Now that we’re in the full throes of winter, you’ve likely noticed your skin feeling drier, itchier, or duller. Winter brings with it a whole spectrum of things that play havoc with your skin. So, a special winter skin care routine is essential.
But, what makes a winter skin care routine different from the rest of the year’s regimen?
Well, you’ve got to take into consideration some of the battles your skin comes up against in winter – like cold weather, low humidity, and indoor heating systems. And that’s just the beginning.
10 Best Winter Skin Care Tips
Itching (literally) for some dry skin tips? Here are 10 remedies for dry skin, to ensure your skin keeps glowing all winter long.
1. Choose the Right Moisturizer
Even if you love your year-round moisturizer, you may need something more hydrating in your winter skin care kit. Choose oil-based skin care products over water-based ones, as these can really help your skin retain moisture.
A nourishing facial oil, followed by a good moisturizer, can also be a great choice for skin care in winter. It can provide deeper, more lasting hydration for dry skin.
2. Hydrate from the Inside
Remedies for dry skin aren’t all external. Hydration also comes from the inside. So, it’s important that you’re drinking enough H2O and eating plenty of water-dense foods.
Foods high in water include:
Tip: Ditch the excess coffee and sip on hot water with lemon while you work.
Try to boost the amount of essential fatty acids in your diet by consuming more fatty fish. Studies have shown that the fatty acids in fish oil can help improve the skin barrier, soothe dry, itchy skin, and help ease the discomfort of dry skin disorders.1
3. Wash Smart
When you’re outside in the freezing weather, few things are as pleasurable as coming home to take a steaming hot bath or shower. But though they feel amazing, they’re not so friendly to your skin because hot water strips away your skin’s natural oils.
So, try to limit baths and showers to 5-10 minutes and keep the temperature closer to lukewarm – or at least at a temperature that won’t turn your skin red.
When you wash your hands use lukewarm water. And when you dry them under a hand-dryer, stop when they’re still a little damp. This is a great time to slather on some hand cream!
4. Moisturize with Moisture
Speaking of damp skin… moist skin and moisturizers make a stellar team. This is because a moisturizer locks the water into your skin. If you use hyaluronic acid skin care products, this is a particularly great idea.
Hyaluronic acid is famed for being able to hold 1,000 times its weight in water.2 But in winter, or when your skin is very dry, it has nowhere to pull this water content from. Applying it to damp skin can really step up your hydration game.
5. Bring Back Humidity
Now, humidity may seem like a drag in the summer, but you actually have it thank for that summertime glow – bright, plump, healthy-looking skin. This is because humidity signifies that there is more water (moisture) in the air.
In winter, humidity levels can plummet, and the air becomes colder and drier. To escape the cold, you spend more time inside – where you crank up the thermostat. This only dries your skin out more.
One of those wonderful remedies for dry skin that experts swear by – investing in a humidifier as part of your winter skin care program. Humidifiers put moisture back into the air, which means it goes right back into your skin.
One of the best remedies for dry skin is to get rid of all that dry, itchy skin! When your skin looks dry and flaky, it’s time to exfoliate. Moisture just can’t get through to the depths of your skin if there are dead skin cells blocking its path.
Try an exfoliating body wash for the shower as part of your winter skin care. A skin care product that contains an AHA (like glycolic acid) or a BHA (like salicylic acid) is a great pick. These exfoliants gently dissolve away the glue that binds dead skin cells together.3
Pssst… don’t forget your hands!
7. Mask Yourself
A good winter skin care regime always includes a deeply moisturizing mask, but you can actually make your own from ingredients found in your kitchen. Some good natural options that are renowned for their moisturizing abilities include:
- Olive oil
- Aloe Vera
Mix together your favorite combination and leave on your face for 10-30 minutes.
A Rhassoul clay mask is also a wonderful idea for dry, itchy skin. Because this clay is rich in magnesium salts, it can help to boost your skin’s barrier function, enhance skin hydration, and reduce skin roughness.
Consider adding this mask to your winter skin care routine.4
8. Boost Up Your Cleanser
Facial cleansers, like moisturizers, sometimes need some extra “oomph” in the wintertime – especially if you have very dry skin. Adding a little oil to your cleanser can help with this. Try reaching for some avocado, olive, or argan oil, for example.
When you’re done with cleansing, make sure to apply skin care products like serums and moisturizers immediately, while your skin is still damp.
9. Watch That Thermostat
Oh, indoor heating: we couldn’t live without you! But heating is also incredibly drying to the skin. Try to regulate the use of your heating system. A slightly cooler, but still comfortable, temperature around 70-72°F can work wonders for your skin.
You should also try putting on a sweater before resorting to the thermostat. Sometimes, that’s all that’s needed. It’ll save your skin, as well as your bank balance and the environment!
10. Protect Skin from the Elements
Here’s the last of your dry skin tips: don’t forget to protect your skin from the actual elements of winter weather. Sunscreen, gloves, scarfs, and beanies are all essential items that can protect skin from the wind, snow, rain, and sun – all of which contribute to dry, irritated skin.
Remember that sunscreen is a year-round protector. Sunny winter days (and even cloudy winter days) can still be full of dangerous –– and aging –– UVA and UVB rays. And if you’re out in the snow, a full-on sunburn is a very real outcome. Also, don’t forget your lips!
Your Winter Skin Care Routine
Skin care in winter is a great excuse to really nourish your skin and to get ready for the warmer days ahead. And, you’ll find that these 10 remedies for dry skin are simple, inexpensive, and easy to follow.
Don’t be afraid to switch out some of your favorite products for more specific winter skin care products. You can come back to your faves in the spring! For now, it’s all about doing what’s best for your skin.
You can’t stop the seasons from changing, but there are things you can do to keep your skin looking as if it’s still enjoying a very pleasant summer.
What are some of your dry skin tips for winter? Share with us below!
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