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10 Expert Tips for Avoiding Dry Winter Skin

Leah Faye Cooper
10 Expert Tips for Avoiding Dry Winter Skin
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While we trust that you’re currently eyeing coats, beanies, and boots in advance of winter, cold-weather prep should expand beyond your closet. Without the proper skin-care regiment, freezing temps can turn your complexion into a hot (or in this case, cold), dry mess, due mainly to increased water loss through the skin’s top layer.

“Without that moisture, our skin is more sensitive to external forces such as sun exposure, resulting in cracking, flaking and peeling,” says Manhattan-based dermatologist and Garnier skin-care consultant Dr. Diane Medfes.

How 5 STYLECASTER Staffers Change Their Skin-Care Routines from Season to Season

We’d like to pass on that (and we trust that you do too), so we’ve gathered ten tips from Dr. Madfes and a few of STYLECASTER’s own editors on how to avoid dry skin this winter. Ahead, everything you need to know to keep your complexion in check.

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"Change your cleanser to something gentle that won't totally strip your skin. I like Garnier Clean+ Gentle Clarifying Cleansing Gel, which has moisturizing plant extracts."—Dr. Diane Madfes

"Always apply moisturizer to damp skin. The minute you pat your skin dry it starts rapidly losing water, so by the time you apply moisturizer—even if it's just 60 seconds later—your skin barrier is significantly compromised and no amount of moisturizer will replenish it. You can prevent water loss by massaging your moisturizer over slightly damp skin to help it seal in your skin's natural moisture immediately. I love SkinCeuticals Triple Lipid Repair."—Chloe Metzger, Beauty Editor 

"Use moisturizers with hyaluronic acid or glycerin, as these work to hold water in your skin. Apply twice a day—a lighter cream with SPF in the morning like Garnier Miracle Anti-Fatigue Wake-Up Hydra-Gel Moisturizer, and something heavier at night like Garnier Miracle Anti-Fatigue Sleeping Cream."—Dr. Diane Madfes

"To avoid dry winter skin, I always layer on a hydrating serum as the first part of my skin-care routine. Any time I’m in a rush and skip the serum, I regret it. I switch between Ole Henriksen Truth Serum and Immunocologie Hyaluronic Serum."—Lauren Caruso, Site Director

"When my skin is flaking and raw, I like to take off all of my makeup and immediately slather my face in Eucerin Baby Creme. It sounds weird, but it's so insanely hydrating and soothing, thanks to its shea butter and glycerin. I look like an oil slick for a few hours, but by the time I wash it off, my skin is noticeably more hydrated and the flakes are gone."—Chloe Metzger, Beauty Editor

"It's very important to protect your lips from the sun, even in the winter. Use a lip balm with SPF, and look for formulas with more occlusive emollients like bees wax and petrolatum."—Dr. Diane Madfes

"Any time my skin starts flaking away, I use Dermalogica Daily Microfoliant. It gently exfoliates dead skin cells away without damaging the skin barrier, which is easy to do when your face is dry and cracking."—Lauren Caruso, Site Director 

"At night, after I cleanse, I throw on a mask, and dab on moisturizer. I love to layer a face oil on top to really hydrate and protect. My go-to is Sunday Riley Juno Face Oil, which is just occlusive enough to lock in the moisture of the products I put on beforehand."—Lauren Caruso, Site Director

"Change your long hot shower into a lukewarm one—higher water temperatures tend to dry the skin out more. And use a sheet mask once a week for increased hydration."—Dr. Diane Madfes

"As soon as the temps drop, my sensitive, dry skin turns into a red, crumbly mess. And thanks to the dry radiator heat in my apartment, it gets even worse overnight. So before bed, as the very last step of my skin-care routine, I smooth a pea-sized dot of Dermalogica Barrier Repair over my face. It's a dimethicone-based skin soother that totally locks in all of my skin's moisture and keeps it from disappearing while I sleep."—Chloe Metzger, Beauty Editor

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