Winter’s extreme weather can cause the skin on your face, body, hands, and feet to dry out. Cold weather slows the function of your sebaceous oil glands so they produce less oil, leaving your skin less protected and less able to efficiently retain moisture. And in winter, your skin is exposed not only to low temperatures, wind, and dry air outdoors, but also to warm, artificially heated air indoors. Both make your skin thirsty.
Dry skin may become irritated, itchy, flaky, rough, or chapped. Cracked or irritated skin is vulnerable to infection. Moisturizing lotions, creams, and oils hydrate your skin, prevent water loss when you are exposed to the elements, and help your skin maintain its natural moisture balance.
Key ingredients to look for in winter skin products are hyaluronic acid (nature’s moisture magnet), linolenic and linoleic essential fatty acids, glycerin, and panthenol (vitamin B5). To maximize the effect of your moisturizer and protect your skin from the elements during the winter months, bathe and shower in warm, rather than hot water, avoiding harsh, drying soaps.
Our favorite supplement for relieving dry skin is omega-3 fatty acids from fish oils. Try to get about 1 gm of fish oil with DHA and EPA per day.
Use gentle cleansers on your face and body that won’t strip the skin’s natural oils. Dermatologists are now telling us that frequent hot showers tend to dry the skin, disrupting its natural barrier to moisture loss and its resistance to infection, so turn the tap to warm.
Exfoliate your skin (face and body) once a week for dry skin, and two or three times a week for oily skin. Exfoliation not only removes dead surface skin and dulling debris, but also helps to stimulate new skin cell growth. After a good buffing, your skin is ready to soak up hydration.
Moisturize your face and entire body immediately after each shower or bath with nutrient-rich lotions, oils, or creams. Almond and grapeseed oil are the quickest fixes for dry skin. They soak into your skin faster than creamy moisturizers. If your skin is extra dry and rough, opt for a thicker oil such as avocado. If you’re prone to breakouts, try jojoba oil.
Be careful not to suffocate your facial skin. Overusing heavy moisturizers may inhibit dry skin’s natural production of oil and will clog oily skin’s pores. Oily skin responds better to lotions than creams.
Hand creams are thicker than regular moisturizers and are also great for keeping elbows, knees, and feet soft. Apply hand cream whenever your hands are exposed to water, and use sunscreen when they are exposed to sunlight, even in winter.
Rescue dry winter skin with Hugo Naturals French Lavender Massage & Body Oil. Almond and jojoba oils, vitamin E, glycerin, and organic essential oils restore skin that needs a little extra care and hydration. Available in six other scents.
Quench thirsty skin with derma-e Hyaluronic Hydrating Mist. Hyaluronic acid, green tea, vitamin C, and aloe cool, refresh, and rehydrate your face, neck, or wherever skin is dry. Spray over makeup to set in place.
Heal dry, chapped hands with Earth Science Purfection Hand Cream. This lightly fragranced cream absorbs quickly to soothe and soften hands with vitamins C and E, aloe vera, shea butter, and jojoba and avocado oils. Rub on rough spots like elbows and heels.
Soothe and protect dry, sensitive skin with Dr. Hauschka Skin Care Rose Body Moisturizer. Precious rose petal extract, rose essential oil, and rose hip extract in this rich and silky lotion support your skin’s natural defense against the harsh winter elements.