Did you know? The winter can take a toll on your skin, especially if you are living in arid areas and/or are already prone to dry skin. It can cause your skin discomfort and even lead to sores and cracking, also known as chapping, which can be painful and take some time to heal. Long-term effects of dry skin can even lead to more serious skin conditions like eczema. However, there are many ways you can prepare and keep your skin – the largest organ in your body – hydrated during the winter months.
The first and most important step in keeping your skin hydrated is to drink plenty of water. Drinking water helps to replenish and hydrate the skin, remove toxins, prevent signs of aging and provides a number of health-related benefits. Drink water – your body will thank you.
Start with a gentle cleanser that exfoliates the skin. As an aesthetician who has tried a number of different products, one that I really enjoy using during the winter months is SkinMedica® AHA/BHA Cleanser. It gently removes dead skin cells and preps the skin for your next products (i.e. serums or moisturizers) without scratching or irritating the skin. Plus, it will leave your skin soft and smooth. Note: When using an exfoliant, use light pressure – no need to scrub roughly as this can really irritate your skin, especially during the winter months.
Avoid Hot Showers
If you are like me, I love hot showers or baths. However, your skin does not. A good compromise is using lukewarm water. During the winter months, the hot water may feel great and keep you warm, however, it can be harsh on your skin and can make it even more dry (yes, even if you use moisturizer it still is not recommended that you take hot showers).
Consider a Humidifier
Many of us have used humidifiers to help avoid or combat colds, dry nasal passages, etc. During the winter months, a humidifier will also help to hydrate your skin, especially if you are using an indoor heater to keep warm.
Moisturize, Moisturize, Moisturize. I cannot stress enough how important this is. A good moisturizer will be your best friend during the winter and it will keep your skin feeling hydrated and smooth. I like EltaMD Moisture-Rich Body Crème, but there are a number of great moisturizers out there that can work with your preference and/or skin type (i.e. gels, lotions, etc.). Tip: For better absorption, moisturize your body while still damp, after taking that lukewarm shower.
Consider a Hydrator with Hyaluronic Acid
Hyaluronic Acid is known for its anti-aging and hydrating benefits. Why? Because the ingredient’s main function is to retain water to keep your skin moist. My go-to is always a product containing hyaluronic acid. SkinMedica makes a lot of great products and I really like the SkinMedica® Rejuvenating Hydrator HA5® – it contains five different forms of Hyaluronic Acid that work together to provide continuous hydration throughout the day.
Wear a Moisturizer with Sunscreen During the Day
The sun’s rays can still cause damage to your skin (burning, peeling, dryness, cracking, sensitivity, etc.), even during what looks like a gloomy winter day. Always wear a moisturizer with at least an SPF of 30 during the day.
Be good to your skin!
– Denise Judson, Medical Aesthetician