Winter is coming. And cold weather can wreak havoc on our skin, often leading to dryness, irritation and even cracking.
As the temperature drops, there are a few things you can do to keep your skin happy. First, as much as you love hot showers, turn the heat down a bit. Water that’s too hot can actually dry out your skin. Next, keep moisture in the air where you have that control. If your home is a little dry and stuffy in the winter months, try using a humidifier.
And, of course, moisturizing yourself is key. But with so many different products on the market claiming they can keep your skin hydrated and soft, it may be difficult to choose something that will work.
To take away some of the guesswork, we went straight to the pros. We asked dermatologists and skin care experts to share their favorite moisturizing products to keep your skin ― on both your face and your body ― hydrated as the season changes.
Check them out below:
1. Avène XeraCalm
Dr. Melda Isaac of MI Skin Dermatology and Laser Center in Washington, D.C., recommended Avène’s XeraCalm for dry, itchy, sensitive skin.
“When people are dry and itchy, Avène works within seven days,” she said. This product is among her favorites for allergy-prone patients, she added, because it has few ingredients, one of the key ones being thermal spring water.
The cream can be used on the face and body.
2. La Roche-Posay Lipikar Lotion
La Roche-Posay’s Lipikar daily body lotion, which contains ingredients like niacinamide and shea butter, is another one of Isaac’s favorites for dry skin. She said it “helps restore or balance the skin’s microbiome, the population of bacteria normally found in the skin.”
The doctor explained, “Disruption of skin’s ‘normal’ bacteria can lead to bouts of skin irritation. (Just like disturbing the gastrointestinal tract’s or vaginal tract’s normal microorganism population leads to overgrowth of one bacteria and disruption of the normal microbiome.)”
Isaac also recommended Aveeno products that contain colloidal oatmeal and cermides, which she said are “terrific for dry sensitive skin.”
La Roche-Posay Lipikar Lotion, $17.99
3. Vaseline Petroleum Jelly
“For dry hands and feet I love Vaseline at night,” Dr. Samer Jaber of Washington Square Dermatology in New York told HuffPost. “Put a thin layer on at night and then sleep with white cotton gloves and white cotton socks to lock in the moisturizer. Your hands and feet will feel brand-new in the morning. I do this for my hands throughout the winter as all the hand washing I do really dries them out.”
Vaseline Petroleum Jelly, $4.17
4. La Roche-Posay Cicaplast Baume B5
Dr. Anne Chapas of Union Square Laser Dermatology in New York said she’s a fan of multipurpose balms for keeping skin moisturized as the weather gets cooler.
“The thicker texture seals moisturizing ingredients into dry, cracked, flaking skin, which makes it adhere for longterm intense healing,” she said. “Look for a product with silicone, petrolatum, lanolin or shea butter. I like La Roche-Posay Cicaplast Baume B5.”
This balm can be used on the face and body.
5. EltaMD Skincare UV Elements Moisturizing Sunscreen
Chapas also suggested EltaMD UV Elements SPF 44 sunscreen, which she said “is great because it’s a 100 percent physical sunscreen that allows for broad-spectrum UV coverage and also contains hyaluronic acid to improve hydration and softness in the skin.”
“You can use it anywhere in your routine because physically blocking sunscreens like this one don’t have to be absorbed into the skin to be effective,” she added.
EltaMD’s sunscreen comes tinted and can be worn alone or under makeup on the face.
6. Image Skincare Ageless Total Pure Hyaluronic Filler
“It’s super important that you keep your hydration levels up during the winter. That is why I love Image’s Ageless Total Pure Hyaluronic Filler,” Kristen Rogers, a skin therapist at Heyday in New York, told HuffPost. The topical facial filler is said to reduce the look of wrinkles.
“Hyaluronic acid is often pretty diluted – I know because I’ve tried them ALL. Not this guy. It really plumps and hydrates the skin before any other products are applied,” Rogers added in an email. “It helps enhance anything you layer on top of it. Hyaluronic can hold 1,000 times its weight in water so it’s a great addition to your cold-weather routine with a good moisturizer.”
7. CeraVe Daily Moisturizing Lotion
As the weather gets cooler, many of us like to crank up the heat during our showers. That’s not a great idea for your skin: Since hot water can be quite drying, it’s smart to turn the temperature down. But also make sure to moisturize as soon as you’re out of the shower or tub, while your skin is still a little damp and your pores are open.
“You’ve got three minutes when you get out of the shower to pat off and put on that moisturizer while your pores are still open,” Chapas said. “Look for ingredients like shea butter, lactic acids or hyaluronic acid. I like CeraVe Moisturizing Lotion.”
CeraVe Daily Moisturizing Lotion, $10.43
8. Vanicream Moisturizing Skin Cream
Jaber recommended Vanicream Moisturizing Skin Cream as a great option for those dealing with sensitive skin or eczema, “as it is free of dyes, fragrance, lanolin, parabens and formaldehyde.”
“For some, those ingredients can irritate skin and actually make dryness or eczema worse,” he said.
The Vanicream product can be used on the face, hands and body.
9. Dove Sensitive Skin Beauty Bar
“I love Dove Sensitive Skin beauty bar (unscented) because it doesn’t strip the skin of its natural oils and it helps maintain a healthy skin barrier during cold weather seasons when humidity is low and the environment tends to draw moisture from our skin,” Dr. Rachel Nazarian of the Schweiger Dermatology Group in New York told HuffPost via email.
The classic Dove bar is great for the body, but it’s said to be gentle enough for the face too.
Dove Sensitive Skin Beauty Bar, $9.39 for eight bars
10. La Roche-Posay Double Repair Toleraine Face Moisturizer
Nazarian also recommended La Roche-Posay’s Toleraine Double Repair face moisturizer, which she said “supports the natural microbiome on our skin, keeping a healthy pH level, and is super lightweight and absorbs quickly.”
“It contains ceramides and glycerin which also maintain a strong barrier to protect against dry winter air,” she added.
11. SkinCeuticals Triple Lipid Restore 2:4:2
Melissa Haloossim, nurse practitioner, founder of Skin Thesis in West Hollywood, California, and skin expert for stars like Kim Kardashian, said she likes SkinCeuticals Triple Lipid Restore cream for the face.
“Triple Lipid is an anti-aging cream that refills cellular lipids and nourishes dry skin,” she said. “It restores the skin’s barrier as well as aids in self-repair.”