WebMD Now: 5 Steps to Winter-Proof Your Skin

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Chapped lips? Dry skin? The coldest season of the year brings a flurry of problems. Fortunately, we've got five ways to winter-proof your skin.

Step 1 to battling the elements? Bathe briefly. The cold air outside combined with the dry heat inside leaves your skin parched. Taking long, hot showers dehydrates your skin even more. Warm, not hot water is best for bathing. And keep tub time to under 10 minutes.

Step 2, use a mild fragrance-free cleanser on your face and body. The cold and wind are drying enough. Don't strip more oils from your skin with harsh cleansers and scrubs.

Number 3, moisturize daily. The best time to put on moisturizer is right after you shower, when your skin is still damp.

Step 4, protect your lips. Cracked or chapped lips are just no fun. To keep your lips protected, smooth on a lip balm that has petrolatum, glycerin, or essential oils. Reapply it often, especially before bed.

And finally, number 5. Just because the summer sun is on hiatus doesn't mean you can put the sunscreen away. Skin care experts recommend wearing sunscreen year-round. Yes, this applies even on sunless days, and especially if you're hitting the slopes. Snow reflects UV rays, plus the higher altitude ups your risk of skin damage.

Bottom line, it's all about moisturizing and protection. Now your skin is ready to face winter's worst.