Most of us get excited for fall and winter when the temperature dips below 70 degrees. Exciting changes like cooler weather, pumpkin spice everything, and the anticipation of the holiday season might put a little spring in your end-of-summer step. Your skin, however, is preparing for a season of dry, cold air and exposure to commercial heating systems that can leech away its moisture and leave it itchy and flaky.
Don’t worry - there’s no need to spoil your fall and winter fun with less-than-stellar skin. There are ways to keep your skin healthy, hydrated, and balanced, even in cold winter months. Bonus: you’ll also be able to target skin concerns like fine lines and wrinkles without ingredients that are drying or damaging.
What Happens to Skin in the Winter?
The skin’s outermost layer is comprised of healthy microflora, lipids, and proteins to protect the body from external aggressors and lock in moisture. One of these proteins, filaggrin, is responsible for helping the skin barrier maintain its structure and hydration.
This protein naturally decreases in the winter months and with age. That means when seasons change, your skin barrier changes, too. With less filaggrin in your skin, your skin will naturally lose moisture faster and feel drier.
Many areas have much lower humidity during winter months, which can also reduce skin’s moisture levels. Due to the dry winter air outside, you might notice frequent dermatitis or flare-ups of conditions like eczema and psoriasis. What’s more, electric and forced air heating systems in homes and offices can suck the moisture out of the air - and your skin - leaving it parched.
It might seem like there’s no hope for handling winter skin, but with the right products and protection, you can keep your skin looking and feeling healthy in any season, even winter.
Tips and Tricks for Caring for Winter Skin
Avoid dryness, flaking, and itching with these tips for better skin care in the winter.
1. Cleanse Without Stripping
Many cleansers (especially those targeted to users with oily skin types) contain harsh ingredients that can strip the skin of its natural moisture. These formulas can disturb your skin barrier and leave your skin vulnerable to dehydration. Opt for a gentle, oil-free cleanser to avoid stripping your skin of natural oils.
We recommend using a 2-in-1 cleanser and exfoliator to cleanse the skin while sloughing away dead skin cells gently. NuFACE Prep-N-Glow® Facial Wipes offer cleansing and exfoliating in one easy-to-use, convenient towelette. One side gently removes dirt, oil, and makeup, while the textured side polishes the skin without scratching or stripping. These towelettes are formulated with hyaluronic acid, a molecule naturally found in the skin capable of holding more than 1,000 times its weight in water, to help your skin stay hydrated.
2. Lock in Moisture
Moisturizing isn’t just important during hot summer months. Winter air can deplete skin of essential moisture, so it’s important to use hydrating ingredients to replenish your skin’s moisture reserve and lock in moisture to keep it from drying out.
Silk Crème Activator is a luxurious serum-crème formula that ensures proper microcurrent conduction while providing deep hydration for up to 48 hours. This nourishing moisturizer/activator hybrid is formulated with IonPlex®, a proprietary blend of ionized glacial water to hydrate skin and hyaluronic acid to lock in moisture.
3. Give Special Attention To Your Eyes
The skin around the eyes is thinner than the skin on the rest of your body and loses moisture faster because it has fewer lipids. In the winter, dry skin around the eyes can be especially irritating and uncomfortable.
Eye creams can feel heavy and may even lead to milia, small bumps that can develop when heavy creams are used around the eyes. The pores around the eyes are smaller, and if they can’t absorb the ingredients in your eye cream, you might spot these little bumps.
Instead, opt for a lightweight yet hydrating serum, like NuFACE FIX® Serum. This specially formulated serum contains ingredients easily absorbed by the eye area, like hyaluronic acid, triple peptide complex, and IonPlex® to help restore hydration to the delicate skin in the eye area without adding weight or heavy oils.
4. Firm and Sculpt Skin Without Irritation
In winter, you can still manage skin concerns like fine lines, wrinkles, and resiliency with microcurrent therapy. NuFACE Microcurrent Devices are designed to help you manage the changes you see in your skin in a noninvasive way that allows you to target the skin and underlying facial muscles without downtime or irritation.
Microcurrent therapy won’t disturb your skin barrier or interfere with moisture levels. It’s a natural, holistic way to sculpt and firm skin all year round.
5. Don’t Forget the Sun Care
Even in the middle of the winter solstice, you still need sun protection. While it may seem like you aren’t getting much sun exposure during winter, skipping your sunscreen in the winter could lead to skin damage. While experts agree that heavier sunscreen with higher SPF is ideal during summer, you can scale back to an SPF 30 or SPF 15 during winter for days you spend most of your time indoors.
If you plan to be on the slopes, ensure you’re wearing plenty of sun-protective clothing and sunscreen on exposed areas of your skin. The sun's reflection on the snow’s surface can also damage the skin, and signs of sun damage may not appear on the skin for several years. As a rule of thumb, apply light SPF daily - even if you’ll be mostly indoors - and heavier SPF when performing outdoor activities.
6. Don’t Take Scalding Hot Showers
Even when you’re cold to the bone, taking a hot shower can harm your skin health. Exposure to hot water can cause the skin to become drier. This is because hot water strips the skin of essential moisture and opens the pores, causing water loss. If you’ve ever experienced dry, flaky, or tight skin after a hot shower, that is likely why.
Instead of a long, hot shower, opt for a warm bath or shower or a hot shower that is ten minutes or less to reduce the risk of dehydrating skin.
Be wary of hot tubs during winter, too. These can leave skin especially dry because of high water temperatures and the chemicals used to sanitize water. If you do plan to soak in the hot tub, try to do a cool water rinse after to seal pores, and apply a nourishing body lotion or oil to lock in moisture.
7. Remember To Drink Water
Don’t put away your favorite water tumbler just yet. Even though you won’t lose as much fluid through sweat as during the summer, hydration is vital in the winter to ensure your skin stays supple and smooth.
Aim to drink six to eight glasses of water daily. Caffeine is a diuretic that can cause you to lose fluid more quickly, so for every caffeinated beverage you have - like soda or coffee - add a glass of water to your daily goal.
A Winter Skin Wonderland
Your skin may enjoy being out of the summer sun, but winter can be just as harsh. Adjusting your skincare routine for winter can ensure your skin is hydrated and healthy all season long.
NuFACE creates skin care products that contain hydrating hyaluronic acid, ionized glacial water, and ingredients to keep your skin quenched even when the air is cold and dry. Take good care of your skin to reveal a radiant skin tone and smooth, supple texture, even in winter months.