You’ve hit a rough, dry patch. In some cases, quite literally, as winter weather can wreak havoc on your skin. Among the issues? Reptilian hands, legs that feel like sandpaper and skin-shedding chapped lips. If that’s currently the skin you’re in, there are many ways to deal.
“Dry winter skin is very common and right around now, it can feel like it’s gotten out of control,” says Dr. Jeanette Graf, a Great Neck-based dermatologist. “The relative humidity in the winter decreases and the dry heat in the house increases, all contributing to the state of your skin."
How to combat it? Well, toasty showers are a culprit. “It’s very comforting to take hot, long showers in the winter, but they can really dry out the skin. I tell my patients to reduce the time they shower to no more than five to seven minutes and to use lukewarm water.” Afterward, says Graf, slather on water-activated hydrating moisturizer while the skin is still wet. She recommends easy-to-find, easy-on-the-pocketbook products such as Jergens and Curél.
Graf suggests a humidifier to add some moisture into the air and stockpiling a large supply of moisturizers — “a tub of them on your bedside table and use them liberally in the morning and night on your arms and legs." And, to help rid yourself of dry skin, “don’t forget to exfoliate.”
Exfoliation just happens to be Roberta Perry’s specialty. The Plainview resident is the founder of skin care line ScrubzBody, a handcrafted collection of body scrubs, creams, oils and lotions that she started 14 years ago. It's sold both online, at scrubzbody.com, and at her store on Main Street in Farmingdale.
“I hear all kinds of complaints in the winter. People say their skin is flaky, itchy, scratchy, peeling, cracking, chapped,” she says. For her customers, “lips and hands are the winter killer. Hands are usually exposed and they work the hardest … In the winter, they go from hot to cold and even the gloves you wear to protect them absorb the natural oils.” Customers at the store sometimes get a free sample treatment with her exfoliating hand scrub “Handz” ($24 per 9 oz. bottle), which she says helps soften skin.
As for lips, Perry says the cold, dry air that prevails in winter months draws moisture away from the lips. To that end, she’s created lush, special lip scrubs ($18-$21) that taste sweet and contain Shea butter and a blend of eight botanical oils designed to protect from the cold and lock in moisture.
At Beautiology Studio and Spa in Mineola, owner Marchelle Charles mixes up “bespoke” facials (prices vary) that she says help renew skin and restore moisture. Techniques include gelatinous masks and foaming oxygen treatments along with “lots of vitamin C and Hylauronic acid,” says Charles. One thing to remember? Sunscreen. “Even on gray days. A lot of people don’t realize that it has to be used in the winter too. Sometimes the sun is even stronger.”
Want to get all of your skin in the game? The Spa at Red Hots in Roslyn offers a slew of body buffing treatments ($85 and up), though the most popular around now is the “Scrubbage” (an exfoliation-meets-moisturizing-massage service) aimed to get rid of dry, dead skin.
Spa co-owner Elaine Bezold says the timing for this treatment is now. “In the wintertime, skin is so dried and stressed out you need to remove that outer layer of skin.”
To that end, an aesthetician does a thorough dead skin sloughing scrub, followed by a luscious moisture delivering massage that rehydrates and stimulates the circulatory system. Besides leaving the skin soft, Bezold says, “It also feels really good.”