01/01/2011 05:44 pm ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Stop Scratching, Plunge into Lotion (Kind of)

We're in the dead of winter, and these (brave) dippers are jumping into the bitter-cold Atlantic Ocean. Yes, I believe they are a little crazy. But you know what's even crazier? Not caring for your skin! I realized this while watching the Polar Bear Plunge on New Year's Day.

According to a survey conducted by Vaseline Intensive Rescue, 45 percent of the population suffers from dry skin. As a matter of fact, 53 percent of women think about their dry skin on a daily basis. I'm scratching myself as I say this -- I, too, am in this predicament. Sometimes, I get lazy and skip the lotion step after a hot shower, which is not a good idea. The result, I get itchy. And for many women, they feel self-conscious about noticeably dry skin, or even bleed from lack of care.

So in 2011, I propose, we slather up -- or should I say, on like so:

Tip 1: Watch Your Showers
Since hot water and soap dissolve the skin's natural moisture, keep your daily bath or shower short and water temperature moderate. While bathing, gently rub your body with a washcloth to exfoliate the skin, but don't scrub too hard. Gently pat your skin dry. If you rub too hard at either point, you may remove too much skin and contribute to further dehydration. While the skin is still damp, apply a moisturizer.

Tip 2: Don't Be Shy
There's no such thing as applying too much if your skin is dry. Moisturizers may not last all day, so reapply as necessary.

Tip 3: Make Lotion a Part of Your Routine
If it isn't already, make time for moisturizing. Tips 1 and 2 are pointless unless you do follow them and follow them daily. Lotion should be used every morning and every night for the best skin results. Consider an anti-ager for night and one that has SPF for day.

As for those of you with severe skin situations that are painful, consult with a dermatologist. Vaseline Intensive Rescue is embarking on the mission to spread the importance of taking care of your skin, too. They are rescuing dry skin across the country -- and in some of the harshest winter conditions (ahem, like at the Polar Bear Plunge) -- to deliver one million good skin days to America. Find out where their Dry Skin Patrol (pictured above) will be going next by checking out the Vaseline's Facebook page! They'll be giving our free lotion samples during their travels, as well as on their Web site while supplies last.

Photo Credit: Jesse Schmidt