Welcome back for another beauty tip with our Director of Beauty, Joseph Allaire.

As the winter chill sets in you may notice those single-digit temperatures slowly zapping the moisture out of your skin. Dry skin can be a major problem during the winter, but there are factors within your control to stay hydrated and moisturized. During this time of year, one of the most common complaints is dry, cracked hands. First and foremost, you want to make sure that you’re washing your hands often in order to prevent the spread of germs, but you don’t need to use scalding hot water to wash effectively. The same goes for the shower: don’t bathe in steaming hot water. Tepid water with a mild, non-abrasive soap, followed by a good moisturizer, while the skin is still damp to lock in moisture, does the trick. For effective hydration, find a cream with shea butter, essential fatty acids or hyaluronic acid.

Also, be sure to get rid of those anti-bacterial gels. They’re loaded with alcohol, which dries out your skin doing more harm than good. Unless you work in a hospital where you need to sanitize between patients, there’s really no need for you to use anti-bacterial gels. According to many studies, simple hand washing is much more effective at preventing the spread of germs. For extra hydration, in addition to daily moisturizing, adopt a nighttime routine to coincide with your body’s circadian rhythm in order to give your skin an overnight boost while not in use.

When going outside in the cold, cover up as much skin as possible and wear heavy wool or leather gloves to prevent moisture from escaping into the air. Healthy, hydrated skin starts from the inside by eating a well-balanced diet as well as drinking plenty of fluids throughout the day. Coffee is dehydrating, so for every cup of coffee you drink at the office, make sure to drink a full glass of water, too.

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