- written by Laura McCrindle, Lucabello founder
“My skin gets so dry during winter; Do I need to change my skin care routine?"
During my days as an esthetician, this question came up often; not just in winter but all the seasons. My answer: always YES! But today, we’re focusing on how you can treat dry skin during the winter months because it’s the time of year when it’s usually the worst.
Plus, working out consistently can lead to more moisture loss from sweating, extra showers & recovery soaks, but not to worry - no need to need to skip your next sweat sesh!
Whether it’s your face or body, dry skin is a pain! It’s itchy, flaky, tight & uncomfortable and in extreme cases, can crack, leading to open sores. Try these simple tweaks + tips to keep your skin healthy & touchably soft through old man winter's dry spell & beyond.
SKIN LOVES HUMIDITY
One of the reasons skin gets drier during winter is due to lower humidity in the air outside and the forced air from our indoor heat. Some heating systems have a built in humidifier, so if yours has one, make sure to set this properly, especially in a climate that needs continual heat during the winter. If you don’t have a built-in system, there’s portable options to use in rooms you spend the most time in. If you live in a dry climate year round (desert state dwellers, I'm talking to you!) consider a humidifier as a non-negotiable. Trust me, your skin & body will thank you. Ideally, running one in your bedroom while you sleep can do wonders and may even give an added bonus of helping your sinuses.
HOW YOU MOISTURIZE MATTERS
You’ll hear a lot of sources say not to shower or bathe in extremely hot water, use lukewarm instead. Well, duh! Who intentionally scalds themselves to get ready in the morning or relax before bed? Don’t know about you, but I looove a hot bath/shower because it’s relaxing, and lukewarm ain't gonna do it - you’re an adult so I'm not going to tell you what temperature your water should be!
What does matter is that you’re moisturizing properly after. There's so many choices - body oils, lotion, body butters or balms, you're probably wondering which one is best. We're a fan of the heavier stuff (body oils and butters) but it really comes down to preference and what works best for you. If you also prefer the oils or it’s solid version, a balm, make sure it doesn't contain mineral oil, a form of petroleum -that's a hard NO! I'm talking about body oils & balms from plants, nuts, or seeds like shea or cocoa butter, almond oil, hemp oil, coconut oil, etc. These will actually nourish the skin in addition to keeping it hydrated. They absorb super easily and more closely resemble our skin's natural lipid barrier.
If you prefer lotions, keep in mind the first ingredient is typically water so you'll want to make sure it also contains skin loving ingredients like butters, oils and antioxidants. Next, you’ll want to make sure you pat, not rub dry & apply the oil or balm while your skin is still slightly damp; this helps to lock in essential moisture.
The body loves being exfoliated too! Opt for a body scrub that contains naturally derived oils like I mentioned earlier - if you do this step after cleansing, you’ve already started the moisturizing process. Are you experiencing extremely dry skin? Then I recommend using an oil first, followed by a rich shea butter balm to really keep it touchably soft & silky.
WINTERIZE YOUR SKINCARE ROUTINE
Since your face is not protected by clothing it can take quite a hit from cold winter air. If you’re experiencing any of the following: tightness, flakiness, redness or more sensitivity than usual - a change in routine is probably in order. Try these winter skincare tips below, so you can put your best face forward.
- Cleanse: Switch out your foaming cleanser for one that’s cream or oil based instead, or alternate between the two. Cream and oil cleansers are extremely gentle on the skin and won’t disrupt it’s natural moisture barrier.
- Exfoliate: If you’re not already doing this, it’s time to start! If you’re already doing this, make sure you’re not over doing it. 2-3x a week is ideal for a scrub or low % acid treatments like glycolic, lactic, beta-hydroxy, etc. If you’re considering a deeper acid peel, winter is a good time since there’s less concern about sun/UV exposure.
- Moisturize: In summer we go light but in winter, it’s time for thicker creams and balms. I'm a fan of face oils year round, and this time of year, heavier, vitamin rich oils are the way to go. Look for oils such as pumpkin, pomegranate, avocado, hemp, and rosehip. If you’re concerned about using a heavier oil, cream or balm during the day, reserve them for your nightly cleansing routine. Your skin will drink it up and you’ll notice the difference in the morning.
STAY HYDRATED, FRIENDS
Do I even need to go here? Yes. I. Do. And you already know why! As cliche as it sounds, most of us don’t DRINK ENOUGH WATER! It’s easier to remember during summer when it’s hot, but our bodies don’t need any less water during winter. Especially when you’re living your best active life. If drinking more water feels boring because it’s bland, punch it up with fruits, veggies like cucumber or throw your favorite BCAA powder in there. Better yet, get some Emergen-C packets for the double win of hydrating and boosting your immune system.
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