12 Things Dermatologists Do in the Winter that You Don’t

Frigid temps and whipping winds may sound like a prescription for itchy, dry, cracked skin. But winter doesn’t have to be the season of your skin’s discontent. Just take this easy-to-follow advice from top dermatologists and your dermis will look great no matter what the calendar says.

They switch cleansers


Winter isn’t the season for antibacterial or deodorant soaps, which can leave your skin parched, says Christine Choi Kim, MD, a dermatologist in Santa Monica, California. A better bet: creamy, hydrating cleansers that put moisture back into the skin. Don’t miss the best anti-aging secrets that dermatologists won’t tell you for free.

They take short, lukewarm showers


“It’s tempting to take a long, hot shower when it’s freezing outside, but that’s the exact opposite of what your skin needs,” says Philadelphia dermatologist Nazanin Saedi, MD. Hot water can strip natural oils from your skin, causing it to dry out. Instead, Dr. Saedi recommends keeping water temps on the tepid side and making it quick (5 to 10 minutes, tops) when you’re in the tub.

They opt for ultra-hydrators


Your regular runny moisturizer isn’t going to cut it in the winter. “Make sure you’re using a cream, not a lotion,” NYC dermatologist Doris Day, MD, told Allure. Ingredients to look for include hyaluronic acid and glycerin, which Dr. Kim says will make moisturizers more effective, but not necessarily heavier. According to other dermatologists, here is what you should never, ever do to your skin.

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