Corinne Dinger lives with really dry skin.

The Galloway Township woman uses a two-pronged attack to keep her skin looking as good as possible during the dry winter months. Dinger has been applying the HydroPeptide brand of cleansing, toning and moisturizing products every morning and night for the past three years. Dinger supplements her at-home treatment with a once-a-month visit to Cloud 9 Day Spa in Galloway Township.

Dinger said the efforts are paying off.

"My skin is better now than it was in my 30s," said Dinger, 55.

People suffering from dry skin during the winter months is such a problem that medical professionals and spa owners are full of advice about what to do to keep the skin as vital looking as possible when it is cold outside, and humidity decreases.

As people look into what products they can buy to help their dry skin, some actions they can take cost little or no money.

Chuck Sidwa, a physician assistant at DermOne Dermatology Center in Manahawkin, said when selecting a moisturizer, a cream should be purchased instead of a lotion. Sidwa also recommended using a mild cleanser, such as Cetaphil or Aveno, instead of regular bar soap.

Dr. Birgit Toome, a board certified dermatologist with offices in Egg Harbor Township, Vineland and Marlton, Burlington County, recommends using a humidifier in the home and protecting your skin when outside.

"When outside, keep wearing gloves, show as little skin as possible," said Toome, who recommends people moisturize three times per day. "Psoriasis or eczema, different skin diseases can flare up if skin gets too dry."

Lynne Comunale, 28, of Hammonton, uses olive oil soap and puts lotion all over her body daily year around, but she puts Vitamin E oil on her face from November to March. She visits a spa once every six weeks, and is planning on going for a facial before winter ends.

Jana Gallagher-Sliwecki, the owner of Rejuvenation Day Spa in Hammonton, said people should avoid taking extremely hot showers when it is cold outside. The showers wash away naturally occurring oils that protect the skin and help it retain moisture.

Dr. Jason Chew, of AtlantiCare Physician Group Primary Care Plus in Ocean City, recommends a 10-minute shower with lukewarm water. For the last 30 seconds of the shower, the water should be cold or cooler, so that pores will close and hold in moisture, Chew said.

Chew also suggested moisturizer be applied while the skin is still wet from a shower.

For moisturizers, Chew said consumers should look for creams with ceramides in them because they help hold water. Chew also said creams high in hyaluronic acid, also known as hyaluronan, help greatly with daily maintenance.

For people who come into the Rejuvenation Day Spa, the business offers a variety of facials, including the age intervention facial, microdermabrasion and a glycolic resurfacing peel along with glycolic hand resurfacing, Gallagher-Sliwecki said.

Debbie Cesen, Cloud 9 Day Spa owner, said skincare treatments help combat dry, dehydrated skin.

"Regular facials help to exfoliate and speed up cell turnover, allowing the hydrating ingredients in products to penetrate. Add to that specific treatment masks containing hydrating ingredients - such as hyaluronic acid, peptides and other humectants - all of which help the skin hang on to moisture," Cesen said.

Winter months and skin chaffing do not need to go hand-in-hand, said Dr. Stephanie Doyle, a family practice physician with Cape Regional Associates in Rio Grande.

"Drink plenty of water," Doyle said. "Though the air outside is relatively drier in the winter, your body needs hydration to stave off dryness. Generally, we recommend eight to 10 glasses per day,"

Once the inside of the body is "moisturized" by drinking more water, Doyle said the outside of the body also needs a "drink" of more moisture.

"Lotions, particularly those with glycerin or petroleum are best. For the all important lips, lip balm is suggested to keep your kisser, kissable," Doyle said. "Protect skin. Gloves, hats, scarves, long socks and more should be worn to reduce exposure. Since hands have thinner skin relative to the rest of the body, gloves are essential. Limit the amount of time spent in temperature extremes to reduce moisture losses from the skin."

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