An unseasonably warm Thanksgiving in the Northeast almost had us fooled into thinking we’d somehow dodge the whole winter thing this year. Wouldn’t that be lovely? But seeing as it’s now December, the time has come to accept what’s right around the corner: bone-chilling winds and zero humidity. Neither of which do pretty things to our skin. We’ve already debriefed you on strategic skin care swaps you should make before the weather turns; now arm yourself with the following practically effortless tricks some of our most trusted dermatologists use to outsmart winter’s effects of their skin.

Don’t wait until it snows to find your mittens.
Start protecting your hands now; preventing dry/chapped hands is infinitely easier than trying to cure them once they’re a hot winter mess. “Wear gloves outdoors whenever the weather gets cold,” advises New York City dermatologist Heidi Waldorf. “And apply a good hand cream at least every morning and evening. I swear by Derma Topix Intensive Hand, which hydrates and seals without greasiness and lasts through multiple hand washings and Purel applications.” Which there will be many of now that cold season has kicked off.

Keep wearing your sunglasses.
Don’t lose sight of your sunnies once sandal season is over—they’re an important beauty tool even when it’s chilly out. “The winter sun can be bright, especially when it reflects off concrete or snow,” notes Los Angeles dermatologist Jessica Wu. We all know squinting leads to crow’s-feet—but more important, leaving your delicate eye area exposed can be dangerous. “Wear sunglasses to protect the area around your eyes and your eyes themselves. You can get sunspots and even skin cancer on your eyelids,” Wu says.

Soften your feet during your workout.
There’s no reason your winter feet can’t be as pretty as your summer feet—they just require a little TLC. If you never seem to find the time (and/or hate wearing socks overnight to help your foot cream soak in, as derms so often advise), multi-task this with your workouts. “Apply petroleum jelly under your socks before going to gym to deeply moisturize and reduce calluses and blisters too,” Waldorf says.

Eat more fat.
No, not french fries (sorry), but healthy fats like those found in fish and olive oil. Low-fat diets can contribute to dry skin problems in the winter, says Chicago dermatologist Carolyn Jacob: “Eating fish oils and olive oil can help balance some of the necessary free fatty acids in the skin cells.”

Check your lip balm’s label.
It’s that time of year—better make sure there’s a balm in every handbag. But instead of basing your selection mostly on flavor and packaging (guilty), Wu says you should go out of your way to buy one that has sunscreen in it, to boost its protective powers and block riskier-than-you-think winter rays.

Got other winter skin issues on your mind? Here’s our complete head-to-toe guide on how to conquer all of them. You’re welcome!

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