For many people, the first thought that comes to mind when thinking of winter is fun in the snow, warm hot chocolates and cosy evenings. Whilst all that can be true, the reality is that it’s also cold! Sometimes so cold that it gets to the bones. A lovely side effect that many of us suffer from because of the cold is dry skin! With the right tips and tricks, this winter you can say goodbye to dry skin. Here I will share with you my top 10 skin care tips for the cold winter months.
First thing first, do you have the same skincare routine for the summer and winter? If your answer was yes then it’s time for you to switch things up! Your skin needs different care for different seasons. During the winter skin tends to get dry and dehydrated so you need a lot of extra moisture, whereas in the summer it’s more about oil control.
In this article we’re not focusing on skincare alone, we will tackle what you can do to improve your surroundings as well. The air around us affects our skin too.
Why do we get dry skin in the winter season?
During winter months, there is a lot more transepidermal water loss (TEWL) which basically means that moisture in our skin starts to evaporate increasingly due to the colder climates. Transepidermal Water Loss (TEWL) is a natural process that occurs in our skin, and having low humidity is one of the contributors to affect transepidermal water loss’ function.
Naturally, people with dry skin already produce less oil, even during other seasons. However, during the winter, humidity levels in the air tend to drop and pull out more moisture of the skin. “Cold air tightens the skin’s pores and reduces blood circulation. This reduces the naturally occurring oil known as sebum, which acts as a protective layer and traps moisture next to the skin.” explains Aesthetic nurse, Sylvia Chrzanowska.
So, how do we combat it? Well as I promised from the title, I’ve got here the best skin care tips for the cold winter months and trust me, if I can make these changes so can you!
1. Choose Products with the Right Ingredients
Finding the perfect skincare products can be overwhelming. Nevertheless, there are key ingredients to look out for when choosing the products for your skincare regime.
The best products for the winter months are products with ingredients that draw water to the skin cells. Below are ingredients that you should look out for:
- Hyaluronic acid is an excellent ingredient, it helps to maintain moisture levels and is a great moisture magnet. It improves skin elasticity & hydration.
- Ceramides help to hold skin cells together while holding onto moisture to keep it locked in your skin.
- Glycerin is another crucial ingredient that absorbs water from the air and retains it in your skin to keep your skin supple & moisturised.
2. Skip Products with Drying Ingredients
Avoid anything with sodium lauryl sulfate as it tends to dry your skin. Avoid it with any products no matter your skin or the season.
Other ingredients that you don’t want in your products are high levels of salicylic acid or BHA, Charcoal, Tea Tree Oil & Witch Hazel. Anything on this list can irritate & increase dryness. Not something anyone wants to do!
Ingredients like BHA or Tea Tree Oil are great chemical exfoliants and they help to lock the moisture in, however, the fewer times you use such ingredients per week, the better. If you have a skincare regime, try not to use these ingredients in more than one product. For example, if BHA or Tea Tree Oil are already listed on your toner make sure that your moisturizer and cleanser don’t have it as well.
3. Avoid Foaming Cleansers
Swap your foaming cleansers for a creamier and milkier textured cleanser. Try not to over-cleanse your face during this season as you don’t want to strip your skin of its natural oils. Instead, use gentle products that will give you ample cleansing to your face and won’t strip off the barriers that protect your skin.
Moisturising during the cold winter months is genuinely your saviour. With a good moisturiser, it will give your skin its much-needed moisture and hydration and lock it in as well. It is also important to note that instead of using gels, try and step it up with a thicker and creamier moisturiser.
Look for active ingredients that will help with moisturising. Go and do a double down on hydrating & moisturising!
As you may know, toners can be a little drying on the skin. However, don’t be afraid of using them. Toners prep your skin, help with adding moisture to your skin and they add an extra layer of hydration. Make sure that the toner you use is alcohol and astringent-free.
An excellent tip for applying moisturiser & toner is to make sure that your skin is damp so that the products will sink in better. This is because the skin is a lot more permeable when it is damp.
