If the weather is leaving your skin dry and sensitive, it’s sadly no surprise. With cold weather, even the most well cared for, balanced skin can be thrown off by dry, winter air. Dehydrated skin often leads to dullness and flaking.
We can blame the temperature fluctuations and the drying effect of the warmth of central heating, but how can we cure it? It all comes down to hydration – however there’s more to that than lathering on a rich moisturizer. Read on for a guide to protecting your most moisture-starved parts so you can stay radiant and glowing all season long without breaking a bank.
- Exfoliate regularly
Exfoliation is a first crucial step to quenching dry thirsty winter skin. While your skin does naturally shed dead surface cells, it can’t always get them all off. Dead skin buildup on the surface of skin can prevent moisturizers from penetrating and ultimately making them less effective.
By exfoliating away the dead skin on the surface, it allows your moisturizer to absorb better. After all, trying to moisturize cells that are already dead won’t get you very far. Exfoliate your face regularly with a mild exfoliate, about 1-3 times per week, to help your moisturizer penetrate better.
I love this exfoliator from ACURE. This exfoliator has Sea Kelp & French Green Clay that helps soften, detoxify and cleanse.
Another good one that I really like is this exfoliator from Era Organics. This is made with Manuka honey and walnuts. It’s all-natural ingredients so it uses real walnuts instead of microbeads. I love that this is made with natural products and is naturally fragrance free.
Body exfoliators are great. They help with exfoliating while nourishing the new skin beneath, leaving you soft and glowing all over.
- Switch your Face Wash & ditch your Toner
During the winter months, choose cream-based cleansers, and apply toners and astringents sparingly, if at all. If you must use toners then use hydrating ingredients like rosewater, chamomile, hyaluronic acid, honey, and green tea.
- Use a heavy Moisturizer
The dry, cold air will dehydrate and dull your skin if you don’t up your moisturizing routine. One of the easiest things you can do is to swap your regular moisturizer for a slightly thicker and richer formula.
Applying an extra thick coat of your regular moisturizer won’t work since our skin can only absorb so much. The solution is to use the right moisturizer with the most effective hydrating ingredients that will actually work. Specifically, look for moisturizers with humectants. They help pull & retain moisture into your skin.
My personal favorite moisturizer for repairing dry, flaky, winter skin is this luxurious yet super affordable moisturizer from LilyAna Moisturizer (It has humectants!).
Sometimes layering an oil on your face and body prior to a cream-based moisturizer will help trap in the hydration. I love this Jojoba oil for my face. This one-ingredient wonder has endless applications because it mimics the natural oils found in skin and hair. Dry skin and oily areas alike drink up its moisturizing properties, which are quickly absorbed without leaving a greasy residue or clogging pores. Hair loves it, too.
Don’t forget the rest of the Body
Lips If you’ve ever sat in bed picking at a piece of skin that was dangling from your upper lip, you know why chapped lips made the list. Brush your lips gently with a toothbrush to get rid of that excess skin before you apply a lip balm.
My all-time favorite is from Aquaphor
It does everything you expect from a lip balm. I buy in bulk and have one anywhere I could possibly need it (at my work desk, in my handbag…and so on.
Dry feet? Dry elbows and knees? Vaseline or Aquaphor is your best friend.
Hands Are most overlooked and age the fastest. Keep a bottle of hand cream in your purse or on your desk. This creamy balm with 20 percent shea butter, honey, almond extracts and coconut oil are blended to create this extremely effective formula. The rich texture will leave your hands soft and smooth!
- Invest in a Humidifier to Maximize Moisture
Prep your home. The drier the air, the drier the skin. Central heating systems (as well as space heaters) blast hot dry air throughout our homes and offices. Humidifiers get more moisture in the air, which helps prevent your skin from drying out. Using a humidifier in your home or office will add moisture to dry winter air and help keep your skin hydrated. Run a humidifier in the rooms you spend the most time in, including your bedroom.
- Avoid Hot Showers
Let’s face it, it’s freezing cold outside and all we want is a long, hot steamy shower at the end of the day. However, taking those hot showers can do more damage. The natural oils from the skin are removed, which makes the skin drier and scalier. Limit your showers to about 10 minutes and try using lukewarm water. Follow immediately with a moisturizer while you are still damp.