Dr. Doris Day, a New York dermatologist, visited "Good Morning America" to tell viewers what they can do to protect themselves from winter's harsh effects.
Keep Your Face Moisturized
Our faces often get dry, especially when they experience quick changes in extreme temperature. If you go from the cold outdoors to a warm, dry office or house, the outer layers of the skin on your face can feel tight and itchy, no matter how much water you drink.
Tip 1: Day said the first line of defense starts in the shower: Avoid hot water. Hot showers can dry out your skin, so be sure to use water that's set at a moderate temperature and pat your skin dry with a towel.
Tip 2: Exfoliate your skin regularly. After you remove the dry skin cells, make sure to moisturize. Day said your winter moisturizer should come from a jar, rather than a bottle. Moisturizers in jars tend to be thick enough to help your skin in the cold weather.
You should check the label on your moisturizer for key ingredients such as hyaluronic acid, niacinamide and dimethicone. These moisturizers will replenish the moisture that the cold weather takes out of your skin by pulling the water from the inner layers of your skin to the surface. Of course, you should always use creams and lotions that come with UVA/UVB protection.
Some of the doctor's favorite products for faces are Olay Professional Pro-X Hydra Firming Cream or Olay Micro-Sculpting Cream, Neutrogena Copper Peptide formulations or Aveeno Positively Radiant, which hydrates and contains antioxidants. These and other products are available at the drug store.
There's Help for Flaky Arms and Hands
Your face isn't the only body part vulnerable to changing humidity and temperature. Your hands, too, can feel the dry skin itch.
Much of the problem is due to overwashing, Day said, noting that people are so afraid of contracting swine flu that they're washing their hands too much, which strips away the natural protections and the skin's own immunities. You should wash your hands but you should moisturize when you do so.
Soothe Your Dry Skin
Tip 1: You should moisturize your hands before you leave your home. Don't wait until you come in from the cold to treat dry skin; protect it before you go out.
Tip 2: Exfoliate your skin and re-create the moisture barrier with a hydrating moisturizer. An effective moisturizer helps to hydrate and replenish natural moisturizing factors.
Your hand and body moisturizers should contain ingredients such as petrolatum, shea butter, propylene glycol and glycerine.
For your hands, the doctor likes Olay Quench Advanced Healing Body Lotion, Cerave Cream or Cetaphil Cream, which helps heal the skin's moisture barrier and prevents dry skin from coming back.
For your body, Day said you can try products such as Olay Body Wash plus Body Butter Ribbons. This product helps remove dry skin cells and reveals smooth skins while you shower.
Moisturize While You Shave
It's very important to moisturize while you are shaving. Day likes the Venus Embrace, a five-bladed razor that is surrounded by a ribbon of moisture, and the Gillette Fusion Razor, which has an very close shave with a smooth glide.
Tip 1: Never shave dry skin.
Tip 2: When you are shaving, always use a shaving cream or gel to protect against nicks or cuts.
Don't Forget Your Lips
Day advises against licking your lips when they get dry and chapped.
Lips don't contain oil glands, which is why you never get a pimple on your lips. But this also means your lips can get dry more easily than other parts of your face.
Day encourages the use of a hydrating lip balm to create a moisturizing barrier against the elements.
Tip 1: Avoid long-lasting lipsticks and glosses because those tend to dry out lips, she noted.
Tip 2: Day said you should always brush your teeth before you wash your face. She explained that the ingredients in tartar-control and whitening toothpastes can increase lip irritation, especially if your lips are already dry.
Day said lip balms should contain ingredients such as beeswax or shea butter.
Day said lip balms should contain ingredients including beeswax or shea butter. Her favorites are Neutrogena Lip Moisturizer and LaRoche-Posay Nutritic.
Nails Need Treatment, Too
Nails dry with age, Day said. Although nail polish can help to retain moisture, the acetone in many nail polish removers can strip that moisture.
To keep your nails moist, Day said you should look for products that contain lanolin, petrolatum and beeswax. Take time to massage the moisturizer in the nail bed and cuticle, she added.
Day recommended Elon Nail moisturizers.