The air’s dry, the wind’s bracing, and our body’s largest organ (our skin!) is suffering! What can we do (besides drinking LOTS of water) to keep our skin healthy and hydrated during dry winter months? We’ve got you covered.

Be proactive
Stop dry, itchy skin in its tracks by running a humidifier in your home, especially in the rooms you spend the most time in. (Your bedroom is a good start!) This maximizes moisture in the air and helps your skin stay hydrated. Another way to get ahead of the dryness game? Swap out your beauty routine for the season—putting products with (drying) alcohol to the side during the winter and using heavier, more nourishing lotions and creams during the winter. For best results, apply your lotion right after the shower while your skin is still damp.

Using Face Oils
Dermatologists say face oils can improve hydration, aid in anti-aging and provide healing properties for your skin. They help seal the outer layer and prevent water loss. Adding a few drops of oil to your moisturizer or serum can help the benefits be “locked in” to the skin. If you suffer from dry skin, an oil could be your new best friend. As with anything, start slow, by applying 1-2 times per week to ensure it doesn’t induce a breakout.

Shower smarter
When it’s cold out, it’s easy to turn that faucet all the way up to as hot as we can possibly stand, but all you’re really doing is creating cracks in the surface of your skin, Dr. Purvisha Patel, board-certified dermatologist, told HuffPost. “Hot water evaporates fast, and if the skin is not immediately moisturized, the cracks in the skin let the skin nerves get exposed to air, resulting in what feels like lots of paper cuts and eczema, or ‘winter’s itch,” Patel explained.
Keep that water temp down low, and baby your skin with gentle, paraben-free shower gels.

Exfoliate less
Typically, skin experts recommend exfoliating once a week (this speeds up skin regeneration and helps products penetrate your skin more easily), but in the winter, less is more. “Certainly you’re going to exfoliate less than you would normally, because your skin barrier is going to be a little bit compromised because of the dryness and cold air,” board-certified dermatologist Dr. Samer Jaber told HuffPost. “If your skin is really, really dry, then you certainly don’t exfoliate.”

For more ideas on beating the winter blues, bundle up with these cold-weather essentials!