8 Tips to Try on Winter Dry Skin and Products to Help

Dry skin top tips for

Dry skin top tips for

[Updated] Winterize your skin! 

Winter has arrived! Or what us San Diegans consider winter at least. Nonetheless it can mean some not so pleasant changes in our skin. With the transition from fall to winter the humidity drops drastically and the air outdoors becomes arid and dry. Plus, lifestyle habits such as the tendency to take hot showers when it’s cold can really suck the moisture right out of your skin. When the skin becomes dehydrated not only does it feel tight, dry and uncomfortable. It can also peel, become red and inflamed and may even break out because the skin is trying to compensate for the dehydration. 

Here are some changes you can make in your skin care routine and lifestyle to have gorgeous glowing skin all winter long!

1. Avoid Hot Showers

Essentially hot water melts the oils in your skin and strips it away. This leads to dry and inflamed skin. Taking a hot bath or shower is tempting when it’s chilly out, but warm is best for your skin. At the very least wash your face with lukewarm water instead of hot.

2. Switch Cleansers

Gel or foam cleansers are great for deeply cleansing the skin when it's hot and humid, but can be a bit stripping when it's cold outside. It's a good idea to switch to a more hydrating cleanser during the colder months of the year. This includes a milky, cream or balm cleanser. They will leave a very light layer of hydration on the skin and your face shouldn't feel tight after cleansing.

3. Add a Serum

Adding a hydrating serum under your favorite moisturizer can really alleviate many of these seasonal skin woes. A water based hyaluronic acid serum will add water and hydration to the skin without oil. Don’t let the word “acid” fool you, there is nothing striping about this ingredient. It’s like giving the skin a drink of water. Hyaluronic acid holds 1,000 times its weight in water! This ingredient can really benefit all skin types, including oily and acne prone skin. The best is SkinCeuticals Hydrating B5 Gel.

Available at www.skinceuticals.com for $78

4. Extra Hydration

Adding a more emollient moisturizer to your skin care routine during the winter months is a great idea too. Even oily skin can still become tight and dehydrated because of lack of water, not lack of oil. A hydrating oil serum or even just a straight oil such as organic jojoba or my personal favorite organic hemp seed oil in the evening can really benefit all skin types including oily and acne prone.  I always recommend choosing a moisturizer for specific skin types and conditions along with certain hydrating non-comedogenic ingredients. These ingredients include ceramides, glycerin, rosehip oil, grape seed oil and aloe vera to list a few.

5. Exfoliate

You might think that exfoliating dry skin would be counter productive. But in reality exfoliating that layer of dead skin will allow the penetration of serums and moisturizer to be absorbed even better. In turn making your skin more hydrated. Plus, the benefits of using a product such as a fruit enzyme peel will help to minimize those new sunspots that popped up this past summer. Enzymes are great for cold weather exfoliation because you are removing dead skin with out stripping the skin like a traditional scrub could.  My favorite is the delicious smelling Papaya Enzyme Peel from Elemis. It’s creamy and gentle, yet very effective. 

Available at Nordstrom or www.timetospa.com for $43

6. Personalize It

When making seasonal changes in your winter skin care routine you should think about a few things. Take into consideration your age, climate, skin type and skin conditions. For example, living in Southern California with plenty of sun year round will be much different than living in a cold snowy climate. You may want to simply make one change to your skin can routine or switch out/add several things. You know your skin best! Also, traveling could affect your skin too. Dry, recycled air on a plane dehydrates the skin. Then on top of the flight maybe you are going on a snowy ski trip, which can too be very dry. A sudden change in climate from a vacation very much affects the skin so think ahead when traveling for your skin’s needs.

7. The Sun and Vitamin D in the Winter

Vitamin D is an amazing and necessary vitamin we all need in our bodies to remain healthy. An astonishing fact is that even in the Sunshine state of California 1 in 4 people are vitamin D deficient. During the winter months the sun sets much earlier and even before most of us leave our jobs for the day. This makes it difficult to receive much-needed dose of vitamin D.  You can’t blame us though as we have been told for years to avoid the sun and wear sunscreen anytime we will be outdoors.

However, let’s not completely throw caution to the wind and forego sun protection all together! Remember just because the air has cooled doesn’t mean the sun’s harsh rays aren’t damaging your skin. All that is needed is 15 minutes of non-protected sunshine per day. It is best to venture outdoors for your dose of sunshine during the earlier morning hours before the sun is much stronger in the afternoon. 

Considering only 1% of what you ingest actually reaches the skin it is best to use topical serum on the skin. The San Diego based skin care line Skin Authority makes a fabulous topical VitaD Fortified Topical Elixir to apply vitamin D directly to the skin. 

Available at The Spa at Torrey Pines or online at Skin Authority.com for $59

8. Lips and Body

Let’s not forget these especially dry areas. Your lips do not have oil glands and are one of the thinnest areas of skin on your body. This means without oil glands there is no natural lubrication being produced for your lips.  As for the skin on your body that too can dry out especially the areas that you shave like your legs. If your legs feel rough and scaly you may want to try a body moisturizer with lactic acid in it. It will dissolve dead skin cells while adding hydration to the skin. Or you may even consider taking a milk bath. Milk is full of softening lactic acid and is super hydrating to the skin. All you need is a quart of milk poured in to your tub. If you aren’t into dumping milk into your tub AmLactin makes a great body moisturizer with 12% lactic acid in it.

Available at www.drugstore.com for $15

Winter does not have to be a horrible, dry, itchy time of year if you take the right steps in prevention and treatment.  Enjoy the season!

Dana DiCillo is an aestheticians and beauty blogger. If you would like to read more beauty, and skin care tips check out her blog at www.babeandbeauty.com

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