Despite these complications, there are easy ways to prepare and deal with dry skin this winter. Seven steps are outlined below.
1. Prepare Your Home for Good Winter Skincare
Using a humidifier can increase levels of moisture in the air, which can create an environment in which your skin stays hydrated. Humidifiers emit a fine mist into your room to achieve an optimal humidity of between 40 to 60 percent. Place the humidifier in the room where you spend the most time, which for most people, is the bedroom.
Like most, you might be spending a lot more time at home due to the pandemic, or simply because you prefer to stay indoors during the winter. Whatever your reasoning, consider adding a humidifier to your home, in addition to adding skincare products to keep your skin moisturized. Thought it might be tempting to keep it cozy, it is suggested that you keep your thermostat to a low or moderate heat to maintain an optimal level of moisture in your home. With more moisture in the air, you are at less of a risk from suffering from extremely dry and cracking skin.
2. Maintain a Diet That Promotes Healthy, Hydrated Skin
Your skin health is directly connected with your gut health, so it’s important to maintain a diet that supports good skin health. The following are some of the best foods for maintaining healthy skin:
- Fatty fish such as salmon- Omega-3 fatty acids, zinc, vitamin E and high-quality protein keep your skin moisturized and help reduce inflammation.
- Avocadoes- A good source of vitamins E and C and beneficial fats – all of which promote healthy skin. They also have compounds that help prevent sun damage.
- Almonds- Rich in protein, selenium, vitamin E, essential fats and zinc.
- Sunflower seeds- High in nutrients such as vitamin E, which has protective antioxidant effects on the skin.
- Sweet potatoes- Contains a lot of beta carotene, a natural sun block.
- Bell peppers- An excellent source of vitamin C and beta carotene – both of which have protective antioxidant effects on the skin. Vitamin C helps create collagen, the structural protein that strengthens your skin.
3. Drink Lots of Water
Drinking plenty of water has a powerful and positive impact on your skin health — and on your overall health. Making sure you drink a lot of water is the most natural way to ensure that your skin is healthy and radiant. By drinking lots of water, you’ll notice:
- It keeps you refreshed, hydrated and helps keep your skin elastic.
- It helps balance your skin pH level, keeping it healthy.
- It flushes toxins from your body that may otherwise cause skin health problems such as acne.
- It helps tighten up sagging skin.
For most adults, about eight glasses of water a day should be an adequate mount to stay hydrated. Try to limit your intake of caffeinated and alcoholic drinks, as they can have diuretic effects that may dehydrate your skin, leaving it more prone to dryness and cracking.
4. Exfoliate Your Skin
Exfoliation is essential to skin care, and failure to to so leads to dry skin, regardless of how much cream or serum you apply.
“Scrub off summer damage from the sun, saltwater and chlorine,” said Keysha. “Use oil-based exfoliators to not only rejuvenate the skin, but also to hydrate. For best results, do not exfoliate more than twice a week.”
For light exfoliation, use a gentle scrub with lactic acid or a mild glycolic. If your skin is severely dry, swap an exfoliator for a gentler option such as a wet washcloth. In addition, limit your use of wrinkle-fighting skin products that double as exfoliators as they may worsen dry skin. Moisturizers and serums are more effective on exfoliated skin because they penetrate the layers of the skin more easily.
5. Use Antioxidant Serum
Serums are among the few skin care products that are useful year-round. You can use an antioxidant serum throughout the year as long as it does not contain alcohol. Regardless of the climate, free-radical oxidative stressors attack the skin and cause premature fine lines, collagen breakdown and sunspots.
You can mitigate the damage that free-radical oxidative stressors cause by applying vitamin C formula before applying heavier skin care products in the morning. Also, remember to cover your skin with SPF 30 sunscreen every day, even when it is cold or overcast.
6. Use Moisturizing Face Cream and Gentle Cleansers
Switching to a moisturizing face cream is one of the most critical steps to prevent and to deal with dry, crackling skin, yet it’s one of the most overlooked.
“Instead of lotions, opt for creams that contain hyaluronic acid and ceramides,” said Dana. “These products help prevent the breakdown of the skin barrier in the winter. Steer clear of face washes that contain ingredients, such as additives and fragrances, which have drying properties. Instead, use face washes that contain oatmeal or formulated chamomile. Go for gentle cleansers that won't strip natural oils from your skin.”
7. Develop a Regular Winter Skincare Routine
Develop a winter-specific skincare routine. In addition to a moisturizer and face serum, apply gentle cream, like avocado treatment, on your eyelids and under your eyes.
Long, hot showers can feel great on chilly winter evenings, but they shouldn’t be a regular part of your winter skincare routine. Consider rinsing for no more than a few minutes with the shower on warm rather than hot water, which can excessively dehydrate the skin.
“Swap harsh body washes and irritating soaps with creamy cleansers,” said Keysha. “Use something with ceramides, lanolin and oil to help your skin retain moisture throughout the night. Apply thick moisturizer immediately after stepping out of the shower.”
Finally, use a heavy-duty moisturizer on your lip and hands, especially the cuticles. If your skin feels too dry, consider using a hydrating sheet mask once a week before you go to bed, and be sure to avoid products with clay or charcoal.
Follow These Tips to Keep Your Skin Hydrated and Radiant During the Winter
Dry, cracking skin in the winter is unpleasant, feels uncomfortable and, in some cases, may lead to further skin problems. Keep in mind that following any one of the tips in this article will help keep your skin hydrated but adopting all of them into a healthy skin lifestyle and routine will be much more successful in preventing your skin from becoming excessively dry in the cold season.