It’s no coincidence that colder temperatures bring with them dry skin, irritation, and break outs. The science behind winter dryness has to do with the density of water molecules in cold air versus warm air. Cold air has a lower density of water molecules, meaning there is less dew in the air replenishing the moisture in the upper layers of your skin. This lack of moisture has wide-ranging effects on your health, and your skin especially. By trying these 7 cold weather skincare tips, you can beat the dry-skin blues and have dewy, healthy skin all year round!
Use a Humidifier
To combat the lack of moisture in the air directly, make your first line of defense a humidifier! Simply heating cold air will not replenish the moisture in the air—you have to do it yourself. Humidifiers work by releasing water vapor to increase moisture levels. Using a humidifier can positively impact more than just your skin—it can also be used to treat respiratory problems like bronchitis, sinus issues, and nosebleeds.
Some things to consider: Overusing your humidifier can cause problems, particularly if you are not cleaning and maintaining it well. According to the Mayo Clinic, if it is not cared for properly humidifiers can breed mold or bacteria that are released into the air, potentially aggravating allergies and asthma. Additionally, if humidity is too high in your home, it can cause condensation on the walls and floors, triggering further growth of bacteria that again, might aggravate respiratory problems.
If you’re unsure about the use of humidifiers, check out this article about how house plants can act as natural humidifiers!
Turn Down the Heat
There’s nothing quite as nice as coming into a warm house after being out in the cold, just take it from literally any rendition of the song Baby It’s Cold Outside. Did you know, however, that cranking up the heat is drying out your skin even more? Indoor heating sucks moisture out of the already dry winter air, drying out your mucous membranes leaving you susceptible to dry lips, noses, and throats. Instead of turning up the heat all the way, keep it at a lower temperature—try 69-72 degrees. Turn on the humidifier and cozy up in a soft sweater or blanket if you’re feeling cold. This simple step will help out both your skin and your heating bill!
Adjust Your Shower
It can be tempting, during the cold months, to sit in a steamy, hot shower and to forget that it’s frozen outside. As nice as it might be, your personal sauna time could be sabotaging the glowing skin you want. The next time you shower, lower your water temperature to warm instead of hot and keep your shower time to 5-10 minutes. Long exposure to hot water will strip away your skin’s natural oily barrier, leaving it extra vulnerable to the harsh effects of the cold and wind.
Use Gentle Skincare Products
Avoid products with perfumes or harsh soaps—instead reach for moisturizing cleansers that won’t strip your skin of its natural oils. Limit your use of exfoliants, that can aggravate already sensitive dry, flaking skin. Refrain from using products with drying effects like astringents and products with alcohol. Perfumes, fragrances and toners often contain alcohol because it helps the products to dry quickly, but the benefit of their dry-time can be detrimental to your already dry skin.
You might also consider adding a supplement to your regimen to promote the health of your skin from the inside. Try our Skin Rescue & Renew vitamin supplement to help maintain skin hydration and to fight the effects of aging!
Swap Lotions for Creams and Ointments
If you’re like me, your typical winter skincare regimen starts and ends with lotion application. Lotions are meant to replenish and lock moisture into your skin, and during warmer months they do a great job! During the colder months, however, dermatologists recommend switching out your lotion for a heavier-duty cream or ointment. The American Academy of Dermatology suggests looking for products that contain some of the following nourishing ingredients:
- Oils (ex. Olive oil or jojoba oil)
- Shea Butter
- Lactic Acid
- Hyaluronic Acid
- Mineral Oil
Use Sunscreen Every Day
Sunburns and sunscreen are for hot days spent on the trail, at the beach, or on the lake, right? Wrong! Sun damage can occur at any time during the year, including on rainy or cloudy days, whether you’re directly in the sun or being exposed through windows. Dermatologists recommend that everyone wear broad-spectrum sunscreen every day of the year, regardless of season or weather conditions.
Wear Soft Fabrics
Dressing for the cold means bundling up with layers of clothing and heavy, sometimes scratchy fabrics. While it is important to stay warm and to protect your skin from the harsh temperatures, it is also important to make sure you choose fabrics that don’t irritate the skin. Fabrics like wool are fibrous and can be itchy, undermining the work you’ve done to protect your skin from irritation and dryness. If you’re going to wear a potentially irritating fabric, layer softer, breathable, more gentle fabrics beneath to act as a buffer. Natural fibers like cotton will help keep your skin healthy and glowing all year long!