As the weather starts to get consistently colder, the skin on my legs gets scalier and itchier. It is not a pretty sight. I have never been diligent about keeping my body moisturized, and these next few months are the time of year that I pay for it. I also, counterintuitively enough, break out a lot. My skin is so dry that it overproduces oil, and bam: breakout.
When there's little moisture in the air and our skin gets pounded with wind and central heating, the result can be incredibly uncomfortable. Skin has a difficult time retaining moisture, and it doesn't help that there are very few of us that can say we drink is much water as our bodies need on a daily basis. Most people experience dryness in some form — whether it's on their face or on their body — during these winter months.
This is the time that our skin can suffer a lot of damage and age dramatically if we don't take care of it! So what are a few ways to do that? Keep reading for tips and product recommendations to banish winter dry skin and keep it healthy!
(Pssst... Does your skin go way beyond "dry"? At the end of this post, I've included five awesome products for extremely dry skin! Don't miss it!)
Time to bring out the big guns.
First of all, a change in your skincare regimen is necessary, no matter what skin type you have. You need ingredients that will draw from the water in your body (look for the word "hydrating") in addition to ingredients that will act as a barrier to lock the moisture into your skin (like "cream" or "balm").
You don't have to go as heavy during the day, but nighttime is when your skin is doing the most work repairing itself, so give it the tools it needs with the right products.
Adding a serum to your regimen if you're over 25 can also be a huge help. Some serums don't feel like you're doing much because they get absorbed into the skin so quickly, but don't be fooled: they're packed with nutrients your skin needs, and they penetrate to the deepest levels of your skin. Morning and night, apply your serum on clean skin first, before any other product, and give your skin a minute or two to absorb it before applying your moisturizer.
Also, if you're not regularly exfoliating your skin, now is the time to start. Use an exfoliant twice a week to remove the dry, dead skin cells that can build up on your skin. But don't go scrubbing those dry patches extra hard, expecting them to be soft and smooth — not all dry skin is dead skin, and you could worsen the dry spots. Be gentle!
Take your vitamins
"Consuming and applying the recommended amount of vitamins will have a monumental impact on both skin and immune health as the seasons change," says Pat Dutcher, spa director of award-winning SiSpa in Palm Beach and For Lauderdale. She recommends the following essential vitamins for healthy winter skin:
Vitamin A: "This is applied to the skin to reduce wrinkles, firm and tighten the skin, and protect against UV radiation. Fall foods like sweet potato, carrot, green tea, broccoli and pumpkin are also excellent sources of Vitamin A."
Vitamin C: "This is important in the production of collagen for firmer, tighter skin. It also boosts UV absorption when worn under sunscreen. One pomegranate can supply 40 percent of an adult’s daily requirement of Vitamin C. Other foods rich in C include oranges, broccoli, cantaloupe, pumpkin and tomato."
Vitamin D: "A lack of sun and shorter days lead to less Vitamin D production, which is important for strong immune function. Apply a topical Vitamin D serum daily under sunscreen to give skin its daily dose. Liver, mushrooms and egg yolks are great sources as well."
Give your skin some "me time"
Just as you need a time out to relax and recharge, so does your skin! Treat it to a nutrient-rich mask once a week. "Masks play an important role in restoring nutrients and protective antioxidants that help skin fight the effects of seasonal changes," says Dutcher. "Try applying a mask of eucalyptus, clay and sulphur once a week to put nutrients and moisture back into the skin while fighting any inflammation."
Bonus: your exfoliator can double as a mask! "When exfoliating with a scrub that contains active enzymes from ingredients like papayas, raspberries and mushrooms, the product can also be used as a mask," says Dutcher. After your gentle scrub session, let your exfoliator sit on the skin for ten minutes before rinsing it off to allow the active ingredients to do their magic.
(Pssst... does your skin go way beyond "dry"? At the end of this post I've included five awesome products for extremely dry skin! Don't miss it!)
- Bump up the weight of your moisturizer to lock in the hydration
- Apply a serum morning and night for extra nutrients
- Exfoliate twice a week
- Extra points if you're eating well and your skincare has Vitamins A, C, and D
- Use a mask once a week to replenish nutrients and protect your skin
Frownies Immune Shield Vitamin E serum is awesome for curing dry skin. It's a serum that's on the heavier side because it has oat oil in it, so it's not going to completely disappear into your skin. If you find it to be too heavy, just use it at night before your nighttime moisturizer.
The 100% Original body scrub by Worth Co. Beauty is a miracle worker for scaly skin on your body. It smells amazing, and if you're like me and enjoy reading labels in the shower, this scrub's got something to say. Worth Co. packages its products in words to encourage women to find their self-worth and believe in themselves (a company after my own heart!).
Sonage has this adorable concept of skincare "packs" — one is for preparing your skin for events (the Pre-Game Glam Party Pack), and the other is for repairing your skin after events (say, a holiday party with a little too much alcohol?). Pictured above, that's the Post-Game Pretty Pack, which consists of NMF Hyaluronic Serum, Rejuvenating Vitamin Mask, and Vitality Nourishing serum.
The Hyaluronic Serum is perfect for hydrating your skin from the inside out, since hyaluronic acid can hold 1000 times its weight in water. This is the kind of serum that disappears into your skin. The Vitality Nourishing serum is a blend of essential oils, so it's going to be a little heavier and perhaps better for night time. The Rejuvenating Vitamin Mask contains those Vitamins A and D that we mentioned above as being essential for your skin in the winter, plus Vitamin E! Perfect for your skin's weekly "me time."
I have been sincerely loving this Peter Thomas Roth Rose Stem Cell Precious Cream that I got from Elements. First thing that drew me to it: "rose." I love rose-scented anything. Second thing that drew me to it: "nourishes with 24-hour soothing hydration." Bingo! Though a little pricey, I adore this for my nighttime moisturizer. It feels amazing on my skin and keeps it soft and smooth.
Salma Hayek's got herself a cosmetics and skincare line, and wouldn't you know it? This Wild Lime Exfoliating Face Gel has vitamins, minerals, amino acids, and mushroom extract to help reveal that youthful glow. This exfoliator is the perfect product to do double-duty as a scrub and a mask.
Do you get super-dry skin in the winter? What do you do to battle it?
This all sounds great, but does your skin need a little extra attention? There's dry skin, and then there's extremely dry skin. Maybe yours needs a little extra love. Scroll down for five awesome products for extremely dry skin!
Keep your skin happy this winter!
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