Cold air typically contains less moisture than warm air, which can cause skin to dry, crack and peel. And spending more time indoors can further dry your skin -- furnaces generate warm, dry air, so you may need to use a humidifier in your home to add moisture to the air [source: American Academy of Dermatology].
If your skin is extremely dry, you may want to try a maternity skin care product. Even if you're not pregnant, your skin can benefit from these products, which are especially hydrating. Maternity skin care products are especially good for sensitive skin -- they're designed to be baby-friendly, so they often contain fewer ingredients, meaning they're less likely to cause an allergic reaction [source: Dakss]. Also, avoid taking long, hot showers, which can further dehydrate skin. Instead, take short showers in warm water, and apply a moisturizer within three minutes of showering to help your skin retain moisture [source: Bruno].
Although your face is more likely to be exposed to cold outdoor air, don't neglect the rest of your body when moisturizing. Your elbows, legs and knees have fewer oil glands than your face and are likely to become dry and scaly as well. Also, shaving can strip your legs of moisture, so be sure to use a moisturizing shaving cream, and apply an oil or lotion that contains petrolatum or shea butter after shaving [source: Wu].
With cold weather often comes wind, which can be even more abrasive to skin. Read on to learn how to combat wind's harmful effects.