THE DRYING ENVIRONMENT
Cold air equals dry air.
“If the air is dry, it sucks the moisture out of the skin and compromises the skin barrier,” says Bostonbased dermatologist Emmy Graber, M.D., referring to the layer of skin that defends against irritants and holds in moisture. Weakening this layer leaves skin vulnerable to irritation. Indoor heating can have a similarly drying effect, creating a lose-lose situation for skin in the winter. To keep your skin barrier strong and functioning properly, use a cream with ingredients that help trap and retain moisture like ceramides, hyaluronic acid, or both. (Try CeraVe Moisturizing Lotion, $12; drugstores.)