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Moisturizing Your Dry Winter Skin

Skin tends to be drier during winter months because there's less moisture in the air. Combine that with cold winds outside and hot, dry, heated air inside, and you could get dry, cracked, itchy or scaly skin as a result.

But there are ways to hydrate your skin and get its glow back even in winter.

Redbook magazine's beauty editor, Cheryl Kramer,

The Early Show Tuesday and offered five steps you could take.
  • Raid the maternity skin care lines: You don't have to be pregnant to use these skin care products. These creams are formulated to address the driest, itchiest skin a woman will likely ever experience, and make great winter body lotions even for women who aren't expecting. Since these products need to be safe for a developing fetus, they typically have fewer ingredients. And the fewer ingredients a product has, the lower its chances of inducing irritation.

    Cheryl's Product picks:

    Mama Mio Super-Rich Body Cream, Tummy Rub, Wonder-Full Balm, $25

    Bella Mama Belly Oil, Belly Butter, $22

    Erbaviva Stretch Mark Cream, Back Rub Oil, $28

    Mustela Stretch Marks Double Action, Ultimate Hydration, $34.50

  • Moisturize from the inside out: What you eat can help your skin look and feel better.
    Walnuts, wild salmon, canola oil and ground flaxseed are all rich in Omega-3 fatty acids, which have a lubricating effect on skin over time, roughly four weeks.

    If you don't like to eat nuts, try vitamin E-rich foods such as dark, leafy greens and wheat germ flakes. They have a similar hydrating effect.

    Be especially vigilant about downing your nine daily cups of fluid now, though they don't all have to be water.

    Other options include lettuce, cucumbers, celery, red and green peppers, cauliflower, fruits, potatoes, low-fat ice cream.

  • Rub your bath oil directly on your body. In theory, putting bath oil in your tub is a good idea because both oil and water penetrate your skin and hydrate it. But we know that oil and water don't mix. All you get is an oil slick that may or may not get on your skin. However, if you apply the oil to your body just before slipping into the tub so the moisturizers are right there, waiting to be absorbed, the heat from the water will actually help them penetrate, rather than float away.

    Cheryl's product picks:

    Neutrogena Original Formula Body Oil, $10

    Burt's Bees Vitamin E Body & Bath Oil, $8

    Mistral Bath & Massage Oils, $15

  • Give your shower gel the season off. Shower gels are the perfect remedy for sweat and oil, but they have a high alcohol content that makes them too drying in winter. Combine that with the cold winds outside and the dry rooms inside during winter, and you're just hurting your skin. Shower creams and buttery bars, by contrast, provide moisture without sacrificing the clean feeling you get from a shower gel. The gel may give you the perception that you're getting cleaner, but from the dirt and bacteria points of view, you're not getting any cleaner using a gel than you would with shower creams or bars.

    Cheryl's product picks:

    Grassroots Cream, Please, $12.50

    One With Nature Vanilla Oatmeal and Coconut Milk Soap, $3

    Fruits & Passion Monoi Shower Cream, $11.99

  • Reassign the humidifier: There's one in every household, usually in the kids' room for when they catch a cold. On dry nights, take the humidifier into the grownups' bedroom and set the vapor on cool; steam is good for opening sinus passages; cool vapor fills the air with water molecules. Then let osmosis take over. Humid air, dry skin the moisture will flow from the air to your skin.

    Remember that humidifiers need careful cleaning to avoid bacterial buildup.

    If you don't own a humidifier, there's an easy solution: If you live in a home or apartment with a radiator, you can just put a bowl of water on top of the radiator and let the heat disperse the water into the air. That's cheap and efficient.

    Cheryl's product pick:

    Holmes Cool Mist Humidifier, $32.99

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