There's nothing like a warm shower on a cold morning, but all that warm water can wreak havoc with winter skin. Try cutting down on shower time (and using a moisturizing body wash while you're in there), then slathering on the skin moisturizer the moment you step out. Rich creams or oil-based ointments with humectants are ideal when the mercury falls. As for facial moisturizers, you'll want to select a product formulated for your skin type, whether that means an oil-free moisturizer, a rich face cream with hyaluronate, or a facial oil such as argan. Any of these can help to keep dry, flaky skin from cropping up—it all depends on your individual needs. But keep in mind that the face moisturizer you use during spring and summer may not be hydrating enough come fall, so you may need to switch to a more emollient formula. Moisturizer is also key for helping to achieve even, color-true makeup application, so don't skip it, even if you're in a rush.
Hands are one, or rather two, of the biggest trouble spots come winter, so reach for the most hydrating hand cream you can find and use it religiously long before you see the first signs of cracking. And don't forget your gloves! Shielding hands' thinner skin is one of the best defenses against blistering cold and dry air.
From dry hair to constant static, winter can feel like one long bad hair day. Keep your shower stocked with hydrating shampoos and conditioners to help lock in moisture. But hair washing on a daily basis can contribute to dryness, so wash every other day—or go even longer if you can manage it. Also, try applying a nourishing oil treatment before bed once or twice a week to help keep locks moisturized.
There are few feelings as cozy as pumping the heat and burrowing into a bed covered with warm, fluffy blankets on a cold winter night. But if you hunker down for the evening without prepping your skin, you're missing out on an opportunity to help prevent moisture loss as you sleep. Nighttime is prime time for locking in moisture, so before your head hits the pillow, wash your face with a non-stripping face wash and apply a facial moisturizer, then smooth a cream, ointment, or other hydrating skin care product liberally on hands, feet, and anywhere else you want to maintain supple skin. Popping on a pair of thick socks afterwards will help keep your moisturizer on your feet instead of your sheets, so it can do its job (and you don't wind up with a mess!). You don't need to use a product specifically formulated for night to be effective, but you can't go wrong choosing something labeled "night cream."
Layering is essential during the winter months—and it's as true for your bath products as it is for your clothes. Layering skin care products is a great way to help yourself stay soft and hydrated—in addition to beautifully scented, if you choose moisturizing body washes, bath oils, and body lotions in the same fragrance family. After washing skin with a creamy cleanser, apply a body oil to wet skin and let it absorb for a few minutes. Remove any excess while toweling off, then follow with a generous layer of lotion.