The W beauty team received this desperate plea for skin help: “What do I do about the assault on my skin that has been this cold weather? I’m chapped all over.”
This is usually about the time skin becomes flaky, red, and endlessly parched. Before you slather Crisco all over your face, we have a few ideas that may prove a bit more effective and are probably more attractive.
“After you wash or shower, first apply an antioxidant serum on your face,” says derm and assistant professor at UCLA Ava Shamban, MD, who just returned this week from a vacation in cold, dry Jackson Hole. “Something with niacinamide or vitamin C helps calm the irritation level.” Try SkinCeuticals CE Ferulic ($146; skinceuticals.com).
Before the serum is even absorbed, seal it in with moisturizer for your face and follow with a body lotion for below the chin. “Look for ingredients like squalane, glycerin, and lactic acid, which are humectants that pull more moisture into skin,” says Shamban. She also recommends ceramides, which support skin’s barrier to help seal the deal. Shamban discovered her new favorite, TriLipiderm All-Body Moisture Retention Crème ($25; trilipiderm.com), during her Colorado jaunt. We like Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Cream ($26.50; kiehls.com), Sunday Riley Good Genes Treatment ($105; sundayriley.com), and Curel Ultra Healing Intensive Lotion for Extra Dry Skin ($8; drugstores). Cute tip: You can also cheat by just adding a dose of olive oil to your usual body lotion to ramp it up. “It’s natural and skin loves it,” Shamban says.
Try to start your moisturizing routine the second you step out of the shower or bath, she adds. “All that water in your skin evaporates quickly in a dry room, so you need to lock it in ASAP.”
For midday moisturizing—or impromptu moisturizing any time you need it—stow a face mist in your handbag. It can soak into skin through your makeup without rubbing it all around. We like Air Repair Complexion Quenching Facial Mist ($10; airrepairskincare.com).