NEW YORK (WABC) --There's no avoiding it so when to comes to your skin, what's the best way to combat the harsh effects of the cold?
Dr. Dendy Engelman of Manhattan Dermatology and Cosmetic Surgery says for your feet, elbows, and knees, a little known secret is to look for products containing urea.
"That's actually a humectin, it pulls moisture into the upper layer of the skin," Dr. Engelman said. "This actually adds in hydration and softens them without having to mechanically exfoliate."
In this weather, you may yearn for a hot shower or bath but you should skip it.
"That can actually dehydrate our skin, it increases what's called trans-epidermal water loss, so water loss through the skin," Dr. Engelman said.
After soaking, Dr. Engelman says to follow the one minute rule. That's the maximum time you have to put on your moisture while your pores are open.
She says to stock up on anything packed with Shea butter and coconut oil. If you are not sure, follow this simple formula: "Ointments are more hydrating then creams, creams are more hydrating then lotions."
When it comes to your lips, you must have a protective barrier and though tempting, you should not lick them.
"We have actually digestive enzymes in our saliva so that breaks down the skin so it's good for outside the mouth, but bad for the skin," Dr. Engelman said.
You should continue drinking plenty of water, but the doctor points out hydrating from the outside is just as important as from the inside.