Why is My Skin so Dry in the Winter?
If you’ve been feeling like your face is drier than normal lately, you are not alone!
Winter time dry skin is incredibly common, and with below-average temperatures all over the place lately, you may be feeling more dried out than you expected.
Why Does Cold Weather Dry Out My Skin?
A few factors are at play with seasonally dry skin, starting with lower atmospheric humidity when the temperature drops. Aside from less natural moisture floating around in the air, wintry weather like wind, rain and snow removes moisture and oils from your skin.
To make matters worse, if you think staying inside to get out of the cold will help, unfortunately, the opposite is true. All the warm air circulating around while you run your heater saps the moisture from your skin too. Additionally, when we spend more time indoors in the winter we lose the benefits of healthy sun exposure like Vitamin D, which can help strengthen our skin barrier and keep moisture in.
For more on the causes and treatment of dry winter skin, check out this article from The Cleveland Clinic.
Tips for Fighting Dry Winter Skin
1. Switch up Your Cleansing and Exfoliating Routine
If you're struggling with your skin feeling extra dry, try changing up how often you wash your face, and which cleansers you use. Over-washing is a common contributing factor to dry skin, as it removes natural oils and can damage the skin barrier, leading to increased transepidermal water loss. It's a good idea to switch to a gentler cleanser in colder weather, exfoliate less frequently, and maybe cut back to washing once a day if you typically do more.
2. Use a Richer, Thicker Moisturizer
Odds are that you already have a lighter moisturizer for the summer months, and a heavier one for winter, but if not, this is a great way to improve skin hydration seasonally.
Make sure to pick one that is fragrance-free and ideally, alcohol free, to avoid causing extra irritation & drying. Also, applying moisturizers to wet skin helps with moisture retention, so it's good to moisturize right after showering or washing your face.
Here are a few moisturizers we recommend to help get you through winter dry spells:
- EltaMD Moisturizer- A no-frills fan-favorite with more of an ointment texture, the EltaMD Moisturizer is a bargain way to help your skin keep moisture in.
- NEOCUTIS Bio Cream Firm Riche - The thicker version of Bio Cream Firm, this moisturizing cream comes with the added boost of anti-aging peptides and Growth Factors.
- NeoGenesis Intensive Moisturizer - An incredibly well-rounded moisturizer, with antioxidants, growth factors, and peptides for skin barrier repair, at an affordable price point. And, it's oncology safe!
- SENTE Dermal Repair Ultra Nourish Creme - You may already know and love SENTE's Dermal Repair Creme, but Dermal Repair Ultra Nourish is a thicker, more luxurious formulation that makes a perfect cold weather moisturizer. Besides adding moisture back to your skin, this cream also helps to repair your skin barrier to prevent future drying.
- Alastin Skincare Ultra Nourishing Moisturizer - Besides having a lovely, thick texture that feels amazing going on your skin, this is a fragrane-free, oil-free, powerful blend of antioxidants and phytonutrients to keep skin looking & feeling its best.
3. Use a Humidifier
Not just for babies, humidifiers are a great way to return moisture to the air at home and help keep your skin hydrated in spite of your heater. Run a humidifier in your room at night during winter months and see if you notice a difference.
4. Add a Hydrating Serum to Your Regimen
If you haven't already embraced the magic of a hyaluronic acid (HA) serum in your regimen, winter time is the right time to give it a shot. HA is an excellent way to restore some moisture to your skin, plus it comes with some fantastic plumping and wrinkle smoothing effects. Here are some of our favorites:
- SkinMedica HA5 Rejuvenating Hydrator - A luxurious, smooth formulation, this blend of 5 different HA forms, will add moisture to your skin, and encourage it to create more HA of its own.
- Alastin Skincare HA Immerse Serum - This fast-absorbing, daily-use serum is a fantastic HA option to consider, with a proprietary blend of anti-aging ingredients that will smooth and hydrate skin.
- NEOCUTIS Hyalis+ Intensive Hydrating Serum - With an array of Hyaluronate molecules designed to both penetrate skin and sit on its surface, this serum is another comprehensive HA product.
- Revision Skincare Hydrating Serum - Developed to be a hydration boost used in tandem with a moisturizer, this serum is a great way to return moisture to your skin, with instant and long-term effects.
Hopefully one or a few of these tips will help you get your skin's moisture content back on track this winter! Leave us a comment if you have any other ideas.
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