Ah, fall! The leaves start to change colours, there’s nice cool weather, and everything feels fresh. Well, everything except for your skin.
As the temperature drops, so does the moisture in the air, and with it, your skin starts to feel dry. Winter is on its way, bringing with it even drier air and the potential for chapped lips, flaky skin, and a general feeling of tightness and discomfort.
But don’t despair! Just because the weather outside is less than ideal, doesn’t mean you have to suffer through it. We’ve rounded up 12 dermatologist-approved tips to help you get through the winter without sacrificing your skin’s health.
1. Use a humidifier.
This is number one for a reason. A humidifier adds moisture back into the air, helping to combat the dryness that causes your skin to feel tight and dry. Of course, you’ll still be exposed to the elements in the outdoors, but at least when you’re home, your skin will be getting a much-needed boost of hydration to keep it healthy through the winter!
2. Add hyaluronic acid or glycerin to your routine
Both hyaluronic acid and glycerin are humectants, meaning they help to keep your skin hydrated by trapping moisture. They work best when used in tandem with a good moisturizer, so look for products that contain both ingredients. Pro-tip is to lightly dampen your face before you use hyaluronic acid to lock as much moisture in as possible. It’ll be a whole new experience that way as opposed to using it on dry skin!
3. Try thick moisturiser
This goes hand in hand with the last tip. Applying a thick layer of moisturizer right after you get out of the shower or bath helps to lock in all that moisture your skin just absorbed. And don’t be afraid to really lather it on! This is the time to be generous with your moisturizer since your skin will absorb it all up. Just make sure you choose one that’s right for your skin type, so you don’t end up clogging your pores.
4. Protect your skin's natural moisture
When your skin is already feeling dry, the last thing you want to do is strip it of its natural oils. That’s why it’s important to use a mild cleanser that won’t over-dry your skin. And when you’re washing your face, avoid hot water. Try using lukewarm or cool water. It might not feel as nice, but your skin will thank you for it!
5. Exfoliate regularly
Exfoliating is important all year round, but it’s especially crucial in the winter when dead skin cells can accumulate and make your skin look dull. Use a gentle exfoliating cleanser or AHA BHA exfoliant a few times a month to get those dead skin cells off and reveal healthy, radiant skin underneath. Just be sure not to overdo it, as excessive exfoliation can actually damage your skin.
6. Cover up when you’re outdoors.
Your skin is especially susceptible to the drying effects of winter weather. While it’s important to make sure you wear enough moisturiser don’t forget to cover up the rest of your skin, too! Wearing a scarf, hat, and gloves when you’re outdoors will help to protect your skin from the cold and wind.
7. Use a lip balm
Your lips can get extremely dry because of the winter weather, so make sure you’re using a lip balm that contains Shea butter or beeswax to help seal in moisture. A great way to make this even more effective is to lather it on at night after your nighttime skincare routine, and you’ll have soft lips all day!
8. Avoid excessive sun exposure
It might not feel like it, but the sun can still be damaging to your skin in the wintertime. So make sure you’re using a daily sunscreen with at least SPF 30, even if you don’t think you’ll be spending much time outdoors. And if you are outside for extended periods of time, be sure to reapply your sunscreen every couple of hours.
9. Drink plenty of water
Staying hydrated is important for your overall health, but it’s also crucial for keeping your skin healthy and glowing. Make sure you’re drinking at least eight glasses of water a day, and even more if you can. You can also try infusing your water with fruit or herbs to give it a little extra flavour.
10. Get enough sleep and manage stress levels
This is something that’s important all year round, but it’s especially true in the winter when your skin can be more susceptible to stress and inflammation. Make sure you’re getting at least eight hours of sleep a night, and try to find ways to manage stress during the day. Meditation, exercise, and spending time in nature are all great ways to reduce stress. The lower your stress levels are, the happier your skin will be!
11. Don’t Skip the Sunscreen
Many people believe they don’t need to wear sunscreen during winter because the sun’s rays are not as strong. However, this is not the case. The sun’s ultraviolet (UV) rays are just as harmful in winter as in summer. In fact, UV exposure can be even more significant in winter because of the reflection of sunlight off snow and ice. As a result, it is essential to protect your skin during winter. Wearing sunscreen with an SPF of at least 15 is an excellent way to do this. In addition, wearing clothing that covers your skin can help to reduce your exposure to UV rays. So don’t forget to pack sunscreen when you hit the slopes this winter!
12: Don’t Use Irritants in Your Skincare
Many people have just unlocked the secrets of retinol or glycolic acid. While they can be great exfoliants, they may be a great problem in the winter. These ingredients can actually make the problem worse by further drying out the skin. Instead, look for gentle ingredients that will help to replenish moisture levels, keeping your skin looking and feeling its best all winter long.
The Bottom Line
Winter might seem like it’s going to take your skin down, but it doesn’t have to be that way. All you have to do is take care of your skin the best way possible, and what’s better than taking the advice of professionals? By following these simple winter skin care tips by dermatologists, you can help to keep your skin healthy and glowing all winter long!