Maintaining healthy skin in the winter is a real challenge, especially in our cold, dry climate. During winter it is common for skin to lose its natural moisture often resulting in itchy, flaky, sensitized skin. If you are struggling to maintain healthy skin this winter here are some of my favorite cold-season tips!
1. Hydrate often
Trans-epidermal water loss (TEWL) is the loss of moisture from the skins surface through environmental factors. TEWL is significantly increased in winter through harsh temperatures, cold winds, and indoor heating all of which lower hydration in the skin. Therefore, hydration is key to winter skin health. Humidifiers are also a great addition as they add hydration back into the environment and reduce evaporation levels in the skin.
2. Moisturize Frequently
Thicker moisturizers during winter months will help to retain and seal moisture to the skin. *Pro tip: apply hydrators to damp skin when layering moisture products, this will help to assure max absorption and water retention. When layering hydrators, always apply oil or petrolatum-based hydrators last as they will both lock moisture in as well as make the penetration of other products more difficult. Some of our moisture favorites are the ZO Hydrating Crème, SkinMedica HA⁵® Rejuvenating Hydrator, and Dermal Repair Cream.
3. Limit hot showers
Hot water during showers or cleansing contribute to further dehydration and break down of skin barrier. Try using luke-warm water and limiting heat exposure to the skin to avoid irritating skin.
4. Avoid harsh products
Avoiding harsh chemicals and fragrance to avoid stripping the natural moisture barrier.
5. Lip balm
Don’t forget to hydrate your lips! Harsh winter environments often lead to dry cracked lips so make sure to have backups of your favorite lip hydrators! For some extra TLC I recommend the SkinMedica HA⁵® Smooth and Plump Lip System.
Exfoliation helps to slough off dead flaky skin cells and improves product penetration. Avoid over exfoliation to prevent skin barrier breakdown. I recommend 1-2 times a week for sensitized skin. Because there are many exfoliating options, I recommend a visit with me to find the exfoliant that’s right for your skin type.
7. Continue SPF
SPF is still necessary during winter! Aging UVA rays are still present in winter and are maximized through highly reflective snow. I recommend SPF 30 or higher, applied in the morning, and reapplied if you are doing any outdoor activities.
8. Follow a skin care routine.
Assuring you have the correct skin care routine will prevent or even heal a damaged skin moisture barrier. If you would like help building a comprehensive skin care routine you can book here for a free in person skin care assessment with me!