If you’re looking for effective moisturisers for dry skin, I have rounded up the best moisturisers for dry skin here!
5. Add Serum Into Your Skincare Routine
They say less is more but not with skincare! I recommend adding a serum into your regime and when you pack on the right products, it will definitely benefit your skin’s performance.
Serums are topical hydrations that will help in repairing dehydrated skin. They have a dose of highly active ingredients that target specific skin concerns. It helps to increase the skin’s ability to absorb moisture & nutrients.
6. Mask, Mask and Mask Again!
If you haven’t been on the mask bandwagon, you should hop on now! With facial masks, you can efficiently hydrate your skin in a few minutes. They act as an alternative to lotion, creams & ointments and help to improve your skin’s texture.
There are a few different types of masks on the market. Most common are the regular masks that you leave on your skin for a few minutes before washing off. The other popular masks are sheet masks and overnight masks.
Sheet Masks are widely popular nowadays because of how easy they are to use. All it is is a physical sheet that is drenched with a serum-like formula that will help trap moisture in the skin. The sheet masks come in a variety of formulas to choose from. There are different ones for different skin types and for different skin concerns.
Overnight Masks are as the name suggests, you leave them on overnight. What’s great with overnight masks is that they intensely hydrate the skin as you sleep. The serum will penetrate deeply into your skin leaving you with supple skin in the morning. You don’t have to worry about it messing up your bed and linen as overnight masks usually absorb into your skin.
Overnight masks are best for giving your skin that extra boost of moisture that it needs.
7. Change Your Shower Habits
As much as we love our hot showers, it is best to set the water temperature to lukewarm instead of scalding hot. Hot showers are dehydrating for the skin, and we want to maximise water retention as much as possible. Trust me, it will be great for your skin in the long run!
If you do take hot showers, it is best to moisturise right after to prevent further drying damage to your skin.
8. Don’t Crank Up That Heating In Your Home
Guilty as charged! This is something that I do all the time, and I’ll admit, it’s so hard not to! It’s way too cold, and who wouldn’t want to be warm & cosy at homes? Ye, I know, but setting the heating on too high is a bad idea!
Your skin is already fighting with the cold winter air outside. When you have dry air at home as well, it will contribute to the dryness of your skin. With just the right heating, it will help improve the moisturization in the air and your skin too!
9. Invest in a Humidifier
To add to what you can do at home, a humidifier is a great choice. It helps put moisture back in the air and will definitely improve your skin’s breathability. You can place it in your bedroom or wherever else it is that you spend the most time.
10. Don’t Forget to Drink
I know this is another tireless reminder to drink water, and you’re probably tired of it. But the truth is that no matter the season, drinking water will help your body.
Drinking water does indeed do wonders to your skin. When we drink water, it first goes to the kidneys, bladder and liver, which helps release toxins from the body and in turn, help to give us clear skin.
Don’t enjoy the dull taste of water? Well, there are ways to have a more savoury flavour! These 2 drink mixes are quick and easy to make:
Add 2 cut lemons, 2 cut cucumbers and mint leaves to your water mix. Not only is it delicious, but it’s also a great detoxifier that will do wonders for your body and skin. It is also loaded with antioxidants that help protect your skin and your health.
Hydrate & Glow Mix
A great alternative to plain water is to use coconut water! Add 1 slice of cucumber into the mix to add a great edge to it. This mix is so versatile that you could also use it as a toner. It is packed with vitamin C that helps to boost the immune system and give your skin the perfect glow. And of course not forgetting the obvious, it gives you the hydration that your dry skin needs.
That’s it for my top 10 skin care tips for the cold winter months. They are all pretty simple and small changes to your beauty and skincare routine that will make a big difference in the big picture. Knowing your skin type and the ingredients that are suited for you will definitely benefit your skin too, not just during the winter, but for the rest of the year too. So keep these tips in mind to have dry-free and soft skin this winter!
Do you suffer from dry skin? Which of the tips are you most likely to add to your skincare routine and which changes are too hard for you? Let me know in the comments below!