After weathering a long winter, your skin needs a little TLC.

Women Skin Party
Relax at home with friends, and have a do-it-yourself spa day. Hands and feet need extra pampering in cold months.
| Credit: Laurey W. Glenn / Styling Rose Nguyen

Take a few minutes this month to give your skin extra-special care. Thanks to weeks of cold air outside and drying indoor heat, our outer layer feels tight, chapped, and a lot like those cracked, brittle leaves that welcomed winter. Sound familiar? Treat yourself using these tips from a Southern Living staff favorite, Texas-based skin care expert Renée Rouleau.

Renée's Top Five Winter Skin Tips

  1. It's not too late to change your routine. Your skin acts differently in winter, producing less oil. So most skin types must add oil back to maintain overall balance. Try products containing safflower oil, avocado oil, and shea butter. Also, hydrating eye cream is a must this time of year.
  2. Instead of over-moisturizing, increase exfoliation. Remember to moisturize, but also consider exfoliation to help slough off dry skin. Use a gentle face exfoliator to remove dead cells, allowing moisturizer to hydrate the newer, healthier cells.
  3. Don't neglect your neck. The friction caused by turtlenecks and wool fibers can cause irritation and dryness. Use a gentle exfoliator once a week and follow with a hydrating cream mask to replenish moisture. When possible, opt for loose-fitting, smooth-fibered clothing.
  4. Remember skin care after exercising. Perspiration can contribute to irritation in addition to the dryness already present during cold weather. After working out, wash your face and follow with an alcohol-free toner and nourishing moisturizer.
  5. Avoid greasy hand creams if prone to break outs. Most of us are more likely to use hand cream just before going to bed during winter, causing for some a condition called "hand cream acne" that results from sleeping with hands on your face. Consider cotton gloves or changing your hand cream to an oil-free variety to keep skin clear.

Products We Have at Home Our editors tried many treatments to see what we loved most. And, for fun, we focused on products made by Southerners. Here are a few that we still have stashed away for ourselves!

  • Olivina Hand & Body Wash
  • It's nourishing with olive-fruit extract, aloe vera, and sea kelp. Contains no sodium lauryl sulfate, which dries out the skin.
  • Hillhouse Naturals Cashmere Body Wash and Body Creme
  • The body creme is especially nice―enriched with sunflower oil and vitamin E for extra hydration. Great for the entire body.
  • HollyBeth's Natural Luxury Hand-poured All-Natural Soy Candle
  • There's nothing here that hydrates, but the essential oils within each flavorful candle (rosemary-peppermint, citrus, and lavender & rose geranium) are a must-have for pampering.

HollyBeth's Natural Luxury Citrus Body Cream
A great option for hand cream―the almond oil works wonders for cuticles! Its sweet smell comes from essential oils instead of synthetic fragrance.

HollyBeth's Natural Luxury Grits & Honey Scrub
Truly a natural product―just cornmeal, honey, almond, and vitamin E. Intended for the face, neck, and hands.

  • Renée Rouleau Vitamin C Mask
  • A great mask for reducing the signs of aging without drying the skin.

Renée Rouleau Detoxifying Mask
This mask prevents break outs while keeping skin hydrated. Basil, camphor, and tea tree oil fight bacteria and clean pores.

Renée Rouleau Micro Crystal Cream
The perfect facial exfoliator for removing dry, dead skin in a gentle way.

HollyBeth's Natural Luxury Butterfly Lip Nectar
A great little companion to prevent cracked lips in winter. The honey-orange-mint scent rates as our favorite.

Healthy Benefits

  • To avoid dry, cracked lips, look for products with heavy ingredients such as shea butter, jojoba oil, avocado oil, or mango oil to replenish lost moisture.
  • Using a humidifier in winter can prevent your skin from drying out by replacing the moisture lost in the air through indoor heating.
  • If you're prone to eczema, look for moisturizers that are fragrance-free and made from a few basic ingredients.