Winter weather can be tough on skin. Skin can become dry, flaky, and irritated as temperature and humidity levels drop. However, with the proper skincare routine and habits, you can keep your skin looking and feeling healthy and hydrated all winter long.
From incorporating skincare superhero ingredients like hyaluronic acid to using a humidifier to combat dry indoor air, we’ve compiled a quick list of tips to help combat winter’s harsh effects on your skin. By following these simple steps, you can ensure that your skin stays soft, supple, and radiant, no matter what the weather is like outside.
Why Is My Skin So Dry in the Winter?
You’ve probably noticed that your skin appears drier and flakier during the winter months. This is even more true if you have naturally dry skin or certain skin conditions. Winter dryness happens for several reasons, but it all comes down to the same thing: winter is full of changes that can sap your skin’s moisture and leave you feeling dry and tight.
Hot showers, indoor heat, and dry air outside can all lead to dry winter skin, especially in areas like your face that are exposed to the elements. Even if you moisturize regularly, a lack of environmental humidity can increase TEWL, or transepidermal moisture loss, making it harder for your skin to retain hydration throughout the day.
Why Is Hydrated Skin Important?
First, there’s the obvious: hydrated skin simply looks better. When your skin is adequately moisturized, it’s smooth, soft, and less prone to breakouts, eye bags, and visible signs of aging. But the reason maintaining hydrated, healthy skin year-round is so essential is more than skin deep.
Your skin’s outermost layer is called your moisture barrier or skin barrier. Your skin barrier is responsible for retaining moisture (thereby cutting down on the TEWL we mentioned earlier), so if it is damaged, it can compromise your skin health. Moreover, your skin barrier helps keep infection and illness-causing bacteria out, so a well-maintained moisture barrier is also essential for your overall wellness.
How Can I Keep Skin Hydrated in the Winter
1. Look for Hydrating Ingredients
Hydrating ingredients are super important to lock in moisture. Of course, moisturizers pack hydrating benefits. But during winter, even your cleanser or serum should include hydrating ingredients, like glycerin or hyaluronic acid.
Silk Crème Activator is the perfect partner to your device and a perfect example of how to work hydrating ingredients into other parts of your skincare routine. This lightweight activator conducts microcurrent from your device to your facial muscles while delivering all-day hydration with ingredients like hyaluronic acid.
Hyaluronic acid is an ideal addition to your wintertime routine because it’s a molecule known as a humectant. Humectants attract water molecules and bind them, delivering intense hydration that can combat moisture loss due to a dry, low-humidity environment. Hyaluronic acid can hold up to 1000x it’s weight in water, making it a valuable ingredient to lock-in moisture and plump up skin.
2. Moisturize Thoroughly
Just because you’re adding hydration to other areas of your routine doesn’t mean you should skimp on moisturizing. Daily moisturizing for flaking, irritated winter skin just isn’t enough. Instead, you’ll want to apply moisturizer in the morning and the evening after washing your face.
Using a rich eye cream in the winter is also a good idea, especially if you have mature skin or are starting to see signs of fine lines and wrinkles around the delicate eye area. Additionally, if a regular moisturizer isn’t cutting it, finishing up your moisturizing routine with an occlusive like a facial oil can help to lock moisture and nutrients into your skin for even longer.
3. Avoid Hot Water
If you get up early in the morning and must tolerate the bone chill that comes with getting up before the sun in the winter, a hot shower can be incredibly appealing. Unfortunately, hot water can irritate sensitive skin and strip your skin of its natural oils, resulting in drier skin.
You’re generally better off washing your face and showering with lukewarm water, which is warm enough to open up your pores without causing damage or irritation.
4. Protect Your Skin
Protecting your skin in the summer is a no-brainer — but it’s easy to slack off when you feel like you haven’t seen the sun in months. It’s important not to forget this critical step because UV rays can penetrate cloud cover, resulting in free radical damage. This can dry out your skin and lead to visible damage down the road.
By “protect your skin,” we don’t just mean from the obvious. It’s also important to be more gentle with your skin if you experience dryness during the winter. While exfoliating ingredients like AHAs and BHAs may be great for helping to strip off dead skin cells and to restore your skin at other times of the year, they can also be drying, so winter might be a good time to give these ingredients a break.
Bottom line: protect skin with SPF and go easy on exfoliation during cold winter months.
5. Drink Enough Water
In addition to topical products, you can also help keep your skin hydrated by drinking enough water throughout the day. You may be eager to hydrate this way during the summer, but it’s equally important to make sure you’re getting enough water during the winter.
If you wake up feeling especially dry in the morning, use a humidifier. This releases moisture into the air, creating a higher humidity environment that is beneficial for skin and hair as well as sinuses.
Incorporating these winter skincare tips can help to combat the harsh effects of cold weather on your skin. Hydrating ingredients, avoiding hot water, frequent moisturizing, and protecting your skin from the elements — even when the sun is hidden behind what feels like endless winter gloom — are all essential. Simple changes like these in the winter can help you maintain a healthy, glowing complexion no matter the season.