10 Genius Solutions for All of Your Winter Skin-Care Problems
If cracked heels, flaky scalp, and other winter skin problems are bothering you, don't worry—top doctors and experts are revealing their most genius top-secret skin solutions
Our editors and experts handpick every product we feature. We may earn a commission from your purchases.
Winter is harsh on the skin
Unfortunately, there are plenty of things people get wrong about winter skin care. According to dermatologists, however, there are solutions to your most annoying woes—from dry skin to chapped lips. Here are the genius solutions dermatologists recommend.
Try this crazy trick for cracked heels
Forget the foot scrubs if you’re prone to cracked heels, especially in the winter, Purvisha Patel, MD, a board-certified dermatologist and founder of Visha Skincare, says super glue can be applied to relatively minor heel cracks to keep the skin together. It’s not a long-term solution, but it will allow your dry, cracked skin enough time to heal while you slather on the ointments and cotton socks to keep the problem at bay. Find out what dermatologists do in the winter that you don’t.
Kick fungus to the curb with this winter favorite
You probably already have a tub of Vick’s VapoRub at home, which is good news, because that old favorite is actually just what the doctor ordered to keep gross foot fungus issues away, too. “I use Vick’s on fungus and toenails,” explains Dr. Patel. “It helps clear your toes before sandal season, and all you have to do is put it on every night during the winter.” The product’s main ingredients, menthol, camphor, and eucalyptus oil, all have anti-fungal properties.
Stock up on lip balm for this unexpected reason
Lip balm isn’t just for lips. “Apply lip balm directly to fingertips,” says Anca Tchelebi, MD, of Park Avenue Medical Spa of her favorite genius solution for avoiding chapped, cracked, and sore fingers in dry, winter air. Here are some more tips for healthy and soft winter hands you should know.
Swap out your pre-makeup primer
There’s a reason fancy primers are some of the beauty products you shouldn’t waste money on, because Hadley King, MD, a board-certified New York City dermatologist, says there is a much less expensive option in a different drugstore aisle. “Vagisil makes a great face primer, because of the dimethicone,” she says. “And it’s moisturizing.”
Make a DIY parsley mask
“One of my favorite at-home DIY facials is my parsley mask because it can help reduce redness and deliver hydration,” explains celebrity facialist, Ildi Pekar. “Parsley also contains an impressive amount of vitamin K, which will help promote a plump and healthy glow.” She recommends a throwing a handful of chopped, fresh parsley into a mixing bowl with two tablespoons of organic, raw unfiltered apple cider vinegar and three tablespoons full of organic plain yogurt. Apply to your face, let it dry, and then wash off and moisturize. Voila—the best winter face mask you could ever dream of whipping up in your kitchen. Don’t miss more tips for fighting dry skin.
Ditch the coffee
We know, we know—cutting out your morning cup of joe sounds like the absolute opposite of what your soul needs when it’s cold out, but caffeine actually has a dehydrating effect. These surprising everyday habits may be causing your dry skin.
Fight winter acne the gentle way
“A favorite of mine is 100 percent raw honey,” says Pekar. (Note: Keep raw honey away from infants—it can harbor bacteria that is dangerous for immature immune systems.) “The honey is especially beneficial for healing and maintaining healthy skin of all types, which is why I incorporate it into all of my products. Raw honey has amazing soothing effects that hydrate the skin leaving you with a soft and radiant glow. It is also packed with antioxidants to help slow the aging process and plump up your skin leaving you with a youthful appearance.” Better yet, it’s antibacterial and antimicrobial, which means it has the potential to kill sources of fungal acne or other infection-causing microbes.
Scrub your lipstick fears away
If you’re a fan of bold kissers but afraid to wear red lipstick in the winter because of how chapped and uneven your lip skin is, try exfoliating your lips each night as before hitting the hay. Lip beauty expert Sara Happ suggests using one of her signature lip scrubs, but if you’re in a pinch, you can gently massage your pout with a warm, damp washcloth. Find out the other mistakes you may be making on the reg that could cause your lips to dry out.
Temporarily rid yourself of scalp flakes
Adding a spoonful of sugar to your shampoo won’t keep recurring dandruff or scalp psoriasis problems from coming back long term, but it’s great for the person suffering from the occasional climate-induced dry scalp. “You’ll exfoliate away dead skin and allow the conditioner to nourish the scalp more effectively,” says Francesca Fusco, MD, a dermatologist based in New York City. Here are some other ways to get rid of dandruff naturally.
Get your hands on some goat butter
What on Earth is goat butter, you ask? “All it is is real goat butter with jojoba and urea,” says Michelle Yagoda, MD, a facial plastic surgeon and the creator of BeautyScoop. That’s right—goat milk is processed to make butter, and jojoba oil and urea are added. Urea has a mild exfoliating effect on skin, while the goat butter’s natural fat and protein content lock in moisture. Slather it on after a shower and avoid these wintertime shower mistakes that could dry out your skin. (Learn if switching to goat milk soap can benefit your skincare routine.)
- Purvisha Patel, MD, a board-certified dermatologist and founder of Visha Skincare
- Anca Tchelebi, MD, of Park Avenue Medical Spa
- Hadley King, MD, a New York City dermatologist
- Ildi Pekar, celebrity facialist
- Francesca Fusco, MD, a dermatologist based in New York City
- Michelle Yagoda, MD, a facial plastic surgeon and the creator of BeautyScoop