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Expert A's to Your Beauty Q's: Dry Skin

By Ayren Jackson-Cannady

Reviewed by Karyn Grossman, MD

WebMD Magazine - Feature

It's the season for rough, dry skin -- on your face, feet, elbows, all over. We asked two dermatologists to share their favorite products and techniques for keeping your skin hydrated and soft.

Eric Bernstein, MD's Top Product Picks

(Dermatologic laser surgeon, Ardmore, Pa.)

Aquaphor Healing Ointment ($5.49) "The key to baby-soft feet all winter long is to apply an ointment over damp skin right after your bath or shower. Put socks on immediately to prevent slipping and to lock in moisture."

Neutrogena Deep Clean Facial Cleanser ($6.49) "A mild face wash is great to use on dry, flaky skin on your back because it's milder than regular body wash. Unless you're flexible, apply it with a back-scratcher-like device."

AmLactin Moisturizing Body Lotion ($16) "If your elbows get super dry or look darker in color, use an exfoliating moisturizer like this one a couple of times a day. It contains exfoliating lactic acid to smooth out rough patches, plus emollients and humectants to keep skin soft."

Curél Hand & Cuticle Therapy ($5.89) "I carry hand lotion in my briefcase to apply after hand washing, which we do more of during the winter to prevent the spread of cold germs. Also, I recommend applying a layer of moisturizer before slipping on your gloves -- it's a trick that dermatologists use all the time to increase penetration of ointments."

Top Product Picks of Joshua Zeichner, MD

(Director of cosmetic and clinical research, Department of Dermatology, Mount Sinai Medical Center)

Earth Therapeutics Pumice Brush ($4.99) "Skin on feet can get very thick and hard, especially in winter. Exfoliation with a pumice stone a few times a week works well to smooth rough patches. After pumicing, soak your feet for 10 minutes, then apply a moisturizer."

CeraVe SA Renewing Lotion ($14.99) "Stock up on moisturizers infused with an exfoliating ingredient like lactic acid and a smoothing ingredient like salicylic acid, which work to eliminate dry flakes while hydrating skin at the same time."

Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser ($11.99) "We wash our hands a lot during the winter or overload on sometimes drying hand sanitizer. To clean hands without irritating or stripping them of their natural oils, try moisturizing liquid soap without water. Simply rub it on, then wipe it off with a paper towel."

St. Ives Fresh Skin Apricot Scrub ($3.79) "Since it can be difficult to reach your back for exfoliating dead skin, rub a dollop of your favorite scrub (I like this one) onto the tiles of your shower wall. Then, rub your back against it before rinsing off."

The opinions expressed in this section are of the experts and are not the opinions of WebMD. WebMD does not endorse any specific product, service, or treatment.

Q&A on Dry Skin

"How can I treat my dry cuticles at home?"

Julie Webb, 28, administrative assistant, Fort Walton Beach, Fla.

"To rejuvenate your dry cuticles and nails at home, squeeze a couple of capfuls of lotion enriched with mineral or olive oil (both ingredients prevent water loss by creating a barrier over the skin) into a small bowl and heat in a microwave for about 15 seconds. Rinse your hands first to moisten the skin, then soak your fingers in the warm cream for a few minutes or until the lotion cools. Then, towel dry but do not rinse."

Jin Soon Choi, founder/owner of Jin Soon Natural Hand and Foot Spa, New York, N.Y.

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