NEW YORK (CBSNewYork)The brutal cold and wind this winter have left many with dry, itchy, chapped skin.

CBS 2’s Dr. Max Gomez has some simple and surprising tips to save your skin.

It’s been cold, it’s been snowy, it’s been windy and almost always, the air has been very dry.

To make matters worse, we’re told to wash out hands often to avoid spreading cold and flu germs.

So what can you do to stay clean and germ-free while protecting your skin?

“When they shower, they should use a moisturizing body wash. Don’t use soap. Soap wicks the oils from the skin. Hot water does the same thing. Keep the water lukewarm if you can. When you get out, pat your skin dry with a towel. Don’t rub it vigorously like a lot of people like to do. That irritates the skin,” Dr. Bruce Katz with the Juva Skin & Laser Center advised.

Then the key is to moisturize right after you shower or wash because that’s when your skin has absorbed water and you can seal it in with moisturizer.

Experts said the moisturizer doesn’t have to be pricey and fancy to be effective.

“You can use inexpensive ones, drug store ones. As long as you moisturize, that’s really important. Don’t worry about how expensive it is,” Dr. Katz said.

For seriously dry, cracked skin, try coating your hands with vaseline and wearing gloves to bed.

A fancier version is a warm paraffin treatment to soften and lock in skin moisture, Gomez reported.

Experts advise wearing gloves outside to protect your skin from harsh, cold winds.

Another problem area for dry skin is lips.

Lip gloss, lipstick and Chapstick keeps them kissable, Gomez reported. For men and kids who lick their lips a lot, vaseline, especially at night, helps.

A humidifier in your bedroom can also help keep your skin from drying out. It’ll also help your breathe better at night, Gomez reported.

All of these tips apply to dry, cracked skin on your feet as well.

You May Also Be Interested In These Stories

Watch & Listen LIVE