Dermatologists share simple, practical advice you can use all season long.

By Claire Sullivan
October 23, 2019

Winter is practically synonymous with dry skin, a fairly universal dilemma come the cold months. Even so, you don't have to weather the chapped, peeling storm—at least, not if the industry's leading dermatologists have anything to say about it. Ahead, you'll find simple, impactful lifestyle tips that will help you maintain comfortable moisture levels from December to March—none of which require adding another product to your routine.

Getty: mihailomilovanovic

Related: How to Apply Your Skincare Products in the Correct Order

Shorten Showers

Hot water dehydrates your skin, says New York City and New Jersey dermatologist Meghan Feely, so dial it down and step out after 10 minutes, tops. Post-shower, act fast: Smooth on body lotion within three minutes of toweling off, as the formulas work by trapping existing moisture.

Gently Exfoliate

Make the most of those 10 minutes by (carefully!) exfoliating your skin. "Gentle exfoliation of the top layer of dead skin cells will allow better penetration of skin quenching moisturizers," says North Carolina dermatologist Sheel Solomon of Preston Dermatology.

Up the Humidity

Close the bathroom windows and door when you shower—and put a humidifier by your bed to help replenish skin overnight, suggests Feely. The same goes for mitigating an arid office space; even a tiny, desk-sized humidifier will make a difference.

Wear Layers

Artificial heat is as drying as cold air; instead of cranking it up, Patricia Wexler, a dermatologist in New York City, says to get cozy in sweaters and blankets. If your favorite turtleneck is wool, Sonya Kenkare, a dermatologist based in Evergreen Park, Illinois, advises wearing breathable cotton underneath to prevent itchiness.

Eat Water-Rich Foods

"Incorporating water-rich fruits and vegetables into your diet, like cucumber, watermelon, celery, red grapes, and plums (they also happen to be packed with superstar antioxidants)" is an easy way to hydrate your skin from the inside out, notes Solomon.

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