Stay Smooth and Soft: Keep Your Skin at its Best this Winter


Is the dry winter weather turning your skin into a desert zone? Whether it’s the outdoor winds or the indoor heat that are causing it, dry skin is one of winter’s itchiest conditions. We asked some experts to weigh in on how to keep our skin as smooth and soft as a baby’s bottom.


Stephanie Welles, an esthetician in Lake Bluff, recommends that you modify your skincare routine to account for the change in weather. After gently cleansing your skin, focus on serums and moisturizers that build the moisture barrier of the skin.

Exfoliation is also important. “Exfoliate, but be sure not to over do it. Use a gentler program so that you don’t strip the skin and leave it over-exposed and sensitive,” Welles says. “The winter months are a wonderful time to treat your skin to facials. Why wait until your skin is screaming for help?”

Stephanie also suggests adding Omega 3 and Omega 6 supplements into your diet to lessen roughness and inflammation.

When it comes to caring for your body, Darryl Bronson, M.D., a dermatologist in Highland Park, offers the following steps to keeping your skin soft:

  • When taking a shower, limit your shower to 15 minutes or shorter and use warm, rather than hot, water. Long, hot showers remove oils from your skin.


  • Use a milder, moisturizing soap or a shower gel that’s gentle on the skin.


  • Hydrate yourself! Drink plenty of water, at least 60 ounces. Dry skin can be caused by depleted internal fluids.


  • Use a moisturizer with a cream base, not a lotion.

MIBs Moisturizes
With so much in the press about what’s best for your skin, it’s nice to have a girlfriend—or MIB in this case—to tell you what works best for you. In this list, we’ve shared our favorites. (By the way, the Kitchen Cabinet has tried it all).

Julie C.: I just started using a new cream after visiting the Silken Tent [in Glenview]: B.Kamins Rosacea cream with SPF15. It seems to help the redness I’ve developed over the last few years.

Suzy: I buy this cream (I can’t remember the name, so it must not be helping my brain matter) at Bella’s Skin Care in Winnetka. It’s from the Dr. Temt laboratories.

Susan: I use Borghese Curaforte Moisture Intensifier. It is the lightest—least oily— moisturizer I’ve ever experienced. My skin absorbs it like a sponge and feels so refreshed and happy after I’ve applied it.

I discovered Borghese about 12 years ago at my local treasure pharmacy, del Lago Pharmacy. I was surprised that this little drug store stocked large quantities of this one expensive moisturizer, and teased the pharmacist/owner about it. When he responded that he had a significant number of level-headed—i.e., not trendy and just looking to spend money on the next expensive thing—loyal Borghese users, I became intrigued.

Every now and then I try to wean myself off this expensive product. But my face breaks out, or feels oily, or otherwise complains, and I stock up on another few bottles of Borghese.

I have to stock up because not only is it expensive, it’s also hard to find. This Italian company needs a better distributor in the United States.

Liz: I use Clinique’s Dramatically Different Moisturizing Lotion and that’s it.

Joan: A couple of years ago when I was having problems with my back, I started going monthly  to a very nice, spiritual, organic, funky young masseuse, Therese Holland. Besides working wonders on my back, she talked me out of using the “expensive” face creams I had been using and recommended a face cream that I have been using ever since. It’s very light and oil-free. It is also very inexpensive but it seems to be working for me. I buy it at Whole Foods. It’s the Aloe & Green Tea Oil-Free Moisturizer.

Wendy: Cosmedicine…eye cream, night time Rx (available at or retail locations). Let’s hope the whole Johns Hopkins study shows this to be the only line that truly promotes elasticity in (uhhummmm) aging skin and doesn’t prove to be a scam.

Mindy: I love Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Lotion for dry skin. It’s not thick but very effective in warding off the dry “tight face” feeling this Chicago winter brings on. Even on the coldest and driest days, I use this product for great, swift results. I don’t even mind lathering on a thick layer, it’s very reasonable, priced at $15.50 for 2.5 oz. I learned about the product while on vacation in Palm Springs. My 12 year old daughter was inflicted with horrible sunburn. In an effort to prevent a massive peel and to ease her pain, I went to look for a highly moisturizing product. After seeing her burnt face, the sales woman at Saks ushered us to the Kiehl’s counter at Saks and gave us a sample of the Ultra Facial Lotion. I can’t believe that they didn’t call DCFS!!!

She never peeled, the redness went away, and she had no further pain. I now refer to it as our miracle product and would never be caught without it. You can buy this product locally at Nordstrom, Bloomies, Niemans, or just for fun—visit the new Kiehl’s store on Michigan Avenue.

Jeannie: I’ve been using Lubriderm every day on my body (not the face) since I was about 9. I have extremely dry skin in the winter and Lubriderm is the only thing that isn’t too thick and does the job. For hands, I like the Neutrogena Hand Crème in the tube. I’m a pretty simple gal.

For the face, I like Anthelios L, made by La Roche-Posay, with an SPF of 60. It was only just approved for sale in the U.S. this year. Before that, I had to buy it from the dermatologist.

Sandra: I use Bobby Brown “Hydrating Face Cream” … doesn’t make my face feel tight. Barely need any and it feels so soft. I purchase it at Nordstrom or Saks. It’s $50 for 1.7 ounces. You can also purchase it online with free shipping. Love it!!!

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