The days are shorter, the temperatures have dropped and the leaves have long disappeared from the trees. Dry skin season is officially here. Of course, you can get dry skin all year round. But there’s something about this time of the year that just invites it in. As if on cue, skin starts feeling a little too tight after cleansing. Its natural glow disappears. Then, the flaking begins. Not this year. Here are the best skincare tips to prevent and treat dry skin this winter… and beyond!
Why Does Your Skin Get Dry?
Rumor has it, your skin becomes dry when your sebaceous glands slack on the job. They don’t pump up enough sebum and bam, your skin gets dry. It’s true dry skin may lack sebum, but the real problem is your skin’s protective barrier. Your skin has a shield that keeps water locked into the skin. When this shield is damaged here and there, moisture evaporates into thin air. Without it, skin becomes dry, red and flaky.
So, what destroys your shield? A few things:
- Certain medications
- Genetics (some people are born with a poor protective barrier)
- Harsh winds
- Irritating skincare products
- Low temperatures
- Unprotected sun exposure
How To Care For Dry Skin
If your skin’s shield is damaged, adding moisture back into the skin won’t work. You need to seal it in, too. Here’s how:
Limit damage to your skin’s protective barrier
- Scrubbing your skin with physical exfoliants or stiff-bristled cleansing brushes (they can tear and scratch your skin)
- Taking long and hot showers/baths
- Using harsh cleansers and bar soaps (if it leaves your skin squeaky clean, it’s too harsh for you)
- Using skincare products laced with irritants (the worst culprits are alcohol denat, fragrance, peppermint, mint, menthol, and citrus oils)
Now that you know what NOT to do, here’s the fun part. Let’s see what you CAN do to fix your skin:
Use A Gentle Cream Or Oil Based Cleanser
Here’s the trick: every skincare product you use this time of year must be gentle and moisturizing. It should add back moisture without compromising the skin’s barrier. The best candidates for the job are cream or oil based cleansers, such as Luxurious Oil Cleanser: they remove every last trace of dirt, makeup and grime and moisturize skin at the same time. When they’re done, your skin will feel soft, not tight.
Did you know that when your skin is on the dry side, it can’t exfoliate on its own anymore? Dead cells keep accumulating on its surface, preventing your serums and boosters from getting into the skin and compromising their effectiveness. The best way to exfoliate dry skin is with Alpha Hydroxy Acids (AHAs). They dissolve the “glue” that holds skin cells together AND hydrate skin to boot. To give your skin even more of a hydration boost, our 12% AHA Serum With Hyaluronic Acid pairs AHA with Hyaluronic Acid, a humectant that can attract and bind to the skin up to 1000 times its weight in water. If your skin is particularly sensitive at this time and you’d like something even gentler, try an exfoliating cleanser, like Glycolic Acid Clarifying And Resurfacing Facial Cleanser. It’s milder but still does the trick.
Bring Moisture Back
It’s true that moisture alone won’t do the job, but your #1 priority should be to infuse as much as possible back into the skin. Priority #2 is to make sure it stays there (see tip #5 for that). The easiest and quickest way to add moisture back into your skin is with serums and boosters infused with hyaluronic acid. This sugar is a moisture magnet: it attracts water from the environment and binds it there. Even better, it works well both in high and low humidity conditions. On days you’re not exfoliating, get your hyaluronic acid fix from an antiaging serum, like Massive Hydration Hyaluronic Acid Serum with Vitamin C & Matrixyl. These skincare heroes boost collagen production, keeping your skin firm and wrinkle-free. If you want to add hyaluronic acid to your fave moisturizer, try our 100% Pure Hyaluronic Acid Concentrate instead.
Lock Moisture In
So far you’ve focused on limiting the damage and pumping moisture back into the skin. Now, it’s time to seal that moisture in and repair your skin’s protective shield. This is the most important part of your new skincare routine. It’s a breeze, too. What your skin needs is a rich moisturizer filled to the brim with natural oils and butters that can patch up the holes in your skin’s shield. Bonus points if they contain skin-identical ingredients (ie, the substances that make up your skin’s protective barrier), such as ceramides, fatty acids and hyaluronic acid (yes, there it is again!). Mega-Lift All In One Daily Moisturiser fits the bill perfectly. If you’re more into your facial oils, try Moroccan Organic Argan Oil. It’s non-comedogenic and doesn’t feel heavy on the skin.
I know what you’re thinking, sunscreen in winter? Yep. UV rays are present from the moment the sun comes up to the moment it goes down. It doesn’t matter if the sun’s hiding behind thick, black clouds. Its UV rays still hit your skin and disrupt your skin’s protective barrier. Don’t sabotage all your hard work by skipping your sunscreen. SPF 40 Age-Defying Mineral Sunscreen has a matte, non-greasy and lightweight formula that works well even under makeup. If you don’t like the white cast sunscreens can leave behind, opt for the tinted version.
Get A Humidifier
At this time of the year, your skin is constantly exposed to cold weather, dry environments and low humidity from air conditioners and heaters. It’s a deadly combo that sucks all the moisture out of it. Get a humidifier for your home - it will make a huge difference!
Ready to rock soft, glow skin all winter long?