Winter is coming. While stylish booties and red Starbucks cups are all welcome statements of the season, dry skin is one winter accessory I could do without. Your skincare regimen should be top of mind all year long, but winter calls for extra reinforcements. No matter what your skin type is, chilly temperatures and brisk winds can wreak havoc on your skin. I’ve put together a list of eight tips for dry skin to keep your skin smooth and supple winter.
1. Choose a Gentle Cleanser
Opt for a gentle cleanser that won’t strip your skin of oils or leave it dry. Additives and fragrances can often dry out your skin, so look for something clean and simple like dermatologist sweetheart Cetaphil or my tried-and-true Philosophy’s Purity Made Simple. These two products are excellent for sensitive skin and will deep clean pores while allowing your natural oil extracts to condition your skin. When looking for a cleanser strive for something fragrance-free with ingredients that aid in your skin’s hydration.
2. Exfoliate, Exfoliate, Exfoliate!
Exfoliation is ALWAYS important, and it’s a practice you should be doing at least one to two times a week. While exfoliation should be a year-long habit, it’s essential for healthy skin in the winter. Abrasive winds and low temperatures can deprive the skin of its natural moisture and cause blistering or flaky skin. A great exfoliator will keep your skin fresh and rejuvenated while ridding you of dead skin cells. So let’s talk about the two forms of exfoliation I use and recommend:
Sunday Riley’s Good Genes All-in-One Lactic Acid treatment is my go-to every morning before leaving the house. The high potency formula exfoliates dull, pore-clogging dead skin cells and is said to help plump areas with fine lines. I really like this formula because it’s sulfate, paraben, and cruelty-free. Rather than a full peel or scrub, I use two pumps of this product daily following my facial cleanser and before my moisturizer. Because this is an AHA that can compromise your skin’s sensitivity in the sun, you MUST wear sunscreen.
When you think chemical peel, do you think Samantha from Sex & the City? (I know I did after my first laser treatment!) Believe it or not, there are such things as gentle peels that work on sensitive skin. This gentle exfoliating peel gel is the best one on the market in my opinion. A clean beauty favorite, this Boscia gel works as a physical peel to remove the outer layer of dead skin, a chemical peel to penetrate your pores, and a brightening treatment for your complexion. Plus, jojoba leaf is a powerful antioxidant that will help protect your skin from free radicals caused by pollution and environment irritants (more on that later!). The calming ingredients will help alleviate that red wind burn we sometimes develop during winter months.
3. Adopt an Antioxidant Oil
Antioxidants nourish your skin and can be a potent skincare ingredient; it’s one of my most recommended tips for dry skin. I love Mad Hippie products because everything is natural and cruelty-free. This antioxidant oil has 18 active ingredients that include vitamin A, B, C, D, E, and what might as well be the whole alphabet. Hemp seed extract is rich in omegas 3, 6, and 9 which provide moisture and replenishment. The formula’s organic argan oil contains over 80 percent essential fatty acids that also work as a moisturizer and will keep your skin smooth.
(P.S. If you’re in the Houston area, you should definitely stop by the Oil Bar at Lemon Laine for a custom oil blend!)
4. Don’t Forget the Sunscreen
I’m ashamed to say that I didn’t start wearing sunscreen daily until two years ago. I always assumed that my makeup formulas were masking my skin, and that was oh so wrong. I was even more naive in winter months where I couldn’t feel the full wrath of Houston’s sun on my face. Don’t let all of your warm layers think you’re protected. But don’t take it from me, take it from the experts. A simple Google search would tell you otherwise:
“There’s a thinner ozone layer. The colder seasons mean the ozone layer is thinning out… Even though it feels colder outside, there’s actually more of the sun’s harmful rays hitting the earth’s surface and, yes, your skin.” – Allure
5. Switch to an Oil-based Moisturizer
Water-based moisturizers are everyone’s favorite treat. Beauty YouTubers like James Charles swear by Tatcha’s water cream (a stellar product), but you may want to hibernate your water-based creams when the temperature drops. The cold winter winds can strip the skin of its oils, so using an oil-based moisturizer can help keep those oils locked in for the long day.
6. Find a Cream with Ceramides
Looking for an anti-aging moisturizer that does it all? IT Cosmetics’ Confidence in a Cream is my holy grail product. There is one ingredient in particular that I cannot get enough of: ceremide complex. A ceramide is one of three types of lipids (fats) that helps keep moisture in the skin.
According to Very Well Health, once you hit your early 30s, the level of ceramides in your skin begins to decrease. As a result, your skin barrier weakens. Remember those pesky free radicals and environmental factors I mentioned earlier? If your skin’s barrier is weakened, your defenses are down. You’re basically opening the floodgates to an army of bacteria and pollutants that can get into your pores. Think of ceramides as strength training for your skin. You’re building a combat unit that’s ready to fight off the bad guys all winter long.
7. You Are What You Eat
Natural ingredients like avocado and greek yogurt help nourish the skin and lock in moisture. Think beyond your refrigerator and incorporate these products into your routine with revitalizing options like an avocado-infused sheet mask or Korres Greek Yoghurt Sleeping Facial before bed.
8. Keep Your Lips Kissable
I saved the best for last – lip care. Lips might be the finishing touch, but they definitely can’t be ignored. At the cost of wearing our favorite boots and teddy coats, we face the setback of chapped lips. Chapped lips can often become painful and even cause cracks in your skin. As a Floridian-turned-Houstonian, my lips are not made for cold weather. Be preventative by coating your lips in lip balm throughout the day and overnight. You’ll thank me later.
What’s your biggest skincare struggle in the cold months? Let me know what challenges you face in the comments below!