The chilly winter winds can do a number on your skin, but there are many ways to keep the damage at bay, from moisturizing lip balm to snug winter jackets.
Ellen Levine appeared on "Good Morning America" to share the Good Housekeeping Institute's top-rated products when it comes to keeping skin protected in the winter months. The lab tested jackets, gloves, hand warmers, lip balms, lotions and 24-hour moisturizers.
Here are the results:
Best Lip Balm: After sampling five new lip balms, the Good Housekeeping test panel gave Kiehl's Lip Balm SPF 15 ($7.50, kiehls.com), the highest marks for moisturizing. Molton Brown Lip Saver Vitamin SPF 8 ($16, moltonbrown.com) was a close second. Though not everyone found its applicator easy to use, most preferred Molton Brown's scent and taste to Kiehl's.
Best Hand Cream: Good Housekeeping evaluated the newest batch of hand creams with a corneometer, a machine that measures the level of moisture in skin. Of the five creams tested, Dr. Gendler's Skin Appointments Helping Hands ($30, available at Lord & Taylor) was the winner. (Testers measured moisture three times at 20 minutes, two hours, and four hours after application.) Volunteers cited the top cream for quick absorption and rich consistency.
Another winner was A-HA & Collagen Hand Crème by Frills. Testers found it had a lighter feel than the Dr. Gendler's product and it scored well on moisturizing and on scent.
All-Day Body Moisturizers: Good Housekeeping tested creams that claim to work for 24 hours and found that all kept their promise. But two softened skin best: Jergens Ultra Healing Intense Moisture Therapy ($5.99, drugstores) and Johnson & Johnson's Soft Lotion 24-Hour Moisture ($5.99, drugstores).
Hand Warmers: To evaluate products designed to warm hands, the Good Housekeeping Institute used an environmental chamber set to 30 degrees Fahrenheit and 50 percent relative humidity in order to simulate a cold winter day. The disposable hand warmers outperformed the battery-operated heated gloves. In particular, Grabber Mini-Mini Hand Warmers ($1.69 each, grabberwarmers.com) performed the best, testers found. They not only had the highest initial temperature, but they also had the highest average temperature over two hours and the highest final temperature after two hours had elapsed.
Given the expanded use of high-tech fabrics in winter gloves, Good Houskeeping wanted to see if the new technologies made a difference in the warmth, fit and appearance of the gloves. Some of the new features in gloves includes stretch leather, Outlast linings and advanced versions of Polartec (new technologies for warmth and wind resistance).
In order to gauge the effectiveness of the warmth of the gloves, testers did both lab and consumer testing. For the lab tests they placed thermocouples in glove fingers, put the gloves in the environmental chamber, and recorded how long it took for the glove to reach 30 degrees F after stabilizing at a temperature of 70 degrees F. Testers then had six women rate the gloves for warmth, appearance and fit after wearing them in a chamber set at 30 degrees F.
Best Performer: L.L. Bean Gore-Tex Primaloft Ski Glove. The typical "ski" type glove from L.L. Bean won hands down, after performing well in both the lab and consumer tests. ($49.50, llbean.com)