton gloves or socks for two hours or overnight.

Elbows and Knees

Swipe one pump of glycolic acid serum on your elbows and feet before bedtime to dissolve dead skin cells while you sleep. A good one: Renée Rouleau AHA Smoothing Serum 20% ($47, reneerouleau.com).

Flaky Patches

Pick up a bottle of evening primrose capsules at a health food store. Puncture one or two capsules, squeeze the oil on any dry areas, and massage it in. The fatty acids will help heal parched skin.

Originally published in FITNESS magazine, January 2013.

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