How to Get Dry Winter Skin Healthy Again
For all the cozy fireside lounging and picturesque snowy walks that we get to enjoy throughout winter, by this point in the season, everyone’s skin has a bit of the blahs. Months of frigid temperatures and dry indoor heat take their toll on our complexions, robbing skin of moisture and leaving it tight, a bit rough, and looking less than radiant. The good news is, you don’t need to wait for the weather to turn balmy to get back to your dewy, luminous self—a few easy adjustments to your routine can wipe away all traces of winter-itis and revitalize your skin in no time.
A foaming face wash is great in the summer to cut through sweat and excess sebum, but right now, it can strip your skin of its natural oils when it needs to be holding on to every ounce of moisture it can. If your face feels tight immediately after you wash it, your cleanser could be disrupting your skin barrier, which is the outer layer of skin responsible for keeping harmful irritants out and moisture in. To help rebalance things, switch to a gentle, cream-based or lotion-like cleanser that’s fragrance-free. And always lightly pat skin dry—don’t rub, which can cause irritation.
Smooth on a moisturizer with niacinamide
This all-star antioxidant, otherwise known as vitamin B3, has been shown to boost our body’s production of ceramides, which are the scaffolding that hold up skin cells. Anything that strips our skin of moisture—and dry winter weather is at the top that list—depletes our ceramide levels, so replenishing them is key to restoring softness and bounce. Plus, studies show that niacinamide can help skin better tolerate retinoids (the popular wrinkle reducing ingredients) by decreasing the dryness and irritation that they often trigger, which can get worse in the colder months.
Whatever your regimen, adding a moisturizer with niacinamide will help hydrate and soothe your skin. Try our PUREVOC All Day Glow Face Cream, which also has glycerin and hyaluronic acid to nourish and plump skin, plus light-diffusing pearl pigments that instantly perk up a dull complexion.
Exfoliate more often
All that cold air and low humidity are like the world’s worst photo filter, giving your complexion a lackluster cast because they slow down skin’s natural exfoliation process. While your inclination might be to exfoliate less when your skin feels dry, you want to slough off those dead flakes two to three times a week—otherwise, the buildup prevents your moisturizer and other skincare from fully absorbing, which defeats their entire purpose.
An at-home peel or mask that contains alpha-hydroxy acids, such as glycolic acid or lactic acid, will gently dissolve dead cells and reveal the new, healthy ones beneath. Try our It’s A Miracle 8 Minute Mask, which also contains niacinamide, vitamin C to brighten, and rye seed extract to smooth, firm, and boost radiance.
Eat omega-rich foods
While there’s no scientific proof that drinking lots of water improves your skin’s hydration, there is evidence that eating certain foods may help. Omega-3 fatty acids are a key component in skin’s lipids, which help the skin retain moisture. Data suggests that a diet infused with foods that are high in omega-3s such as fish (particularly cold-water fatty fish like salmon), nuts and seeds, and plant oils such as flaxseed oil can increase skin’s moisture.
A study published in the British Journal of Nutrition reported that women who consumed half a teaspoon of omega-3-rich flaxseed oil a day increased their skin hydration by 39 percent after 12 weeks. Their skin also showed significantly less redness and decreased sensitivity.
Buff and balm your lips
It’s ironic that the kissiest holiday falls during one of the coldest months of the year when your lips are often at their flakiest. That’s because unlike the rest of your skin, lips don’t have any oil glands, so they’re especially prone to drying out. To get them back into soft, supple condition, use a hydrating lip scrub to buff away the dead skin—try our Wonder Blading 3-in-1 Lip Scrub—then slather a lip balm with a heavy duty emollient such as shea butter, mango butter, or lanolin. And avoid those so-called medicated lip balms with ingredients like camphor, menthol, eucalyptus, and peppermint oil, all of which can further irritate chapped lips.
By following these simple tips, your skin will be glowing by the first spring blossom.