Cold Weather Beauty Tips

With temperatures starting to drop, I thought I would update this post on products I use to combat dry skin and hair.

The older we get the less moisture our skin produces. Cuticles dry out, legs get scaley, hair splits, and lips get chapped. Dry skin can make our wrinkles look more pronounced than they really are and who wants that?

Here are some easy fixes that I found to make a difference.

A Humidifierhumidifier for dry skin

Run a humidifier next to your side of the bed. I bought this one several years ago, which is very quiet. It hydrates skin and keeps your sinuses from drying out. If yours is old, check inside for mold and sterilize or replace so you’re not contaminating your lungs.

Strong sunscreen

Winter doesn’t mean the sun won’t damage your complexion. And if there’s snow on the ground, the reflection intensifies the sun’s damaging effects. Higher altitudes during winter sports also mean thinner air and stronger exposure. Don’t forget your neck and backs of hands! This is my favorite for the neck and body.

Heavier Body Moisturizerover 50 fashion blogger jennifer connolly using Amlactin

When I had my last skin cancer check, my dermatologist looked at my legs and commented that I must use moisturizer. He said most women don’t. I slather my entire body every morning, right after my shower. At night I apply it again on my lower legs, forearms, and feet. Consistency is key. I switched to this body lotion a few months ago and found it wasn’t strong enough so went back to their body butter. It’s important to pick a fragrance you love so you’ll do it every day! I go back and forth between their Rose and Lavender scents.

I tried this Amlactin last summer because it was doing such a great job on my husband’s feet. It is beyond amazing so this is what our whole family uses and swears by.


Use a Lip Moisturizer


Agave Lip mask on A Well Styled Life

Keep a lip moisturizer on your nightstand and apply it at bedtime. I’ve tried many stick types before I found this lip mask and I’m addicted to it! I sometimes wear the tinted version as lip gloss during the day. I won’t use Vaseline because it’s a by-product of petroleum refining. Who wants that on their body let alone their lips?

Drink More Water

Water helps lubricate your skin from the inside out. Furnaces blow warm dry air which can parch your skin. Add a few extra glasses to your routine during the cold weather. I’ve been carrying a Bobble for years and switch out the filter every few months.

Up Your Conditioner

Switch to a heavier hair conditioner or apply a touch of oil to the ends. A weekly hair mask adds extra moisture which cuts down on static electricity and split ends. I got a free sample of this one for my birthday at Sephora and really like it. Here are some other popular ones.

Do you have tips to share?



  1. I am going to order the humidifier. It’s a constant battle here against those dry skin woes. If I miss a day here and there, which I do even with the best intentions, I look like a scaly mess. Thank you for all of your suggestions. The older I get, the more it takes to look “normal”.

  2. Christine F says:

    Hi Jennifer, curious why a whole paragraph was lined out? Heavier Body Moisturizer portion.

    1. It’s what I wrote originally but changed my moisturizer when I tried AmLactin.

  3. I have skin sensitive issues and my dermo recommended Cetaphil lotions and cleanings creams. Have been happy with the products so far. I also use Mirai Clinical body wash. They use persimmons In their products which is affective against old people smell. It’s probably a little too soon for me to worry about that but Just taking preventive measures as it would be so embarrassing for me if I had that scent, yikes!

    1. I don’t know what “old people smell” is.

  4. Linda Henderson says:

    Thanks for sharing the product info. I am always interested. I am wondering if you have any recommendations for a product to help with dry, brittle fingernails. All of the hand washing I am doing is really taking a toll on my poor nails.

    1. Try Solar Oil by CND on nails once or twice a day. Makes a wonderful difference. I’ve tried other oils and lotions on my nails and none of the others helped.

    2. I make my own nail & cuticle oil with jojoba oil, almond oil and an essential oil. I pour the jojoba oil into a small bottle about the size of a nail polish bottle, then add about 10 drops of almond oil and 2 drops of an essential oil such as geranium or lavender. I use it twice a day in the cold weather and it really helps keep my nails strong and cuticles from drying out.

