Cold, winter air brings dry, cracked skin. Luckily for us, The Green Guide has just published their hand and body lotion buying guide. An easy to use resource, it provides information on ingredients to look for and offer other tips to keeping your skin smooth and silky in the winter months. Be sure to click on the tabs explaining the environmental impact of moisturizers as well as the product comparison chart, which shows whether or not the products have been certified as USDA organic, Leaping Bunny certified, or are Dirty-Dozen Free.
Another tip from The Green Guide is to not rely on terms such as fragrance-free, hypoallergenic, non-comedogenic, and cruelty-free. These labels are not defined by the government or by independent third-parties (such as Environmental Working Group or Leaping Bunny) so manufacturers don't need to follow any specific guidelines in order to include these labels on their products.
They also recommend drinking plenty of water, avoiding long, hot showers, and moisturizing after bathing. I would include adding good oils to your diet (and eliminate bad trans fats). Eating olives, walnuts, ground flax seeds, cold water fish such as salmon or sardines, and drizzling extra-virgin olive oil over your favorite foods are all good ways of moisturizing from the inside out!
A favorite and inexpensive trick for smoother feet and hands is applying a thin layer of castor oil to cracked fingers or heels and then putting on a pair of gloves or socks overnight. Take care as castor oil can stain, so have those socks ready to slip on so as not to leave a trail of oily footprints behind.