Cozy sweater season is in full swing, but you need more than a wardrobe change to stay looking your best throughout these cold, winter months.
Lower temperatures mean drastically lower humidity levels. This, combined with frigid winds and near constant exposure to indoor heaters, can pull the moisture from your skin, leaving it dry, dull and with more sensitivity than usual.
But don’t plan a complete product overhaul yet. A few small adjustments to your regular routine should be sufficient to protect your skin from the harsh winter elements and keep it glowing and radiant all season long.
First, take a minute to notice how your skin has changed in colder weather. Slowly add or change products to regain balance in your complexion. This way, you’re better able to gauge what’s working and pinpoint any additional products needed to balance out the dryness of winter.
Below, we’ve gathered a few tips on how to combat the winter elements so you can seamlessly transition through the seasons with perfectly balanced skin.
A few highlights:
- Be gentle
- Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate
- Layer up
1. Use a gentle cleanser
Just like the cold, dry air and other environmental factors, harsh soaps and cleansers can strip natural oils from your skin, contributing to dry, dull and flaky skin that’s red in all the wrong places. Lower temperatures can make oil-producing glands sluggish, so it’s important to find a cleanser that can help replenish moisture, instead of pulling it away.
Stay away from aggressive foaming cleansers, or those with a heavy dose of salicylic acid. Remember, your skin doesn’t need to be squeaky clean to be healthy, especially in the colder months.
Instead, try a balm, oil or cream-based cleanser (like our Mandarin Milk Cleanser). These are gentler on the skin and will work with you in retaining moisture, while still effectively clearing away the day’s debri.
For troublesome or combination skin, a dual purpose cleanser can offer a deeper clean without stripping moisture. Our Geothermal Clay Cleanser is a great solution to those struggling with both dry and oily complexions.
2. Add in a gentle exfoliator
Exfoliation is key to any routine. It helps remove dead skin cells to create a luminous complexion that’s ready to absorb vital nutrients. But be careful not to overdo it! The keyword here is gentle. Scrubbing too hard can cause outer layers of skin to become irritated, leading to even more dryness and unwanted redness.
One (gentle) exfoliation per week should be enough to keep your skin glowing throughout the winter. If needed, increase to twice a week, but any more than that and you may be doing more harm than good.
Check out our Fruition mask, which uses natural fruit pulp to exfoliate, while also hydrating the skin with hyaluronic acid (more on this below). Or, for an even gentler touch, our Dew pH Perfector uses lactic acid to very gently exfoliate while rebuilding that natural moisture barrier. This is especially good for extra dry or sensitive skin and can be used daily as an alternative to weekly scrubs.
3. Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate
Light moisturizers may work perfectly in the humid, summer months, but your skin needs deeper hydration to stay balanced through the winter.
Switch to a richer moisturizer and use a luxurious hydrating mask a few nights per week to replenish critical nutrients. Pair overnight masks with a bedside humidifier to lock in extra moisture and further defend against tomorrow’s harsh winter elements.
Oil-based moisturizers are great because they maintain the skin’s natural moisture while also protecting against future dryness. Ceramides and antioxidants are also critical ingredients to look for, as they help fight environmental damage and keep your skin’s natural moisture barrier intact.
Our Abo products are great examples of this. With natural antioxidants, as well as salisporene-8, they can increase the moisture content of your skin by 6000% in just four weeks. Crème ER3 is another great option. It includes sodium hyaluronate, which is derived from hyaluronic acid, but has a lower molecular weight, allowing it to penetrate the dermis and hydrate from within. With that, as well as shea butter, Crème ER3 is heaven for winter skin.
Facial oils are also highly recommended in winter to replenish the natural depletion of moisture. Use a nourishing face oil after moisturizing to seal in nutrients and create a physical barrier that protects skin from the elements both day and night.
Check out our line of Extraordinary Face Oils here. Each is uniquely designed to offer a range of critical nutrients and blend seamlessly into both daytime and nighttime routines. You can also mix one or two drops of a hydrating face oil into your foundation to seal in moisture and create a dewy, hydrated complexion that lasts all day
4. Layer up!
Just like your wardrobe, your skincare should be layered in the winter to protect against harsh environmental elements. Layering helps to strengthen the skin barrier and also allows you to address multiple skin concerns at once. The typical rule of layering is to go from the thinnest consistency to the thickest. This ensures that each product is absorbed properly into the skin so none of the benefits are lost in the mix.
Here are a few ingredients you can work into your routine to protect against dryness and combat the havoc of winter on your skin:
- Vitamin C - One of the main antioxidants recommended by dermatologists, Vitamin C repairs damage and protects against environmental elements while encouraging the production of collagen and cell turnover to keep your skin fresh and glowing.
- Hyaluronic Acid or other Hydrating Serum - Pulls moisture from the air and into your skin while creating a physical barrier to the elements. Something like our Dew pH Perfector with dual action benefits that can work both as a hydrating serum and as a primer for daytime routines.
- Ceramides - We mentioned them earlier, but the benefits are worth noting again. Ceramides are critical to maintaining the skin’s protective barrier. As one of the most important lipids of skin, these play a key role in maintaining a firm and healthy complexion. They help retain water loss caused by environmental factors, balance hydration, reduce inflammation, and smooth fine lines. Combined with Vitamin C and hyaluronic acid, the moisture power of ceramides doubles, making it a great product for all skin types.