While I enjoy the coziness of the winter months, my skin does not. It’s around this time every year that my skin seems to get drier and a lot less radiant. So who’s to blame? Is it the cold air and dry indoor heat? Or is it the harsh winter wind?
Unfortunately, all of these things work together making it extremely difficult for our skin to retain moisture in the dry winter months. My face is the most telling sign for me, but for you, it could be dry or cracked hands and feet.
Since controlling the weather isn’t within the realm of human abilities yet, and moving away every winter isn’t always the most feasible option, here are a few tips to ensure you are doing everything you can to stay moisturized this winter.
1. Moisturize skin immediately after washing
Let me guess, when you step out of the shower or finish washing your face, the first thing you grab is probably a towel, right? Of course, there’s no right or wrong way to do your skincare routine, but let me offer you an alternative recommendation. Tomorrow, after finishing a shower, reach for an oil-based moisturizer while you are still damp. By moisturizing your face and body while still wet, you are trapping the moisture on the surface of your skin and giving it time to truly penetrate rather than evaporate. This helps your skin stay hydrated and softer longer.
Worried about standing there in the cold while moisturizing? Don’t worry. You can moisturize while still in the shower to cut down your post-shower regimen. I keep a bottle of my infused body oil right in the shower with me and use it before stepping out. This helps me to maximize my skin’s hydration and ensure I don’t forget this very important step.
2. Avoid hot water
Speaking of water, is there such a thing as too much of a good thing? Yes, there is – when the water is hot. A hot shower or bath at the end of a cold winter’s day can feel especially soothing. But, to keep your skin nourished, you may want to keep the water temperature closer to lukewarm.
According to the Baylor College of Medicine, hot water can strip away your skin’s natural oils faster than lukewarm water (which is typically around 98.6°F), and possibly even cause damage.
Go ahead and dial down the temperature a bit this winter.
3. Invest in a humidifier
If you haven’t done so already, it’s time to invest in a good humidifier. Indoor heating increases the dry air circulating your home, and humidifiers help add some of the moisture back. Having more moisture in the air can help act as a natural moisturizing agent and relieve skin dryness.
4. Use more butters and oils
If you are at your wit’s end with dry and cracking skin, consider adding occlusive ingredients into your skincare routine. Occlusive ingredients, also known as butters, oils, and waxes, provide a physical barrier to lock moisture into the skin. They also help keep irritants, allergens, and other harmful particles from being able to enter your skin.
If you’re looking for a good occlusive product to keep you moisturized this winter, check out this best-selling body butter. It’s light and airy, yet powerful enough to penetrate and hydrate your skin even in the dry, winter months. With a mango butter base, it melts right away on contact with your skin, leaving it silky smooth and not greasy.
5. Adjust your skin care routine
My skin’s needs definitely shift during the winter months, and it’s completely normal if yours does, as well. If your face seems to be especially sensitive or irritated due to the dry winter air, you may want to consider simplifying your skincare routine for the time being.
For example, while I usually use my Brightening Face Wash daily, its exfoliating properties can easily turn into irritants when my skin is fighting for moisture. Instead, in the winter months, I opt for the Turmeric Sea Moss Soap for daily use. The moisturizing makeup of this soap is gentle enough to protect the skin but powerful enough to remove dirt and debris.
If your skin seems more sensitive than usual, remember that serums and treatments require a healthy base to work. Once you feel your skin’s moisture barrier is healthy, you can slowly incorporate other treatments back into your routine.
6. Increase your water intake
Last but not least, remember to hydrate! In the colder weather, extra layers of clothing and drier air can cause our bodies to become dehydrated without us even knowing. Staying hydrated gives your body and skin the support it needs to build itself up during the winter months.
While the dry winter months are inevitable, dry skin doesn’t have to be. This winter, keep yourself hydrated and moisturized and we’ll be back to having fun in the sun in no time. If you have any other recommendations for how you’re protecting your skin, feel free to share them in the comments below!