Nicole Catanese, SELF
The coldest season of the year comes with a special set of skin care issues (Rudolph nose, anyone?). Read on to save yourself.
"I have eyebrow dandruff. WTF?!"
When you wash your face, you probably don't get into brows, so over time, dead cells stack up, forming flakes, explains Francesca Fusco, M.D., a dermatologist in New York City. At home, a.m. and p.m., use a face wash with gentle buffers like jojoba beads, targeting brows to slough skin. On the go, tote nubby makeup remover wipes. Skip brow products until flakes are gone, so gook doesn't build up.
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"My nose is red and raw-not cute."
A dry-air assault from indoor heat and outdoor cold + wads of tissues from nose blowing = Rudolph syndrome. Dab on a cream with ceramides, hydrating lipids that dry air depletes, Dr. Fusco says. Cracking, too? Layer on barrier cream, a protective ointment with beeswax or botanical oils. Hide evidence with green concealer topped with a skin-toned one, then set with a dot of powder, says Lori Taylor, a lead makeup artist for Smashbox in Los Angeles.
"My hands feel like sandpaper."
Skin on hands has few oil glands, so there's less natural defense against cold, dry air. Before heading outside, rub on a glycerin-based hand cream with mineral oil or petrolatum (glycerin latches onto water; mineral oil and petrolatum lock it in), then slip on gloves-warmth helps ingredients penetrate, Dr. Fusco explains. Don't ignore cuticles, which can tear: Apply a treatment that has almond or safflower oil. "Oils contain small molecules that seep in deeply," she says.
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"Aah! My legs are scary scaly."
Like hands, legs don't have many oil glands, so they get rough fast. One culprit: a steamy hot shower. We love it, but for legs' sake, set the water temp at lukewarm-hot H2O drains skin's moisture barrier. Ditch soap or gel body wash for a creamy formula with hydrators such as shea butter-and without harsh cleansers like sodium lauryl (or laureth) sulfate. Post-shower, load up on body butter.
Wear layers: After you apply body butter, slather a petrolatum salve on super dry areas such as knees and shins, Dr. Fusco says.
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Nicole Catanese, SELF