BOSTON (CBS) – The winter months can wreak havoc on your skin but a new study finds instead of fancy creams and moisturizers, there may be simpler, cheaper solution.

Winter air is cold and dry, and running our heaters in our homes dries out the air even more, which means our skin loses moisture. But researchers in Japan found that misting your skin with water can make a big difference.

They took 17 healthy women, placed them in low humidity conditions and sprayed their cheeks with fine water particles for 60 to 120 minutes. When the water particles were small enough to pass through the gaps between skin cells, their skin was softer and better hydrated.

While many people use steam and mist humidifiers to add moisture into the air during winter months, the researchers say these water particles are probably too large to effectively hydrate skin and can promote the growth of mold.