Not to get all "Game of Thrones" on you, but winter is coming. And with it comes the dreaded dry and flaky skin that the cold weather inevitably triggers. But fear not: If itchy, thirsty skin is one seasonal tradition you'd like to break this year, we're here to help.
We tapped dermatologist Jeanine Downie, MD to share a few quick-and-easy tricks for achieving silky-smooth, oh-so-hydrated skin this winter. We promise your skin will be prepared, no matter what winter brings.
1. Hydrate While You Sleep
Here's news sure to make lazy girls everywhere rejoice: You can hydrate your skin while you snooze. "Try sleeping with a humidifier in your bedroom every night from mid-October to mid-April," says Downie. "This adds moisture to your skin, hair and nails." Guess there's a reason they call it beauty rest, after all.
2. Don't Skip Your Scalp
Just because it's hidden under a fabulous head of hair doesn't mean your scalp isn't susceptible to the harsh, drying effects of winter weather. But don't go slathering handfuls of lotion on your head. Instead, try massaging a hydrating conditioner into your scalp. Opt for one formulated with botanical oils -- think moisturizing coconut and almond oils -- because it won't clog your pores like traditional conditioners.
3. Schedule Face Time
If you're like us, you log a lot of time huddled by the heater during the winter (or a fireplace if you're way classier). But while blasts of heat spell warm relief for our chilly frames, they're a dehydrating disaster for our complexions, since dry air basically sucks moisture from our skin. Make sure you show your face a little love this season with a hydrating daily moisturizer like Aveeno's Positively Radiant Daily Moisturizer. Bonus: The formula contains SPF, which is a year-round must-have.
4. Bundle Up Wisely
You know that chunky wool sweater you love? You know, the one that helps keep you superwarm and hides the results of all of that comfort food you've eaten? Well, it turns out it may be doing more harm than good. "Sweating under heavy winter clothing (like wool) can dehydrate you, so drink plenty of water and wear more breathable fabrics, like cotton," advises Downie.
5. Nosh Knowledgeably
If your moisturizing routine still leaves your skin feeling dry and itchy, consider introducing new foods into your diet. "Try starting on the inside to keep your skin healthy during the winter," says Downie. "Oatmeal is a perfect choice for breakfast. It's full of vitamins, minerals and lipids that help keep skin looking healthy." As for the rest of the day, reach for foods high in omega-3 fatty acids, like walnuts or wild salmon, which help skin retain moisture.
6. Pay Lip Service
You'll definitely strike out under the mistletoe if you pucker up with a seriously chapped pout. Thankfully, you can combat flaky lips this winter with an easy DIY exfoliating lip treatment, which you can make by mixing brown sugar, honey and olive oil. Gently scrub your lips with the concoction, rinse and apply a moisturizing balm before finding someone to smooch with your newly kissable lips.
7. Shower Smartly
Since bar soap can leave skin feeling tight and dry, consider switching up your shower routine. "Use hydrating, yet gentle, products for your body," says Downie. Aveeno Skin Relief Gentle Scent Lotion and Aveeno Gentle Scent Body Wash are a perfect combo. They help lock in moisture, smell great and are just as gentle on sensitive skin as fragrance-free alternatives." Plus, the coconut-scented products are sure to remind you of warmer months and tropical destinations -- which is what we all need in the dead of winter.