7 Can't-Fail Expert Tips for Treating Dry Winter Skin


2. Rehydrate right.

When your skin is dry (particularly in dry climates, during low-humidity winter weather, or even on an airplane), it’s in need of water—not oil. So next, you need to replenish the water content, then lock it in with oil. How the heck do you do that? Start by understanding the different kinds of moisturizers.

“There are three classes of moisturizing ingredients: humectants, which attract additional water; emollients, which seal the cracks between cells; and occlusives, which lock moisture in as an absolute stop,” Schultz explains. He recommends a moisturizer that contains humectants like glycerin or hyaluronic acid, which can hold up to 1,000 times its own weight in water. Our top picks above from BeautyRX and C.O. Bigelow both contain hydrating humectants.

Once you’ve replaced the water content, there’s an optional second step. If you’re dealing with cracked skin, reach for an emollient-rich product. Look for natural lipids, like argan oil, shea butter, and ceramides, on the label. Or you can apply a protective barrier with an occlusive (think: greasy ointments like the classics Vaseline and Aquaphor) to lock in moisture.

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