What is the best moisturizer for dry skin? The depths of winter are upon us (Cleveland is not the place to be in February, by the way), and my skin is definitely taking a hit. I grew up in Michigan, so I should be used to this. But every winter my skin starts getting flaky.
Winter is hard on skin.
If you remember back to your high school chemistry class, you know that warm air holds more moisture. This has to do with the water molecules having more energy, and thus being more likely to be in the gas phase. (Don’t tell my high school chemistry teacher I had to look this up!) So the air outside is pretty dry.
Actually, the air inside is pretty dry too. When you take cold air with not a lot of moisture, and heat it up, you get…. warm air that still doesn’t have a lot of moisture. So basically the air is dry everywhere.
Runny noses that are constantly getting blown, and the drying effects of a nice, hot shower add to the mix. The result? Dry flaky skin.
How do I moisturize in the winter?
As a plastic surgeon I have access to dozens of medical grade skin care products. And trust me, I’ve tried all of them. But my absolute favorite winter moisturizer is….petroleum jelly. Yep- good old Vaseline, available at your local drug store.
This was actually recommended to me by a dermatologist friend who lives in Colorado (talk about harsh winters! Cleveland’s got nothing on Colorado when it comes to cold winter air). Here’s what you do:
- At night, wash your face and put on your regular moisturizer.
- Then take a pea-sized amount of Vaseline and rub it in your hands to warm it before applying to your entire face.
I would do this a little before bedtime so the Vaseline can soak in instead of getting all over your pillowcase. Or just use an old pillowcase.
I know people love Aquaphor, and I’m sure you’re thinking, “Can I use Aquaphor instead?” I’ve always thought of Aquaphor as a fancier version of Vaseline. But it turns out Aquaphor contains lanolin, which is comedogenic. This means it can clog your pores and make you break out. Whereas Vaseline will not.
So there you have it: the best moisturizer for dry skin. And best of all, it’s inexpensive and easy to find!
Dr. Greer is a Plastic Surgeon in Cleveland, OH. Her passion is helping moms regain their self-confidence by getting rid of sagginess, wrinkles, and stubborn fat. You can read more about her at www.greerplastics.com.