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Winter Skin Savers

The weather may be frightful, but that doesn't mean your skin has to be. "Chilly temperatures, low humidity, and dry indoor heat all draw moisture from the skin, making it feel tight, dry, and prone to flaking and cracking," says Robert Brodell, M.D., a dermatologist in Warren, Ohio. An Rx to prevent and cure winter skin ills:

Shorten showers. "Long, hot ones strip natural oils and aggravate already itchy skin," says Dr. Brodell. Instead of bar soap, lather up with a wash that has moisturizing lotion, like Olay Ribbons Body Wash ($4; at drugstores).

Slather on lotion while your skin is still damp to seal in moisture. "If your skin is very dry, use a thicker cream scooped out of a jar," says Cynthia Mayfield, M.D., a dermatologist in South Bend, Indiana. Try Aveeno Intense Relief Repair Cream ($12; at drugstores).

Keep moisture on hand. Post-diaper-changing hand washing can do a number on your skin. Ditto using hand sanitizers: Their germ-busting alcohol is drying. Apply a protective salve, like Lubriderm Advanced Therapy Hand Cream ($6; at drugstores), after every cleanup.

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