Ah, winter. ‘Tis the season for snowstorms, curling up by the fireplace, and…having uncomfortably dry skin. If you can feel the winter months sucking moisture from your skin as we speak, don’t worry. There are a few simple things you can do to keep your skin feeling fresh, dewy and moisturized all season long.

Dial Down the Heat

While nothing beats a hot shower when you feel chilled to the bone, it can wreak havoc on your delicate winter skin. Your poor pores are a little more sensitive in the winter months, so it’s important to be cognizant of what you put them through. While standing in a hot shower may be relaxing, it can strip your skin of the oils it needs in the harsh winter months. If you just have to have a piping hot shower, try limiting it to 5 minutes. Putting a strict time limit on that shower will ensure you don’t put your skin through unnecessary stress. Tone down the temp and your skin will thank you later.

Lather up, then Lotion Up

Right after that not-as-hot shower, apply lotion to really lock in the moisture. Instead of that overly fragrant tube you might use year around, try simpler formulas with fewer ingredients to avoid any unnecessary irritation. In general, more ingredients means more opportunities for irritation.  If you feel extra dry on your hands and feet look for an intensive overnight moisturizer. Put it on your hands and feet and wear cotton gloves and socks to let it work its magic while you rest.

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Cut Down on Cleansers

While a 12-step soap regime might be beneficial in warmer weather, it can actually be harmful to your skin in the winter. Those acne fighting formulas are made to dry out pesky pimples which can only irritate delicate winter skin; make sure you opt for something that’s gentle on the skin and won’t exacerbate dryness and redness.

Do a Little Extra, Exfoliate!

When skin feels ashy a good exfoliator can help slough off the dry dead stuff. Now before you turn your nose at that somewhat unsettling mental picture, imagine the fresh layer of bright dewy skin waiting underneath. If you want to exfoliate and do something good for the environment, try options that have natural exfoliants like almond or sugar. Other face washes use tiny plastic beads that are often wind up in our oceans. Finding the perfect exfoliatior is good for your face and the fish. That’s a win-win!

Meticulously Research Your Moisturizer

When it comes to your face, doing a little research on moisturizers could really pay off. Opting for a thicker formula of face lotion for dry skin can help up the ante in harsh winter months. Overnight and oil-based formulas often labeled as night creams can hold in moisture all the way until morning.

Become Bffs with Your Humidifier

When it comes to that itchy winter skin, often the dry air is to blame. Get a little moisture your room by breaking out a high-quality humidifier. Find a good spot by your bed to really maximize on the benefits of breathing in humid air all night long. You’ll wake up feeling more refreshed and your skin will be smooth, hydrated and healthy in no time.

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Drink Up!

When the weather gets cold, nothing sounds better than something hot. A cup of green tea, sweet hot cocoa or hot toddy. They all are pretty delicious in those chilly winter months, but filling up on hot drinks can make it easy to forget the most import source of hydration…water! We all know drinking water is the oldest trick in the book when it comes to getting clear, healthy looking skin. So, don’t let the snowy season lead you to skimp out on good old H2O—grab a Yeti to keep your water cold and delicious all day long.

Getting glowing skin is hard enough year around, but harsh winter weather can make keeping skin healthy especially rough. Refocusing parts of your beauty routine on moisturizing and keeping things gentle can ensure you avoid all the pitfalls of dry winter skin.