Do you find yourself dealing with dry, sensitized skin as winter temperatures set in?
The reason this affliction is so common this time of year is because cold air cannot hold as much water as warm air. The lower humidity then causes any moisture from our bodies to evaporate more quickly back into the air, leading to dry throats, noses and skin. Though the formidable combination of cold weather and dry indoor heat can create obstacles to our skin goals and lead to considerable discomfort in the form of itchiness and irritation, there are many things you can do to minimize the negative effects of these environmental factors on your skin!
Read below for my favorite tips & tricks for getting relief from dry winter skin.
Make sure the water temperature in the shower is not too hot!
Extreme temperatures, both too hot and too cold, put stress on the skin. Ease the skin's burden in trying to adapt to dry winter environments by keeping shower and bath temperatures moderate.
Use a humidifier to add moisture to your living spaces.
If a humidifier doesn't fit in your budget or lifestyle, you can also fill bowls with water and place them around the house. Moisture will be added to your home's air as the water from the bowls evaporates.
Make sure you're not over-exfoliating.
When dry skin becomes scaley or flaky, your first impulse may be to exfoliate that top layer away; however, your skin is likely trying to tell you is that it is craving more moisture. Furthermore, maintaining a strong barrier (which can be compromised by the overuse of acids) helps to minimize irritation that can be further exacerbated by winter-time environmental conditions.
- For example, let's compare our skin to a tiled shower and liken dry, flaky skin to loose tile with crumbling grout. In the case of the shower tiles, it would not make sense to chisel more grout away to fix the shower wall. Rather, adding more grout is what will alleviate the crumbling and reinforce the tiles on the wall. Likewise, it does not make sense to exfoliate the top layer of skin to address the dryness. Rather, treating the skin with hydrating and moisturizing products will be more likely to strengthen the skin's barrier and relieve irritation.
Switch out your body wash for a non-foaming cleanser, like The After Show Body Cleanser.
Want to make your product last longer? The After Show Body Cleanser can be used judiciously to spot-cleanse the areas that tend to experience more seasonal dryness, like arms and legs.
Apply body lotions and oils, like Olio Per Il Corpo Body Oil, to damp skin.
Though these occlusive products are designed to hold moisture in the skin, they can't create moisture on their own, which is why applying them to damp skin is so important.
- Feeling luxurious? Spritz body skin with a humectant-rich mist, like Hydrate the Mist, before applying your body moisturizers to maximize skin hydration.
Keep facial skin plump and juicy by choreographing product layers into your skincare routine.
For example, apply several alternating layers of Hydrate Facial Serum and Hydrate the Mist after cleansing, followed by The Performance Cream and/or Soothing Facial Oil.
- For more guidance on product layering, click over to our recent blog post, Transitional Skincare: Layering for Fall.
Additionally, if your skin can tolerate richer, heavier creams, it may make sense to incorporate one into your winter routine.
Chapped lips? Protect sensitive lips by creating a moisture sandwich, a brilliant hack that I learned from the #PillowTalkDerm, Dr. Shereene Idriss!
- How to: Take your facial skincare onto your lips—layer a hydrating serum, such as Hydrate Facial Serum, and a moisturizing cream, like The Performance Cream, on dry lips, then seal it in with your favorite lip balm.
SPF use is key to minimizing the ill effects of the arid winter air because your skin's ability to overcome seasonal environmental irritation is impeded when it is simultaneously having to heal from UV exposure. So yes, daily sun protection is necessary even in the winter!
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