Healing Help for Dry Skin: New Lotions for Face, Hands, and Body
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Healing Help for Dry Skin: New Lotions for Face, Hands, and Body

These new hydration products let your face, hands, and body drink in moisture.

Target Areas

Thirsty Spot: Lips
The Cause: Lips have no oil glands, making them especially vulnerable to the cold. "Frequent lip-licking, and the evaporation of saliva that follows it, can leave the lips cracked and dry," says Dr. Jennifer L. Rudolph, MD, practice director of Skinklinic, a medical spa in New York City.

The Quench: A powerfully hydrating lip balm. Try Blistex Lip Infusion, $2.49, a liquid lip balm that quickly penetrates the skin. It also contains lanolin, an emollient ingredient that is occlusive, which inhibits water loss.

Thirsty Spot: Face
The Cause: The classic culprits -- lower humidity levels and indoor heating -- apply, as well as using too-hot water to cleanse. "A shower that is too hot causes blood vessels to dilate, which results in water loss," says Dr. David Avram, MD, a New York City dermatologist.

The Quench: Boost moisture with a skin mask treatment. Try Crabtree & Evelyn Skin Care Remedy Rejuvenating Mask, $28, which softens with amino acids and soothes with honey and willowherb.

Thirsty Spot: Hands
The Cause: Exposure to the elements and frequent washing without immediately hydrating your skin robs your hands of moisture, warns Dr. Rudolph. These conditions can also dry out your fingernails and cuticles, leaving them brittle and prone to splits.

The Quench: Get a hand lotion that also softens the cuticle, which can crack in the cold air. Try Vaseline Healthy Hand & Nail Lotion, $6.49, with alpha hydroxy acids, vitamin E, and nail-strengthening keratin.

Thirsty Spot: Body
The Cause: Overly perfumed soaps can strip natural oils from your skin. Vigorous drying with a towel also removes moisture. In addition, areas where your skin rubs against clothing, such as the hips and backs of arms and shoulders, can also lose moisture from friction.

The Quench: Luxuriate in a rich, hydrating body wash that replenishes. Olay Body Wash Plus Creme Ribbons with Almond Oil, $3.99, cleanses with a rich lather while depositing petrolatum, a highly potent moisturizer, plus almond oil. You won't need to moisturize afterwards!

Healthy Hydration Habits

  1. Face Friendly: Push your moisturizing routine up a notch. If you normally don't wear moisturizer, start using lotion. Or, if you already use a lotion, upgrade to a thicker, heavier moisturizer.
  2. Body-licious: Take lukewarm showers that last no longer than 10 minutes.
  3. Lush Lips: Steer clear of long-wear lipstick formulas, which tend to be more drying, and use lip gloss instead.
  4. Finger Facts: Wear gloves and mittens! Covering your hands when you're outdoors will help curb moisture loss.

Originally published in Ladies' Home Journal magazine, February 2006.