5 ugly winter skin problems — and how to solve them

Don't be a flake. Add these moisture-packed products to your skin regimen and feel hydrated from head to toe.


The problem: Chapped lips The fix: Apply a simple, fragrance-free moisturizing product as needed to heal cracks, flakes and cuts caused by dry air and lip licking. Try: Vaseline Lip Therapy, $4; Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Cream Intensive Lip Repair Balm, $28.

The problem: Dull complexion The fix: When skin is parched, fine lines and wrinkles start to show, says Dr. Vince Bertucci, president of the Canadian Dermatology Association. “Just by hydrating, the skin looks brighter,” he says. Use a face cream with ceramides to repair the skin’s barrier, and wear SPF 30 daily. If your skin isn’t sensitive or fair, try a mild chemical peel or a product with glycolic acid once a week. Try: Jouviance Skin Rescue Intense Repair Cream, $30; StriVectin Overnight Replenishing Moisture Mask, $68; Pro-X by Olay Nightly Purifying Micro-Peel, $40.

The problem: Rough hands The fix: Look for a thick, rich cream that won’t require constant reapplication. And don’t go overboard at the sink, says Dr. Sandra Skotnicki, a Toronto-based dermatologist. “People overwash because they’re worried about germs,” she says, “but then they get more cracks and open sores, and that actually sets them up for more infection.” An anhydrous product (one without water) is best for treating those cuts and cracks because it sticks. Try: Eau Thermale Avène Cicalfate Hand Cream, $18; Skinfix 12 Hour Miracle Ointment, $20.

The problem: Dry arms and legs The fix: A fragrance-free moisturizer with ingredients like ceramides, hyaluronic acid, colloidal oatmeal and shea butter repairs the skin barrier and helps soothe winter itch and even eczema. But more important is your body wash. “Our natural skin lipids just go down the drain when we use harsh washes,” says Skotnicki. Switch to a mild soap-free shower gel or cleanser. When you get out of the shower or bath (avoid long, hot ones, though), lightly towel off, and apply moisturizer right away  to seal in some of the moisture that’s still on your skin. Try: La Roche-Posay Lipikar Baume AP+, 400 mL, $33; Aveeno Soothing Bath Treatment, $12/box of 8; Bioderma Atoderm Gentle Shower Gel, 1 L, $20.


The problem: Cracked feet The fix: Fissures on the heels are made worse by dry, cold weather. “Look for a product with lactic acid or urea,” says Bertucci. “These help to exfoliate the feet.” Try: Eucerin Repair Foot Creme 10% Urea, $13; Skin Republic Foot Repair Mask, $9.


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