Head, shoulders, knees and toes
You'll be covered and protected with our total-body winter preparation guide
Winter does not do a body good. Dropping temperatures, decreased moisture and minimal sunlight dry us out head to toe. "We lose humidity as it gets colder," says Dr. Carolyn Jacob, a Chicago dermatologist. "It really takes a toll on your skin." Hair gets brittle, skin flakes off and heels crack under the pressure.
Not this year. We asked local experts how to prep for winter, and they all agree on one thing: Moisture is king. Here's how to find it, keep it and lock it in.
Dry air and abrasive wool (hats and scarves) mean a head of dull, electric (in a bad way) hair. Reduce static by misting your brush with hair spray or switching to a natural bristle brush, and resurrect summer shine by conditioning daily with a product containing shea butter or jojoba oil, emollients that attract and retain moisture.
Try this: Mason Pearson Handy Brush, $125, at Sephora. Frédéric Fekkai Moisturizing Conditioner with Shea Butter, $22.50, at www.bigelowchemists.com.
Windburn is a problem come January, when skin is raw and vulnerable. Avoid chapped cheeks by exfoliating weekly and using an intense moisturizer with SPF. "Even though it's winter, there's sun out there," Jacob says. At night, opt for products with glycolic acid, which eliminates dead cells and unplugs pores.
Try this: Cetaphil Daily Facial Moisturizer, $9.99, at www.drugstore.com. N.V. Perricone's Vitamin C Ester Concentrated Restorative Cream, $90, at Sephora (845 N Michigan Ave, 312-335-9391).
Avoid cracked, scaly lips by swathing them in moisturizing balm. "You want something that will penetrate and hydrate the lips, rather than just coat them," says Santha Dulaney, spa director at Honey Child. "Vitamin E is wonderful, and anything with cocoa or shea butter is hydrating." Look for products containing beeswax (they're thicker and stay on longer) and an SPF of at least 15 to protect lips from UV rays.
Try this: Aveeno Essential Moisture Lip Conditioner SPF 15, $2.99, at www.drugstore.com.
To keep your body beaming, Jacob suggests taking lukewarm baths (hot showers sap moisture from skin), replacing bar soap with a moisturizing body wash and applying a thick body cream immediately after washing to seal in moisture.
Try this: Olay Complete Body Wash, $4.49; Eucerin Original Moisturizing Crème, $7.69; both at www.drugstore.com.
Battle dry skin, bleeding cuticles and splitting nails by replacing drying antibacterial hand soaps with hand-sanitizer gel and moisturizing with an emollient-rich cream—once an hour is not too much. Alessandra Rosa, an aesthetician at exhale spa, suggests using cuticle oil with vitamin E for healthy nails.
Try this: Purell Instant Hand Sanitizer, $1.99; Eucerin Dry Skin Therapy Plus Intensive Repair Lotion, $7.99; Nailtiques Oil Therapy, $6.79; all at www.drugstore.com.
Walk softly and carry a big tub of moisturizing cream to avoid cracking heels. Low temperatures, thick socks, and damp shoes dry feet out and make them a prime locale for bacteria breeding. Get your piggies in order by buffing weekly with a pumice stone, giving them open-air time to breathe and using a nighttime cream with exfoliating glycolic acid.
Try this: Revlon Pumice Stone, $3.19, at www.drugstore.com. Bliss Foot Patrol, $26, at Bliss (644 N Lake Shore Dr at Ontario St, 312-201-9545).