  5. The problem is, I have all I need to keep my skin looking nice but due to my inability to get things in gear, I don’t use them. Went to bed last night without my night cream on my face. I deserve to look like tanned leather. LOL

  6. Thanks for all the helpful advice on moisturizing. I think it is so crucial to our exterior health! Now for a random request, Jennifer. I love how you pull your hair back and up. Would you mind sharing some pictures and description on how you accomplish it? My googling attempts have not found anything near to your personal results and I love how you look with that style!

    1. It’s just held up with a gorilla clip. I brush it back into a tiny clump, twist around my finger, lay flat and grab with the clip. I’ll see if I have any pictures

  7. Canadian Elizabeth says:

    The skin on my hands starts to crack & bleed at this time of year. A pharmacist at the local Rexall (drugstore chain in Canada) recommended DERMAL therapy- Hand, Elbow & Knee, cream in a tube. I rub it into my hands before bedtime & wake up with healed hands. It’s the only product that works for me. Yes, somewhat greasy, but in my painful and desperate situation, who cares!

    1. Oh, that does sound so painful!! You have to use what works for you.

  8. Though do have a humidifier on our furnace appreciate the Vicks one that you recommend. (Thank you!) Speaking of which, if one has dry/scaling feet the occasional light application of Vicks Vapor Rub to them, topped off with a pair of ‘cotton’ socks at bedtime will do absolute wonders for them. (Cosmetically they will look ‘as smooth as a baby’s bum’ ….. lol!) In respect to moisturizers/lotions for other body parts (exception facial) as prefer to avoid scented ones, now only use products by Aveeno which I also find don’t leave any residue on the skin. i.e.: Moisturizing Bar (soap), Body Wash and Daily or Night Time Moisturizers. Since also carry a line for children its the reason why I was encouraged to try the brand and surprisingly have had great satisfaction regardless of their reasonable pricing. (Not to mention I find their products easily attainable.)

  9. I use Savannah Bee Royal Body Butter, which I got as a gift, and I was surprised with the staying power of the moisture. I am allergic to some fruit additives, castor oil bean, and certain SPFs, so I am cautious, and test on my skin first, but I love lotions.

  10. Thanks much for your lip balm suggestions! My lips have become so so dry as I’ve aged. This is just what I’m looking for!

  11. Great topic and ideas! Great timing too , it is -14 Celsius (6.8 F), crazy amounts of snow in the forecast and I am itchy head to toe. I struggle with having time to clean humidifiers but the new ones may be better. I’m using a vaporizer at the moment. I’m going to go dunk myself in lotion before I go to bed…☺

  12. I work in a hospital and always washing my hands or using Purell which is so drying. Just being off a week I see the difference, no hang nails or dry, itchy skin! I really like the L’occitane hand creams with Shea butter but only use the unscented version. Something new I have just tried is Laroche-Posay’s body cleansing oil. It lathers up and is very soothing to dry skin without heavy scent. It is expensive but you only need a small amount. If you like a light,pleasant scent the almond oil shower creme from L’occitane is very moisturizing as well.

    1. I do love the scent of Almond! I use the La Roche Posey sunscreen and find it excellent. I’d never heard if their cleansing oil. It sounds great.

  13. Thanks for the recommendations, I really need a lip solution. I carry a sippy cup of water everywhere. I started using Nivea in shower moisturizer I really like it and it’s helped my arms and legs. Since I walk 3 miles a day my feet are so dry I use Vaseline on my feet and sleep in socks. I’m really struggling with my hands and nails.

    1. I highly recommend this lip mask which is just special gel in a tube. It tastes good too. Maybe add moisture to your hands at night then cover with cotton gloves. I used to do that and it really helped.

  14. Julie,Melbourne,Australia says:

    All your tips apply to me year round and thanks for reminding me to get out my humidifier as I have year round sinus issues.
    I always use La Roche-Posay Anthelios light sunscreen after a friend told me her dermatologist recommended it.I quite often use pure coconut oil on my body or hair butter!I bought the OGX brand Creamy Hair Butter with Argan Oil and the leaflet on the tub said it could be used as a body butter too – it’s lovely!I only buy pure handmade soaps as my husband and I can’t use “normal” soaps.I always put Vaseline on my lips at night and I do try to drink water,water,more water as long as it’s the right temperature(not too cold).Re hair conditioners,I think I have tried so many I’ve lost count!I love a good hair mask and like one by Hask (Chamomile & Argan Oil for blondes) and Muk Intense Repair Treatment(an Australian brand).I use coconut oil on my cuticles and hands and also carry handcream with me.I like Neutrogena Norwegian Formula Hand Cream as it acts as a protectant,and I love Aesop’s hand creams.
    Wow,after reading this I realise how much maintenance I require!

