Nourishing skin during the cold and dry winter months can be a challenge. Low temperatures, high wind-chill and drying indoor heating systems can leave even the most oily skin parched (you heard right–even oily skin can experience dehydration).
Thankfully, we're here to offer our top 10 tips for weatherproofing your skin all winter long.
- Consider switching your moisturizer seasonally. That dry, tight feeling you experience may be caused by a moisturizer that's not rich enough for your skin's needs. Pick one that's formulated with sodium hyaluronic acid, phospholipids, tocotrienols or dimethicone; these ingredients draw moisture to the skin while also slowing down moisture loss during the day.
- Take a slightly shorter, cooler shower. While that heat may feel great at the time, remember this—the higher the water temperature, the more drying it is for the skin. And be sure to avoid scented bath products, as those tend to be drying as well.
Apply moisturizers while skin is still damp to help "lock in" moisture.
Invest in a humidifier, which can help alleviate the discomfort associated with dry skin (as well as nose and throat irritation). Many skincare products also contain moisture-binding ingredients—such as sodium hyaluronic acid—to help draw moisture from the air onto the skin; if there's not enough moisture in the air, you likely won't be getting the full benefit of your products. It's recommended to keep the humidity level between 45-55%, and be sure to use distilled water and clean the humidifier regularly.
Stay hydrated with eight to ten 8-oz glasses of pure spring water daily. Also, incorporate hydrating fruits and vegetables such as zucchini, cucumbers, cantaloupe and celery.
- Protect your skin from harsh weather conditions (wind, cold, sun) with a non-chemical, broad spectrum sunscreen. Just because you can't visibly see the sun, that doesn't mean its rays aren't still reaching you. This is particularly important around reflective surfaces, such as snow and water.
- In addition to following the anti-inflammatory diet, increase your omega-3 intake and take high-quality fish oil capsules for supple, smooth skin from the inside out. Include vegetarian sources of omega-3s such as avocados, raw nuts, chia seeds and ground flax seed.
Avoid coffee, as it is a diuretic, and limit alcohol, which can accelerate dehydration.
Skip sugary, starchy foods, which cause an inflammatory response in the body and exacerbate a host of skin problems, from wrinkles and dry skin to acne, eczema, rosacea, etc.
Avoid harsh, granular exfoliators. These "scrubs" may immediately make skin feel smooth, but they typically cause more damage over time due to abrasion; this leads to thin, papery skin. Instead, use a gentle, non-acidic exfoliator such as Blue Plasma, which targets only the dead skin cells.
With these small alterations in your skincare routine and diet, you'll have glowing skin that will last through even the harshest of winters.