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

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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.

dry dehydrated skin on the heels of female feet with calluses

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.

Beautiful woman hands with cream

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.

natural lip balms from beeswax in tin pots

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.

Young woman making up.

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.”

parsley on a slate background
tRufelka Elena/Shutterstock

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.

Latte art on dark grained wood top view

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.

honey in a jar on kitchen table
Jiri Hera/Shutterstock

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.

Close up of woman's lips covered with sugar
Y Photo Studio/Shutterstock

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.

young man washing his hair, taking a shower with foam on his head holds fingers in hair in bathroom
Alena Pl/Shutterstock

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.

dairy products and thyme flowers on white wooden table background

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.)

Medically reviewed by Jessica Wu, MD, on March 30, 2020

Bryce Gruber
Bryce Gruber is an expert in gift ideas, shopping, and e-commerce. You've likely seen her work across a variety of women's lifestyle and parenting outlets and on TV shows. She lives and works in New York's Hudson Valley with her five small children.