    1. Lol, we all do Julie. It just means you’re taking great care of yourself. You have no idea how many women do none of these things and would benefit from just one!

  15. I fell in love with Avon Skin So Soft bath oil when I moved to bone-dry Southern CA 34 years ago. I keep it in a small spray bottle in the shower, and spray it all over when I’m still wet from the shower, rubbing in with my hand. This, plus using Olay Ultra Moisture body wash, means I never have to use body lotion on my dry skin, even in the winter, and it’s always smooth. None of that itchiness that used to make me feel like a scratching monkey 🙂 For hair, I just discovered a new product, Redken No Blow Dry Airy Cream for Fine Hair. Even though it’s meant for air-drying, I use a dab on wet hair before other products, then blow dry. If needed, I use a tiny bit on my hands after styling to smooth the static-y bits which always plague us fine-haired gals. It’s made my hair look much healthier. Keep those tips coming, Jennifer — love your suggestions!

    1. I love the idea of having it in a spray bottle. What an easy way to apply!! Thanks for sharing your tips, Susan.

  16. Great suggestions, Jennifer! For anyone who lives in a very cold, dry climate such as we do here in Alberta, I would suggest a furnace mounted humidifier that helps increase indoor humidity by dispersing moisture throughout the house. We run ours all winter.

    1. I agree, Elaine! We added one to our furnace last year and the winters are MUCH better.

  17. Thank you Jennifer for all the great product ideas. I will be trying some as they are a better price than what I purchase. I use IT cosmetics on my face. Confidence in a Cream is my new favorite for my face in Morning and Night. As for body moisture I use CeraVe. I have not tried a humidifier so I will get one. I always cough at night and feel congested. I don’t have a favorite hand moisturizer. I keep looking. Will try yours. I do use Aveda products on my hair and oil on the ends yet again will try the hair mask. Love your ideas! By the way, Mindy is coming this weekend to visit me. She is my first guest from CA!

    1. The humidifier may be a game changer for you! It moisturizes your throat to so it may help calm your cough. Say hi to Mindy for me!!

    2. I have also discovered CeraVe recently. I use it at night and I think it has made my nails stronger! I will try the humidifier. We live in Hawaii and keep the doors open at night, also run a ceiling fan non-stop. So I believe there is a lot of dust in the air. My husband coughs a lot during the night so it may be a help to him. Lastly, I will try the lip balm. Sun dries out everything here!

  18. I’ve been using Maple Holistics brand therapeutic grade castor oil on my hands, nails and cuticles at night. What a game changer! My nails are growing like weeds, cuticles are never dried out anymore and my hands are soft. I’ve also been using their shampoo and am no longer dealing with a dry scalp. Don’t remember how I found this company but so glad I did. Purchased the products online.

    1. Wow, Val! Thanks for the recommendation. My nails are horrid and I can never grow them. I’d love to try this.

      1. @Jennifer: I’ve never had a professional manicure, yet have strangers ask me where I get my nails done and/or ask me if they are real. My secret for strong healthy ones which I must maintain on a weekly basis as grow so fast, is the intake of gelatin either in the form of food or caplets. (i.e.: Gelatin Salads or Natures Blend Gelatin Caps (Walmart) ) This was recommended to me many years ago by the Surgeon whom I worked for, whom himself seldom went without a day of following his own advice (apparently if even dining out, would have a small bowl of jello for dessert) whereas my intake is only about once a week which appears to be sufficient for myself and can honestly say I notice an overall change in them if I don’t. Just a suggestion!

      2. I’ve never heard of this! I’ve tried so many things with no avail. Did your nails always grow fast or is it the gelatin?

