Keeping skin soft and smooth in the winter is hard. Experts say the key is picking the right moisturizer and exfoliating on a daily basis.

“I think people who have sensitive skin and rosacea are really afraid to exfoliate,” she said. “You would be really surprised what retinol a couple times a week can do,” stated Justine Monteiro, a medical aesthetician at Vinette Day Spa & Apothecary in Scituate.

Retinol is a form of vitamin A that can help turn over dead skin cells. It is also be used to prevent acne and signs of aging. She suggests trying over-the-counter exfoliants. “That may be where you want to spend your money, is a good exfoliant,” she said.

For a moisturizer,she suggests anything that contains vitamin B5 or hyaluronic acid, which help bind moisture to the skin, and won’t clog pores. Ann Purcell, a massage therapist and aesthetician at Adamo Day Spa Retreat in Cohasset, prefers all-natural moisturizers. She suggests anything with vitamins A, C and E, coenzyme Q10, or evening primrose oil.

Purcell said that it’s also important to avoid products that contain toxic chemicals. “If it doesn’t look like something that’s in your food and has a big long name that you can’t pronounce, you probably don’t want it on your skin,” she said.

Many moisturizers contain mineral oil, which she said is deeply dehydrating because it interferes with the skin’s natural lubricant.

Monteiro said vitamin C “is the No. 1 thing you can do for your skin. It’s like squeezing a lemon onto peeled fruit.” She said that vitamin C protects skin and lightens pigment, and though it can be expensive, it’s worth it for the benefit to your skin.