The winter months bring many joys, like warm sweaters and crackling fireplaces, but they can also do a number on your skin. Cold, dry air is your skin’s worst nemesis, and it can leave even the dewiest complexion looking parched. It’s frustrating: as soon as the leaves fall from the trees your skin suddenly becomes tight and flaky, despite your regular moisturizer’s best efforts. What to do?
Skincare experts recommend a range of techniques to combat dry, wintery skin. From cutting back on dehydrating drinks (looking at you, coffee!) to layering up on hydrating skin products, you can maintain that healthy summer glow even during the darkest winter months. Read on for tips from leading skincare professionals, and get ready to vanquish dry skin once and for all.
Cut Back on Caffeine
“Caffeine is dehydrating, and too much of it will quickly drain the moisture from your skin. If your skin becomes dry and flaky during the winter months, consider switching to herbal tea, or green tea, which contains beneficial antioxidants. If you can’t live without coffee, make sure to drink a few extra glasses of water to compensate for the deficit.” – Ashwin Sokke, Co-Founder of WOW Skin Science
Keep it Cool
“Washing your face and showering with hot water is very drying for your skin. Hot water essentially strips your skin of the healthy natural oils that act as a protecting layer, keeping moisture in. Although it’s tempting to take hot showers during the cold winter months, try to keep your water temperature lukewarm, and moisturize your skin immediately after you get out of the shower. Keeping a bit of water on your skin after the shower will help hydrate your skin too, so don’t towel your skin off completely before moisturizing if you want to really quench your skin.” – Eymel Daniel, Co-Founder of ForChics
Layer for Winter
“Just like you layer your clothes during winter months, it’s a good idea to layer your skincare products to give your skin an extra boost when the air is dry. Adding serums like hyaluronic acid will help to draw water into your skin and keep it there, making your moisturizer even more effective. A thin layer of a hydrating serum before you moisturize will make a big difference if you do it consistently. For an extra boost, layer on a good face oil after your moisturizer to lock in all that hydration.” – Jeff Henretig, President of Apothecanna
Switch it Up
“Dry winter air calls for a heavier moisturizer, one that will effectively lock moisture into your outer skin layers and act as a barrier. Make sure you choose a moisturizer that won’t clog your pores, and is made with high-quality natural ingredients. A lot of people prefer to use a lighter moisturizer during the summer months, and then switch to something a little heavier when the air becomes cooler. Consider your skin’s unique needs, and be ready to change things up as the weather shifts.” – Sheila Chaiban, CEO of One Ocean Beauty
Don’t Forget Sunscreen
“Just because the sun is less visible during the winter months, that doesn’t mean it’s not still causing skin damage. Ultraviolet rays are still present when the air temperature drops, so make sure you’re using a good sunscreen every day, even during winter. Over time, sun damage causes a whole range of skin concerns, including pigmentation and skin cancer. Find a hydrating sunscreen if your skin tends to be on the dry side; your skin will thank you.” – Benjamin Smith, Founder of Disco
Incorporate a Mask
“Many of us experience dry skin during the winter months, which makes it a great time to incorporate a hydrating mask into your skincare routine. Sheet masks are a great option, and will really help to quench dry skin. If you have combination skin, consider applying a hydrating gel mask just to the areas that need it. Even people with oily skin will benefit from a hydrating mask – overproduction of oil is often a sign that your skin has become dehydrated.” – David A. DiLorenzo, President of Valentino Beauty Pure
Hydrate and Scrub
“Many think that simply slathering on moisturizer is the most effective way to improve dry skin. However, improving dry skin during the winter begins with small, daily actions. First, as we will mostly be indoors this winter, first consider investing in a good humidifier. This will ensure that you are not dried out, and increase the moisture level of your indoor living space. Second and even more importantly, do not discount the power of a moderate scrub. By removing dry or dead skin, a scrub will allow your moisturizers to deeply permeate your skin. With these two easy steps, you are well on your way to moisturized skin before even touching a serum or moisturizer.” – Amanda E. Johnson, CMO of HIDE
“Keeping your skin in top shape requires a little extra skincare during the winter months. Cold air, blustering winds, and dry indoor heat can zap your skin’s moisture and do a number on your face. But with a proper skincare routine, you can fight back against the elements. However, most men either don’t care or take the time to clean, tone, and rehydrate their skin. And, with so many product choices, creating a simple regime can seem complicated. You work hard to take care of your body by working out and eating right. So, when it comes to your skincare products, select them like the healthy foods you eat.
Certified organic skincare products contain natural ingredients derived from plants and are less likely to cause allergic reactions or irritations. More importantly, these plants are grown without harsh pesticides, herbicides, GMOs, and other harmful additives. Therefore, they’re free from contamination and have a higher level of antioxidant vitamins, which allow the skin to repair itself and correct signs of visible damage.
While non-organic products may contain harsh chemicals that can absorb into your skin, prolonged use can cause premature aging and weaken your skin’s defense against the sun’s harmful UV rays.
So, for your winter skincare regimen, look for certified organic products containing natural botanicals that are wild-harvested and cultivated from organic farms. Your skin is one-of-a-kind. So, treat it right, and your skin will thank you.” – Jared Pobre, Co-Founder of Caldera + Lab
“I cannot stress enough how important it is to maintain the health of your skin’s barrier by using gentle, pH-balanced products. Your skin should feel hydrated, smooth, and nourished after cleansing, not tight and dry. I like gentle, milky cleansers that include nourishing ingredients like prebiotics.” – Dr. Whitney Bowe, Medical Director of Integrative Dermatology, Aesthetics & Wellness at Advanced Dermatology, P.C.
Reduce Alcohol Consumption
“Research has shown that alcohol can increase inflammation in the skin and worsen many skin diseases, such as psoriasis, eczema and rosacea. It has a dehydrating effect on the body in general and also disturbs sleep which is important for skin regeneration and general skin health; this disruption of our body’s natural equilibrium may lead to our skin looking dull and tired.” – Dr Beibei Du-Harpur, Consulting Dermatologist at The Harley Medical Group
Dry skin does not have to be an unavoidable side effect of the transition to colder winter weather. If you hydrate regularly and take some precautions, your dry skin battles will become a thing of the past.