Spending time in the snow, watching holiday movies with warm hot chocolate, shopping for the perfect gifts for your loved ones, and spending time with the family are all part of what makes winter so magical.
While seeing the sparkling snow is beautiful, winter weather can be detrimental to our sensitive skin. During the winter months, your skin is vulnerable to cold temperatures, low humidity levels, and indoor heaters that cause dry air that draws moisture out of the skin. That moisturizer you used in October might not be enough to combat dry December air.
We need to take extra measures to protect our skin in the winter. This winter skincare routine will help you up your winter skincare game and keep your skin soft and glowing during the holidays.
7 Step Winter Skincare Routine
1. Use a Gentle Cleanser
Harsh cleansers can strip the skin of its natural oils, drying it from the inside out. Avoid drying ingredients like fragrance, additives, salicylic acid, and charcoal. Instead, use a gentle lotion, gel, or low-foam cleanser. Look for hydrating ingredients like hyaluronic acid, chamomile, ceramides, and glycerin.
2. Exfoliate, But Don't Overdo It
Exfoliating can help remove dead skin cells from dry skin, giving you a smoother foundation to apply moisturizing skincare products for better absorption, but be careful not to overdo it. Over-exfoliation can irritate dry skin even more. Use a gentle exfoliator or a wet washcloth if your skin is extra sensitive once or twice a week for best results.
3. Apply A Hydrating Serum
Serums should be a part of your skincare routine all year round, and they are an essential part of keeping your skin moisturized in the winter. An effective hydrating serum is alcohol-free and contains moisturizing ingredients like hyaluronic acid, peptides, and Vitamin C.
4. Lather On A Cream Moisturizer
During colder months, you should switch out your lotion-based moisturizer for a heavy cream moisturizer. Thicker creams provide a thicker barrier against cold winter air. Choose hydrating creams suited to your skin needs. Ceramides help protect the skin's barrier, and hyaluronic acid increases the skin's ability to retain moisture for extra hydration. Retinol reduces the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.
Our Pick: Depology Anti-Aging Retinol Night Cream
5. Apply More Moisturizer As Needed
Sometimes one layer just isn't enough. Sometimes you need extra layers of clothes AND moisturizer to combat that icy winter wind. If your skin is feeling especially dry, layer up the moisturizer for extra hydration.
6. Don't Skip The Sunscreen
You might not be too worried about the sun when it's below 0º outside, but the sun's rays are still strong enough to harm your skin even in the dead of winter! UV rays are even more powerful when they're reflecting off of snow and ice. Be sure to use sunscreen with a minimum of SPF 30 daily to protect your skin from damage.
7. Optimize Your Nighttime Routine
Your nighttime skincare routine is important for protecting your skin and keeping it hydrated overnight. If you use a heater during the winter, your skin doesn't escape the dry air at night. Use a cream moisturizer to lock in moisture while you sleep. Try an overnight mask or eye and face patches for an extra boost.
Extra Tips To Combat Dry Skin in the Winter
There are other ways to combat dry skin in the winter outside of your skin. These tips and tricks will help you keep your skin soft and supple all winter long.
Show Your Body Some Love
The rest of your body also needs extra care and attention in the winter. Apply lotion to your body immediately after showering to prevent extra drying. Look for lotions and creams with occlusive ingredients like shea butter, coconut butter, and jojoba oil, which help form a protective barrier between your skin and the harsh elements.
Take Shorter Showers
Long, hot showers may seem attractive when it's freezing outside, but hot water can actually dry out your skin further, causing even more damage. Keep showers to a minimum—no more than one per day at 5-10 minutes each—and try to use warm water rather than hot water. Gently pat yourself dry to avoid skin irritation.
Don't Overuse The Heater
The heating systems we rely on to keep us warm in the winter emit dry air that sucks the moisture out of your skin. Heaters are often essential, but keep your heater use to a minimum to prevent drying out your skin further and trade hotter temperatures for cozy sweaters.
Use A Humidifier
Most of us end up needing to use a heater in the winter, so dry air in the home is inevitable. You can help combat this try air using a humidifier, which helps restore the humidity levels. Humidifiers don't replace your skincare routine, but they help boost the benefits.
Winter is a whirlwind of magical moments, but it comes with relentless dry air that dries out your skin. While winter has many joyous things to offer, it oftentimes comes with dry skin. You can combat dry skin in the winter by following a winter skincare routine and taking extra steps to keep your skin soft and bright this holiday season. Happy Holidays!