Wave goodbye to the warm, humid months of summer and their gift of natural moisturizer. Skin loves to soak up water from the air, but humidity drops as cooler, drier weather sets in. Look ahead to protect yourself from the months that can leave your skin dry and chapped. Up your skin care game with these steps so that fall and winter don’t take a unwanted toll.

Finish off a fading tan. The most effective way to finish off a fading tan is by exfoliating. Dead skin cells stop shedding as your skin dries out, and that keeps moisturizer from sinking in. A very gentle scrub will actually help your lotions and creams work better when temperatures take a nose dive and your skin’s moisture levels plunge along with them. You can speed up the removal of dead skin cells by using a mild exfoliant.


Try a sonic cleaning system, a loofah in the shower, a pouf, or exfoliating beads and look for exfoliants with alpha hydroxyl acids or retinoids. A number of Lancome cleansers contain exfoliating grains and fruit extracts. Glytone facial and body cleansers contain the excellent glycolic acid. Try Aveeno Positively Ageless Resurfacing Scrub.

Go Greek. Greek yogurt, either full fat or 2 percent, can help erase an unwanted tan. The lactic acid in the yogurt serves as a gentle skin exfoliant, and its natural fat content acts as a moisturizer. Apply like a masque for 10 minutes to 20 minutes, and then rinse with warm water.

Slather in the shower. Applying body lotion in the three-minute window right after you shower is the best way to lock in moisture before it starts to disappear from your skin. Lightly pat down your body with a towel so your skin is damp but not dripping, then spread on moisturizer such as Eau Thermale Avène Cold Cream Nourishing Body Lotion.

Remember that steamy hot showers and baths are extremely drying and can strip your skin of moisture. Keep hot showers under five minutes, and use a soap-free body wash instead of highly perfumed bar soap.

Pile on serums. Layer serums under creams in order to boost moisture. Serums, which are light but have super-concentrated ingredients, are ideal for absorption. Look for petrolatum, mineral oil, linoleic acid, ceramides, dimethicone or glycerin in the light moisturizing serums.

Enrich your moisturizer. Winter calls for richer face and body creams containing ingredients like glycerin or sorbitol. These humectants help pull moisture from the air into your skin. Your day cream should provide an SPF to protect from UV rays, which can prevent skin from holding onto moisture.

One moisturizer with SPF 30 is Eucerin Daily Protection Face Lotion SPF 30. An excellent night cream containing glycerin or sorbitol is Clinique Moisture Surge Intense Skin Fortifying Hydrator.

Invest in a humidifier. Fight back against heating systems that drain precious moisture in the air by finding a humidifier. Try Crane’s Penguin EE-865. It is a small tabletop model suited for apartments and was ranked highest among tabletop models by Consumer Reports.

Use the right lip balm. Find a chapstick that is oil-based or contains shea or cocoa butter. SPF in lip balm is non-negotiable. Try Burt’s Bees or Hawaiian. Avoid lip balms that contain ingredients that can actually cause dryness such as mineral oil (petroleum jelly) or perfumes that can also dry out the lips.

Tip: Use a soft toothbrush to exfoliate dry patchy, chapped lips. Gently brush lips with a soft toothbrush, and then apply a natural, oil based chapstick.