Don't Forget Your Hands

With all the colds and flu cases going around in the winter, it's a good idea to wash your hands often. But all that cleaning can cause chapping, drying and even cracking. If your hands become dry or cracked during the winter, try replacing your regular hand soap with a cleanser that's mild or soap-free. Your hands might also benefit from applying moisturizer after each wash. For an extra moisture blast, apply a thick moisturizer before you go to bed and cover your hands with cotton gloves while you sleep [source: Irwin].

Daily Winter Skin Care

Although you can't control the weather, you can certainly take steps to keep it from ruining your day. Once you've checked the local weather report, it's time to check your cupboards and closets for the right materials.

If your skin feels itchy and dry during the winter, then check your soap. For washing your body, try switching to a soap formulated for sensitive skin. To wash your clothes, try using an allergen-free or hypoallergenic laundry detergent made without perfumes or dyes. You might also want to avoid using fabric softener sheets as some brands can leave small, itchy fibers on your clothes.

You know it's important to wear warm clothes and shoes during cold weather. However, you might not realize that how you layer your clothing can also affect your skin's health. Avoid wearing itchy fabrics like wool next to your skin. Try to wear softer, less abrasive fabrics, like cotton, closest to your body in order to let your skin breathe. Also, keep in mind that if your clothes become wet, you should change into dry clothes as soon as possible -- wet clothes can irritate your skin [source: American Academy of Dermatology].

Do you know what's in your daily beauty and grooming products? Formulas that work well with your skin most of the year might suddenly irritate those sensitive tissues in the winter. For example, many common anti-aging ingredients can cause irritation and redness, and the winter weather can worsen these side effects. If your usual warm-weather routine irritates your skin during cold weather, try switching to mild and unscented products that will be gentler on your skin [source: American Academy of Dermatology].

Despite our best efforts, we can't always prepare for a cold spell. If you're already in too deep to prevent it, read on to learn how to treat your dry winter skin.