While winter is an exciting time of year for many reasons (the holiday season, getting cozy by the fire, drinking hot cocoa, need we say more?) it’s not so enjoyable for our skin. As soon as the weather gets colder, many people experience dry, itchy or flaky skin that’s only made worse by going outside with the wind chill and dry air.
If you struggle with dry skin in the winter, you’re definitely not alone. Even the oiliest skin types might experience their skin feeling a little drier as the temperatures drop - it’s practically unavoidable.
That said, there are some steps you can take to treat dry skin this winter and possibly even avoid it altogether! With the right skincare routine for face and body, you can definitely keep the dry, itchy skin to a minimum and enjoy the best parts of winter without worrying about your skin.
Facial Skincare Routine Changes to Make This Winter
The best thing you can do for your skincare routine this winter is to keep it moisturized. If you’ve been using a lightweight moisturizer, now is the time to swap that for a heavier cream - your skin will thank you.
We recommend using a rich cream that will help lock in the moisture and keep your skin soft. You should also be sure to use a gentle, hydrating cleanser to avoid drying out the skin, and cleanse with warm, not hot water. You should also try to do a hydrating face mask at least once a week as needed.
If you’re experiencing dry flaky skin on the face, don’t be afraid of using an exfoliator. Used as needed, an exfoliator will help buff away the dry skin patches and dead skin and help your moisturizers absorb into the skin better.
You might notice your lips feeling chapped and dry in the winter - if you don’t already, you should totally carry a lip balm with you everywhere so you can reapply as needed. If your lips are really dry, you can also apply a heavy balm like Vaseline or Aquaphor every night to keep the skin protected.
Finally, don’t forget SPF! Even though the sun isn’t as strong in the winter, you still need to keep your skin protected from sun damage from UV rays.
Switch Up Your Winter Shower Routine
Don’t forget about the skin on your body, too, which you’ll probably notice is becoming drier in the winter months.
As amazing as a hot shower feels after being out in the cold all day, it’s actually not amazing for your skin. Hot water dries out the skin on both the face and body, so try to use warm, not hot water when showering any time of year, but especially in the winter. Shorten the amount of time spent in the shower to avoid your skin from getting super irritated.
After showering, you should try to moisturize your skin immediately (while it’s still wet) with a hydrating body butter or body lotion to lock in the moisture and prevent it from drying out. We like to keep our body lotions in the shower so you don’t forget to apply as soon as you turn the water off! Also, any time your skin gets wet, like after washing your hands, you should always apply lotion to keep the moisture in. Make it easy for you by keeping your favorite hand lotion by the sink so you don’t forget to apply.
We touched on exfoliating the face, but don’t be afraid to treat the rest of your body in the winter. In fact, exfoliating is a great way to buff away dry, flaky skin to reveal smooth and glowing skin underneath. Aim to exfoliate in the shower at least 2-3x per week to keep the dry skin to a minimum, paying special attention to areas like the elbows, knees and heels which are sometimes prone to “cracking” from dryness in the winter. Our buffing beans are a great shower accessory, and not only will your skin feel smooth and supple after, but you’ll smell delicious too!
Make Changes Around the House to Treat Dry Skin
Arguably one of the worst parts of winter is how dry the air inside your house becomes as a result of turning up the heat. Try to keep the heat at a low or moderate setting to avoid really dry air - because the drier the air, the drier your skin will feel.
Another great thing you can do around the house for your skin is to invest in a great humidifier. There’s a reason why your skin looks better in the summer and when in a humid climate. Bring some of that magic into your own home by adding a humidifier into your bedroom and around the house to keep the air moist and help prevent your skin and nasal passages from drying out. Humidifiers are everywhere these days, so it’s easier than ever to find one that fits your budget and room size.
Gear Up When Going Outside
We would not blame you if you decided to stay inside all winter and binge-watch your favorite TV shows while sipping on hot chocolate. But, if you do get adventurous and spend your time outdoors, make sure you are adequately protected against the cold to help keep your skin from drying out.
First, mittens or gloves are a must-have. You don’t want the skin on your hands to dry out or your knuckles to crack, so do yourself a favor and get a cute pair of gloves to protect your hands from the cold.
Next, a scarf or something to cover your face is essential. Wrapping a scarf around your face and neck will help you keep warm and protect your skin from being chapped by the cold winter wind.
Finally, make sure you are wearing thick socks to keep your feet warm - it’s not a bad idea to apply a heavy foot cream before slipping on a pair of socks either.
Do you live in a climate that gets cold in the winter? What are some changes you make in your skincare routine to adapt to the drier weather?
Check out some of our other guides on seasonal swaps to make to your skincare routine on the blog here.