How to fight 6 winter skin bummers

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By Erica Metzger

With extreme changes in temperature indoors and out, winter weather can wreak total havoc on your skin. Luckily, Ladies' Home Journal shares a few quick and inexpensive changes you can make to your daily beauty routine to fight major cold weather problems like cracked skin, dry scalp and chapped lips. Start these good habits today, and keep them going long after winter’s gone to maintain healthy skin all year long.

Problem 1: Dry skin

People often forget about one of the most drying places in their homes — the shower. Hot water, deodorant soap and sudsy body washes strip away your natural oils, so keep showers short — under 10 minutes, and not too hot. 

Soap is very drying, which is why you should swap your traditional bar for a hydrating body wash. We like Dial Yogurt Body Wash because it contains yogurt proteins, which are very moisturizing for your skin.

When it comes to moisturizing, put away summery scented body cream and look for richer creams and lotions with ingredients that help your skin hold into moisture, like glycerin, petrolatum and ceramides. Apply them after you lightly towel dry off to trap extra moisture to your skin — and for those really dry, itchy patches, we like to add a layer of Aveeno Skin Relief Healing Ointment, which contains naturally soothing oats.

Lastly, night cream is very important in the winter, but it’s hard to find one that won’t irritate sensitive skin. We love the Yes to Carrots Night cream because it’s fragrance free and contains vitamin E, which is a great antioxidant for the skin. 

Try: Dial Yogurt Body Wash, $5 (hits shelves Feb. 1); Aveeno Skin Relief Healing Ointment, $10; Yes to Carrots Fragrance Free Intense Hydration Night Cream, $13 (exclusively at Target).

More From Today: The 6 best hand creams for softer skin

Problem 2: Chapped hands and cuticles

Soap, water and hand sanitizer are really drying — and people overdose on them during cold and flu season. You need to apply hand cream every time you wash your hands.

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The most important thing about hand cream is to keep it handy so that you actually use it. Buy a few small tubes, like L’Occitane’s travel size shea butter hand cream to carry in your purse or use at your desk. It’s light enough to absorb quickly and comes in great scents.

We also like to keep a tube of Cetaphil Intensive Moisturizing Cream on our night stands and slather it on before bed.

Try: Cetaphil Intensive Moisturizing Cream, $7.99 (CVS); L’Occitane Shea Butter Hand Cream travel size, $12 (at L’Occitane stores).

Problem 3: Chapped lips

Read your lip balm label. Sometimes the type of balm you are using makes dry, cracked lips worse. Additives like menthol and peppermint may irritate your skin, so use something more mild. Aquaphor Lip Repair + Protect is super hydrating, with ingredients like shea butter, petrolatum and glycerin, and also contains broad spectrum SPF 30 to protect lips from UV damage.

And if your lips are flaky, don't peel them! You can make a gentle lip scrub with sugar and water and gently buff your mouth to get rid of the dead skin. Then top it with a nice lip balm.

Try: Aquaphor Lip Repair + Protect, $4.49.

Problem 4: Rough, dry feet

Just because you wear boots all winter doesn't mean you should stop getting pedicures. You can use a pumice stone or scrub in the shower to remove dead skin and then slather your soles with an exfoliating foot cream, like Amlactin’s Triple Action Alpha-Hydroxy version.

At bed time, it turns out that grandma's beauty ritual of Vaseline and socks really works! Getting into this routine will soften the skin, and you’ll wake up with baby soft feet. 

TRY: Amlactin Triple Action Alpha-Hydroxy Therapy Foot Cream, $10; Vaseline Jelly Original, $3.69.

Problem 5: Dry scalp

A lot of women are afraid to use conditioner on their roots because they think it will make their hair go flat, but this is a big mistake in the winter. Remember, scalp is skin, and when it gets dried out, it will flake and get itchy.

Look for products that have skincare ingredients to help your scalp and use them on your roots. We like Tresemme’s leave-in conditioner spray, which contains tea tree oil, sunflower seed oil and niacinamide. It’s nourishing, but won’t weight down your hair.

We also recommend using a deep conditioner like Clear’s Scalp and Hair Treatment Mask once a week, which contains cactus extract, another great hydrator.

Try: TRESemme Renewal Hair & Scalp Leave-In Conditioner Spray- $4.99; Clear Scalp & Hair Intense Hydration Deep Hydrating Treatment Mask, $4.99.

Problem 6: Flaky eye lids

If you’re going to splurge on a product, you might want to consider doing so on your eye cream. Your regular face cream may irritate this sensitive area, so be sure to use a cream that’s safe for your lids. We like First Aid Beauty Dual Repair — it’s moisturizing and also has anti-inflammatory ingredients to help with puffiness and dark circles, so it’s still useful when the weather warms up.

Try: First Aid Beauty Dual Repair Eye Cream, $40 (exclusively at Sephora).