      3. @Jennifer: At one time they were sooooo slow growing and were best described as brittle and that was in my early twenties but once I started a regime of gelatin intake, I’ve never looked back. Also shall add; I do periodically give them a rest and wear them short but find I have to at least file them every third day. Also I do not use nail clippers but prefer to cut them and use only emery boards for filing/shaping if that helps.

      4. I started taking a collagen supplement (type 3) last year for a knee injury and a surprising side effect has been strong healthy fingernails that grow like weeds … and my hair is growing faster too.

  19. I was wondering if the zinc in the sunscreen will stain clothes.

    1. In my experience, they leave a white cast after many exposures but don’t yellow whites, the way chemical sunscreens do. I will keep you posted

  20. My skin was so itchy several years ago it was keeping me awake at night. Nothing was working. I was trying everything, no soap, cooler short showers, layers of lotion, all my usual tricks. Then I happened upon a SebaMed traveling demo at Costco, of all places. I bought the liquid soap and body moisturizer. After the 1st use, all the itching went away! This is a brand out of Germany, I think. They claim the pH of 5.5 is the key.
    I’ve used Paula’s Choice products for extra dry skin on my face for years and have been very happy with the results. And always, always, always use sunscreen, even way up here on the rainy NW coast.????

    1. I love Costco!! I haven’t heard of that one. I’ll have to google about PH and see why that would be. Do you still find it at Costco!

      1. It’s a traveling show, so only comes to my local Costco twice a year. I think you can look up when it might be coming to your area on the Costco website. I also think it can be ordered directly, although more expensive.

  21. Marlene Ward says:

    I like to use products without parabens of any kind which is hard to find.

    Any suggestions?

    1. I don’t use anything with parabens either!! What I recommended doesn’t include them.

  22. Thanks so much for all these wonderful product tips. I usually just try to “suffer through”, but it makes sense to use some sort of product to protect and moisturize. I’ll be sure to try some of these. – Amy

    1. I highly recommend the humidifier. It’s easy and works really well.

  23. A good body lotion is an absolute must… for some reason I itch more in the winter… more than likely it is taking hot showers!!

  24. I am like a greased pig by the time I step out of the shower! I use Dove sensitive skin soap to bathe (my dermatologist recommendation), then slather copious amounts of Curel Ultra Healing lotion from my neck to toes. My derm also told me years ago to buy inexpensive lotion so you feel free to apply lots of it, which is the key to moisturizing. I love Rosebud Salve in the little blue tin for my lips and cuticle…keep it by the bed and my favorite chair. Jennifer, please do report back on the Neutrogena sunblock, I currently use Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Liquid sunblock, SPF 70. It goes on really well under makeup.

    I would be curious to know how long everyone waits between applying various lotion and potions to the face, then applying makeup? I use serum, moisturizer and eye cream, sunscreen, makeup primer, then finally foundation. I don’t have time to wait 5 minutes between each “coat”!

    1. It went on thick yesterday but dried down. Very thick compared to what you’re using but it’s all zinc and I like a physical block. Might be too heavy on face. I just did neck, chest and back of hands. I wait a minute or two after sunscreen. That’s all

    2. Curel Ultra Healing was recommended by my allergist and I really get great results and it lasts all day. I also found that retinol is great for your hands and as I use ROC at nighttime which contains retinol, I apply it on the top of my hands and am pleased with the results.

  25. Winter is hard on my dry skin, too. Like Tea, I don’t wash with soap except on “the creases” (love that..ha!). I do love a long bath in Origins Ginger Cream Float Bubble Bath when I’m cold and dry. It’s the only thing I’ve found for my bath that doesn’t dry me out.

    Long ago, I was given a sample of Aloette Hand and Body Silk and I’ve used it daily from head to toe since. My feet get Aveda Foot Relief daily. My hands are a challenge in winter, but really year round. I use Crabtree & Evelyn cuticle cream faithfully, although I fear it’s being discontinued…I had to buy my last batch from England! My hand cream in winter is Kiehl’s Ultimate Strength Hand Salve. And my face is drenched in either Clinique DDM Cream (vs lotion in summer) or Dermologica Intensive Moisure Balance. If I’m feeling particularly dry (outdoor activity, for example), I use Dermologica AgeSmart Super Rich Repair. It’s pricy, but it really helps my skin in the driest months.

