Do This To Protect Your Skin From Winter's Wrath

Standing at the bus stop with the little man this morning, I rubbed my hands together in a feeble effort to warm up and couldn't believe what I heard, sandpaper on wood.  I was shocked! I have sandpaper-palms, already? We've only had the heat turned on for two days, and I'm already drying out? Great.

After ushering the wild-child onto the bus, I went right to my office and Googled, how to keep skin hydrated in winter.  I was instantly stunned to read, from multiple sources, water is not the answer and neither is regularly exfoliating! 

So, that would explain part of my problem, I thought both were the key to soft, hydrated skin. 

Needless to say, I kept reading and researching. After all, skin is the largest organ. I suppose it's good practice to give a shit about it on a daily basis. Below are the 5 top tips all the experts agree on, to protect your skin from winter's wrath.

Shower Smarter: 

Steamy hot showers are dreamy in the winter, but hell on your skin. The hot water zaps out the moisture. Opt for short warm showers. 

Swap foaming cleansers for cream based cleansers to help lock in the moisture.  Did you know, foam and gel cleansers strip away moisture? According to, Joshua Zeichner, the director of cosmetic and clinical research in dermatology at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City, "Swapping a foaming cleanser for a creamy one is often all it takes to help skin adjust to colder, drier weather."  

After showering, pat yourself dry and moisturize immediately with a moisturizer preferably containing all or some of the following: aloe, glycerin, ceramide, hyaluronic acid. Moisturizing damp skin will bind the water to the skin locking in the moisture. 

Ax the Alcohol Can the clay and Exfoliate with Extreme Caution. 

We all know booze dehydrates, but that's not the only alcohol stripping your skin of necessary moisture. Skincare products that contain alcohol are moisture zappers, too. Go through your products and find a swap for the ones containing alcohol. Think: Swap alcohol-based toner for a moisturizing toner in winter. According to Tyler Hollmig, M.D., director of laser and aesthetic dermatology at Stanford University, moisturizers labeled as "lotions" may contain high amounts of water, while those labeled as "creams" and "ointments" have a much lower water content. 

Clay-based masks drain more than your pores. Clay is super drying and should be used sparingly during the winter. 

Over-exfoliating can backfire and leave your face dry and irritated and ultra dull and flaky. Use a light exfoliate every other week. If you notice redness back off.   

Sunscreen. Daily. Do It.  'Nuff Said.

The delicate skin around the eyes hates the harsh winter winds. Sunglasses will help protect your eyes from snow glares and drying wrinkle-inducing winds.  To protect vulnerable cheeks and noses from subzero temps apply a layer of Aquaphor, Vaseline, or virgin coconut oil to the exposed area.  According to, Kally Papantoniou, MD, and board-certified dermatologist, "It can be very helpful to maintain skin barrier function and reduce drying of skin." 

TIP: Snag the moisturizer samples at the doctor's office. Often times, the products are ultra-rich and the small size is perfect for on-the-go travel and hiding in handbags.

                                             Get any one of the creams shown above, here.

A humid home is a happy home

Combat the dry air blasting out of the heater with humidifiers. Don't have a humidifier? Boil a pot of water on the stove. Carolyn Jacob, M.D., a dermatologist with Chicago Cosmetic Surgery and Dermatology, particularly recommends using humidifiers in the bedroom while you sleep, so that you’re exposed to moist air all night long.  

Get the Darth Vader Cool Mist Humidifier,  $40 on Amazon, here.

Max Out On Moisturizer... at night!

One thing every expert agreed on is if you're only going to moisturize once a day, do it at night. Moisturizing at night gives the moisturizer plenty of time to soak in and do its thing. Look for oil-based moisturizers, as opposed to water-based; the oil creates a barrier to seals in moisture. For the ladies fighting wrinkles and gravity, consider this your biggest beauty tip, next to drinking heaps of water, never ever miss the opportunity to moisturize at night.  

Buy Cutemol Emollient Cream ($11), Here.

April is an award-winning writer and blogger. Her work has been published in over ten countries and four languages. From books to newspapers, to print/online magazines and everything in between, you can find her work. For more on April, Visit