Prepping Your Skin for Winter, Part 2

Once you are out of the shower and getting ready to head off to work or play, don’t forget to apply a moisturizer with sunblock to act as a barrier between your skin and the elements. Foundation alone won’t do the trick, Kirby says. You may also want to wear a 100-percent cotton or silk shirt under that wool sweater to keep your skin from getting irritated.

Moisture Maintenance
To keep skin looking fresh as the day goes on, Kirby suggests applying distilled water. “Put some distilled water in a little pump bottle you can get at the drugstore, get yourself some makeup sponges and keep them in your desk. Then a couple of times a day mist yourself with it and rub the sponge lightly across your face. It hydrates the skin to keep it from drying out, it keeps the skin from looking oily and it helps your makeup look fresh all day.”

She also recommends drinking plenty or water and avoiding caffeine and alcohol, which only exacerbate dry skin.

And don’t make the mistake of neglecting your hands, Duke says. Each time you wash your hands, you should apply moisturizer.

For Ficarra, who handles a lot of paper in her job as an editor, keeping moisturizer in her desk drawer and applying it frequently is essential to keeping the skin on her fingers from cracking. Considering that paper products, which are processed with formaldehyde, pull oil from your hands, such a regimen is a good idea for office workers, Kirby says.

At home, the biggest problem for skin in the winter is the lack of humidity. A simple gauge can measure humidity levels, which should be in the 40 percent to 50 percent range. But it’s often difficult to achieve the proper humidity levels without the help of a humidifier. The old trick of boiling pots of water on the stove also works but can be dangerous for homes with young children or forgetful attendants.

And, if after following all that advice, you still find yourself with skin that’s cracking, try rubbing petroleum jelly on the areas several times a day, Duke says. However, by that point, chances are you’re going to need a cortisone prescription to calm down the inflammation.

“Most people can avoid those kinds of problems by just following the general rules — no hot baths, use a mild cleanser, a creamy moisturizer and sunscreen, and keep the humidity at a good level in the your house.”