    1. You’ve got a great system Laurel. I’ve heard great things about the Dermologic line but never trued it. I need to brand out more. Is Crabtree and Evelyn going out of business? Mine closed. I used to love all their things. I couldn’t leave without at least a few new goodies. Everything smelled amazing.

  26. One more comment, after reading those above…I dry brush my body before I go in the shower! A. for health benefits B. to remove dead skin. This may sound weird, but I don’t use soap or body wash on my arms, legs or torso…only on “the creases”…My dear dead mother and her sister and my grandmother before them all had the most beautiful skin – wrinkles and all . It was probably because they didn’t over-strip their skin with “soap”???

    1. Dry brushing has always intrigued me but I’ve never tried it. I need to investigate. I agree about stripping the skin. I haven’t used soap for years!

      1. You can pick up a decent “dry brush” at Whole Foods. Most important is to brush TOWARDS your heart…and your torso, clockwise. Go on Pinterest, it’s easy!

    2. @TEA: Though I’ve heard of dry brushing; I never realized there was a method to doing it nor new of its total benefits. Did look it up on Youtube and found a very good video by Dr. Mindy Beck (Lymph Health) who also provides a two page instructional print out (twelve+ steps) which I plan to tack up on the outside of my shower glass enclosure and am definitely going to give it a try. So thank you so much!

  27. I love your recommendations and will try a few of them…sunscreen being most important! I don’t like the “feeling” of putting lotion on my body after a shower, so I’ve been using Nivea’s “in the shower body lotion”…I think it’s terrific, gets me moisturized and the price is right. I love Neutrogena’s Sesame Oil, but it leave the tub too slick, and I’ve got better things to do than scrubbing that on the daily!
    Love your blog…

    1. I used to use that Sesame oil too. I’ve never heard of in the shower lotion. I’ll check it out. One less step would be great!! Thanks Téa!

  28. Skincare products can be rather expensive so when I find one that works I rarely change. It can be a challenge for me to keep my dry skin moisturized during the winter months. I have found what works for me for cleansing is L’Occitane Shea Butter Ultra Rich Hand and Body Wash for my hands and Shea Butter Extra Gentle Soap – Milk in the shower and bath. I also use Neutrogena Rainbath in my bath because it makes the water feel silky. I just discovered L’occitane Precious Eye Balm for the delicate skin around my eyes. I use Cerave Facial Moisturizing Lotion PM on my face which was recommended to me by my skin Dr. Anything else causes little red bumps on my face. For my body I like any fragrance free shea butter product. I slather it on and let it dry before getting dressed to prevent that dry itchy feeling. For my hands, which is applied several times a day I prefer Jergens Original Scent Dry Skin Moisturizer. It is interesting to hear from others about what products work for them.

    1. You’ve got a great system Diane. I love the scent of the original Jergens. I grew up using that and Nivea products. Just smelling them bring back a rush of memories.

  29. I use Nivea (extra dry skin) one of the best (and cheapest) lotions. For my dry lips, I use paw paw ointment, which is a juiced ip version of vaseline. Soap can be very drying, so I regularly use an oatmeal base soap free skin wash alternating with dove body wash . I have found these inexpensive products used regularly throughout the year to be very effective in keeping my skin from drying out like an old piece of tanned leather.

    1. That’s a great description! My mother-in-laws legs did look like tanned leather and my younger self wondered why they looked that way. Now I know! She didn’t moisturize.

      1. After showering, I take a paper towel, pour olive oil straight from the bottle and smooth it on my toes, feet, legs, elbows and everywhere else. OO bleaches skin gradually, and I am preparing for spring and swimming suit weather, and I want even color all over. After two months I can see the difference, and I feel terrific, must be the vitamins in the oil. OO is cheaper than any cosmetic oil or lotion, works faster and the benefits more long lasting. Except for yearning pasta and tomatoes, I’m quite optimistic.

        Love your column!

      2. That’s funny! I wonder if the smell would make me hungry. It’s certainly cheaper than cosmetic oils.

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