Whether you’re dry, normal or oily, we’re all plagued by dry winter skin conditions. No one is unsusceptible. Hide yo’ kids, hide yo’ wife, ya know? Crispy dehydrated skin is coming for us all!! The good news: it’s fairly easy to combat dry winter skin
Managing your winter complexion and keeping it glowing year round comes down to nourishing your skin. When our skin is dehydrated, it needs sweet TLC. You may need to play around with how frequently your skin needs additional nourishment, as a combination of your skin type and climate will determine the frequency.
When our climate changes we need to make adjustments to our routine. Whether it’s due to travel, weather, or spending long shifts in an air-conditioned or heated building. Switching up products we use and purchasing yummy skin feeding products is the solution!
First things first, we need to tweak our cleansing step.
Our skin barrier needs its natural oils to keep our skin well hydrated. If your cleanser is removing too much from your skin’s surface during colder months, you may be setting yourself up for a dry, tight and crispy situation.
If you’re using gel cleansers and clay masks in the summer, once seasons begin shifting to cooler temps you’ll need to switch it up. Or maybe you have dry skin and your milk cleanser isn’t nourishing enough to keep your skin feeling soft and supple like usual. For many skin types, an oil cleanser will do the trick by removing excess oil while still leaving our skin feeling comfortable. Think about how your oil production is. A light milk cleanser may be sufficient for someone with combination skin, while if you lean towards being dry a cream cleanser might be a better option. A caveat to consider: sometimes dehydrated skin will overcompensate with excess oil.
Next, reduce how often you’re exfoliating, using retinoids, and other actives.
Don’t stop exfoliating, just often enough so you’re removing dead skin and creating space for products to penetrate thoroughly. Cutting back is crucial though, otherwise, you’ll degrade your skin barrier. You need your skin’s barrier for several reasons but when it comes to winter skin, having a healthy barrier ensures your skin can maintain proper hydration levels. Take away too much of your barrier and no matter how much hydrating serum you use, your skin will still feel dehydrated.
Take inventory of your products, check labels for exfoliating ingredients, retinoids, and other actives that may cause dryness. Many brands sneak retinol or acids into their cleansers, masks, serums, toners, etc. You could be exfoliating more than you realize! For example, using a soft washcloth or Intrinsics wipes is sufficient exfoliation for myself.
Up the ante and increase nourishing products you’re using in your routine.
We want hydrating, replenishing ingredients. In a products ingredient deck, look for replenishing lipids, ceramides, hyaluronic acid, sodium hyaluronate, sodium PCA, or glycerin. The formula should include complementary ingredients, working together to create deeply hydrated skin.
A great affordable hyaluronic acid option is La Roche Posay’s Hylau B5 Serum. If you’re searching for a moisturizer to keep your winter skin soft, supple and hydrated while preventing cold weather dryness, sensitivity, and irritation at bay, Nourishing Cream is a fantastic barrier supporting option. Using facial oil on top of your moisturizer helps seal in hydration without feeling too heavy.
Lastly, extra credit for the skin care overachievers who always want to do the most.
When I met Stacy last year in Denver, I asked for tips on helping my skin adjust to the climate for when we move later this year. They really apply to any dry weather conditions, including winter.
1. Place a humidifier in your bedroom, home office, or where ever you spend the majority of your time at home.
2. Up your fish oil intake. I prefer Nordic Naturals, they’re high quality and they add lemon, so no fishy aftertaste!
Maintaining a glowing, dewy complexion during the winter isn’t impossible. Listen to your skin, pay attention to how it responds to what you put on, and make adjustments where needed. It might take a little tweaking, but you’ve got this!