Winter! I love it but it dries the hell out of my skin. For most of us, winter means dry, flaky, irritated skin; and an extra layer of moisturizer is not always the solution. Here are some common mistakes people make during winter and easy solutions to keep you from looking your absolute driest. After all, the cold and dry air doesn’t have to turn your skin dry and flaky this winter. Making these adjustments will help ensure that you experience soft, hydrated skin throughout the winter.
NOT ADJUSTING YOUR ROUTINE
Our bodies are constantly changing and responding to internal and external factors. A dramatic drop in temperature is definitely an external factor that will have an impact on your skin. The key is to adapt to what your skin is telling you. If it is uncomfortable, tight, dry, then the routine needs adjustment. This may include changing from a foaming cleanser to a gentler cleansing cream or to incorporate a hydrating toner after cleansing. Serums are also a great way to increase hydration. If your routine isn’t working, do your research and consult a skin care professional to assist in formulating a routine that works for your current needs.
When your skin is very dry, it’s instinctual to want to compensate with more moisturizer. Unfortunately, using too much moisturizer is a waste of product and money and a likely contributor congestion and breakouts. Think of your skin like soil. When you pour water on soil that is very dry and dehydrated, most of the water will just sit on top of the soil, without being absorbed. But if the soil is already moist, water is much more easily absorbed. Your skin is the same way and can only absorb so much, especially if it is already very dry. It is important to use the right moisturizer; one formulated for your specific skin type with hydrating and repairing ingredients that prevent water loss. Jojoba oil is my go to during winter months. It is not only moisturizing, but also repairing.
While I am always preaching to go easy on the at-home abrasion sessions, proper exfoliation during the winter is vital to maintaining skin health. Not only will it improve your skin’s texture and appearance, but it will allow your moisturizing products to be more effective and efficient. An exfoliating serum, or a gentle exfoliating mask a few nights a week will help dissolve dryness to reveal an improved texture.
I know it’s hard enough to remember sunscreen during the summer, but it’s not necessary during the winter, right? Wrong! UVA rays, the #1 cause of premature aging, are absolutely penetrating those clouds and every window you pass. Oh, yea and UV rays are reflected by and intensified by…snow. In addition to the whole wrinkles thing, UV rays can interfere with the skin’s ability to maintain proper moisture levels. So please wear sunscreen, every day of every season. And don’t forget your neck!
NOT PROTECTING YOUR SKIN
When you are outside, cover your skin as much as possible. The winter air will zap any bit of moisture from your skin when the humidity levels have dropped significantly. The cold, dry air causes the water in your skin to evaporate quicker, making your skin look and feel tight, dry and flaky. Hoods and hats can protect the sides of your face and scarves can be pulled up to protect from the nostrils down.
- Image: Flickr, Unknown
Nia is a licensed esthetician, creator of @SkinByNia and the Skincare Editor of the BeautyWell. When she isn’t performing services, or researching and buying all things skin, she works in construction. Really.