Every day your skin is blanketed by the atmosphere around you.

"Your skin is a dynamic and constantly growing organ," says Dr. Dawn Davis, a Mayo Clinic dermatologist. "Therefore, the environment is very critical to the skin."

Davis says the skin is the largest organ in the body. And if you were to lay it out flat, the surface area of your skin would roughly cover a space the size of a football field. Pretty amazing.

Through a process called diffusion, the skin gives moisture to the environment and it can become dry. Just like that sponge on your kitchen sink.

The key to avoiding dry winter skin is to moisturize. Davis recommends an unscented, hypoallergenic product twice a day (apply more often if you live in extreme cold or a desert). But which type of moisturizer should you use? It depends on your goals and the condition of your skin.

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Moisturizing products:

  • Lotion: Water based, easily soaks into skin to hydrate
  • Cream: Water based, with less water per ounce than lotions Partially soaks into skin and partially sits on top of skin to protect Useful for dry skin when indoors
  • Ointments: Oil based, Sits on top of skin to protect and very useful when outside in extremely cold conditions

Davis says the soap you use can impact skin dryness. She recommends a gentle, moisturizing soap, and adds that bar soaps tend to be more moisturizing than some liquid soaps.

Listen to the podcast or watch the video for in-depth info on winter skin.

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For comments or other podcast episode ideas, email Viv Williams at vwilliams@newsmd.com. Or on Twitter/Instagram/FB @vivwilliamstv.