A dozen derm-approved tricks for smooth, soft, sexy skin all season.
1. Skip the bubbles. Foamy lather feels luxurious but tends to strip away natural oils. Opt for a mild, fragrance-free cream cleanser with less than 1 percent sodium lauryl sulfate.
2. Exfoliate gently. Use a facial wash with no more than 5 percent salicylic or 10 percent glycolic acid two to three times weekly. For sensitive skin, dilute with an equal amount of water.
3. Soothe your scalp. Banish dryness and prevent irritation with a five-ingredients-or-less hydrating shampoo and conditioner. Fewer ingredients mean less chance of inflammation. If dandruff is an issue, switch to a shampoo containing either zinc pyrithione or selium sulfide.
4. Take a power shower. Cleanse with a hydrating body wash and loofah. Rinse with lukewarm—not hot—water for five minutes, max. Afterward, pat until almost dry and immediately apply lotion.
5. Pick good hydrators. Look for hyaluronic acid, as well as ceramides. Both seal in moisture.
6. Winterize your regimen. Start with a facial serum, which penetrates more deeply than regular moisturizers. Finish with a lotion or cream to combat extreme dryness.
7. Seek out redness reducers. Licorice extract, niacinamide and caffeine are great topical options for taming ruddy complexions. Shea butter alleviates blotchiness on arms and legs.
8. Use retinoids year-round. In the winter, a pea-size amount is enough for the entire face. (If you experience irritation, mix it with your everyday moisturizer.) Follow with a rich night cream.
9. Try a weekly mask. A penetrating formula gives hair and skin an extra boost of moisture. Pumpkin, green tea and antioxidants are all exceptionally hydrating.
10. Pucker up. Swipe a clean, dry toothbrush gently across lips to wipe away flakes, then apply a balm with vitamin E.
11. Tweak your diet. Cut back on caffeine and alcohol and nourish from the inside out by increasing your intake of water and antioxidant-rich raw fruits and veggies.
12. Treat your feet. Soften soles with an intense treatment—check the ingredients for either lactic acid or urea—that removes built-up dead cells, allowing moisturizers to sink in.