How to fix Winter skin woes
Ekkkk! Dull winter skin in full effect! For many people, the cold air can bring more than a rosy glow. It can bring dryness, peeling, tightness and irritation. Not to mention your makeup may not look so amazing at the moment due to skin dullness. The air outdoors lacks humidity and indoor heat in your home can really dehydrate your skin. Plus, certain winter lifestyle habits such as hot showers or hot tubs can really suck the moisture right out of your skin. However, there are some simple changes you can make to alleviate these winter skin woes.
Switch up cleansers
Gel cleansers are great for deeply cleansing the skin when it's hot and humid but can be a bit stripping when it's cooler outside. It's a good idea to switch to a more hydrating cleanser during the colder months of the year. Milk and cream cleansers, as well as the oil cleansing method, are great choices for the dry winter months. They will leave a light layer of hydration on the skin and your face shouldn't feel tight after cleansing. These are great options, especially for dry, mature, sensitive and combination skin types.
If you are oily or and/or acne prone using a creamy cleanser may seem a bit scary. There are options for you too! If you tend to use a salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide cleanser daily, you may want to switch to using it every other day. The in between days, you can add a gentle non-active cleanser such as an aloe cleansing gel to give your skin a break from the drying acids.
Adding a hydrating serum under your favorite moisturizer can really alleviate many of these seasonal issues. A water based hyaluronic acid serum will add water and hydration to the skin without oil. This ingredient can really benefit all skin types, but best for combination, oily and acne-prone skin. Oily skin can still become tight and dehydrated because of lack of water in the skin. A hydrating oil serum is another option, such as organic jojoba oil or my personal favorite organic rose hip seed oil in the evening can really benefit dry, sensitive or mature skin types.
This is definitely one of the most commonly underrated skin care steps that can really alleviate dry winter skin. If you are not removing that crunchy layer of dead skin, when you moisturize that layer is sucking up all the hydration like a sponge. Foundation and concealer will stick to these patches of dry dead skin resulting in a patchy makeup application. Removing that layer of dead skin will allow the penetration of serums and moisturizer to be absorbed more effectively. In turn making your skin MORE hydrated.
Enzymes are definitely my preferred recommendation of exfoliation, especially for cold weather because you are removing and dissolving dead skin without stripping the skin like a traditional scrub may. Not to mention it is way less irritating and aggressive than a scrub. Enzymes work by applying a thin layer to the skin and letting it do it's magic for the recommended amount of time (usually 5-10 mins) then rinsing it off. If you would like to read more check out my blog post on enzyme peels.
Mask it up!
Sometimes you just need an added hydration boost. After exfoliation is ideal for applying a mask for better absorption. I recommend avoiding any clay or charcoal masks when you are looking to add moisture. Hydrating sheet masks and cream masks are really great. An added benefit of a cream mask is that you can apply a thin layer as you would a moisturizer at night and you can actually sleep in giving you an added boost.
Things to avoid
Though a nice hot shower may feel amazing when it's cold out, washing your face with hot water is a big no-no. Hot water heats up and melts any sebum in the skin stripping the skin of it's natural moisture.
Toners and tonics with witch hazel or alcohol should be avoided. They can also strip the skin of it's natural oils causing further dryness, irritation and redness to the skin.
Don't forget about your body
Hands, feet and pretty much your entire body can feel tight, dry and itchy as well. These areas also need a good exfoliation and moisturization. Body scrubs that contain oil are really great because it will exfoliate and also leave a light layer of moisture on the skin.
For a scrumptious cellulite minimizing homemade body scrub, check out my coffee scrub recipe!