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The weather outside may be frightful -- and the overheated air inside not so delightful -- but that's no excuse for tolerating dry, flaky skin. The cure, of course, is to use moisturizer; skipping it can cause the outer layer of your skin to crack and flake. "It's essential to hydrate your skin more during the winter," says Dr. Jeanine Downie, a Montclair, New Jersey-based dermatologist and author of Beautiful Skin of Color (Regan, 2004). "Do it at least once a day -- twice a day if your skin is extra dry." And it's not just arms and legs that need special care during cold months; we've identified the four most important areas needing a little extra attention when the temperature plunges.Face It!
Finding the perfect winter facial moisturizer can be tricky: Too light leaves your skin parched, too heavy can cause breakouts. If your skin is extra dry, it helps to use a moisturizing cleanser, followed by an emollient or oil-based cream. Those with oilier complexions should look for oil-free formulas, which are still designed to hydrate the skin without clogging poresOur Picks
Licking your lips isn't an effective moisturizing technique! Because they retain less moisture than other parts of your body, lips dry out more easily, making them particularly sensitive to the elements. Be faithful about using lip balm and make sure than in addition to moisturizing ingredients, it also contains antioxidants, such as vitamin E or green tea extract, to protect even more against the wind and cold.Our Picks
The drier your skin, the thicker the moisturizer you need. A lotion containing glycerin or mineral oil is enough for most people; look for a cream packed with humectants (such as lactic acid) if you're extra dehydrated. Apply to damp skin following a bath or shower and rub in 90 percent of the way, letting the rest sink in to seal moisture most efficiently.Our Picks
Owing to repeated washing, hands are especially vulnerable to abuse this time of the year. Keep a tube of hand cream on your desk or in your purse and use liberally. And since twice-weekly pedicures aren't an option (unless you're a celebrity!), make sure to apply an exfoliating glycolic-acid based foot cream every few days, either after showering or before going to bed.Our Picks