Dry skin and winter shouldn’t be best friends. But here we are. If cold weather seems to reduce moisture in your skin, you’re not alone. “In winter, the humidity in the air decreases. As a result, our skin tends to lose more moisture than usual,” says Kavita Mariwalla, MD, board-certified dermatologist in West Islip, New York. Indoor heating, inside-outside temperature swings, and even thick clothing can make parched skin worse.
Aside from flaky skin, one of the most annoying symptoms associated with dry skin is itchiness, says Dr. Properly moisturizing from head to toe will help keep your skin barrier intact, help retain moisture – and eliminate potential irritants. This is true for everyone, but especially those with skin conditions like eczema who have a compromised skin barrier, the study notes. For these people, moisturizing with lipids and ceramides will help restore and protect this skin barrier, while helping it retain much-needed water and reducing potential sensitivity to allergens or irritants. response to an outbreak, notes the National Eczema Association.
She says other general lifestyle tips to combat dry skin include ditching the dryer’s fabric softener or sheets entirely, using “free and clear” cleaners, using a hair dryer. humidity during bedtime and wear cotton fabrics (and avoid wool), she says.
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You can also turn to the following three skincare bloggers and influencers for their hydration. These smart and stylish professionals focus on sustainable beauty, organic options, and skin-care tricks that can actually be done. This is how they stay smooth, no matter the weather.
1. Adjust your showering routine to keep your face scaly
Danielle Grey, a beautician and founder of The Style and Beauty Doctor (@stylenbeautydoc), is no stranger to winter – she lives in New York City. To combat facial dryness that’s all too common this time of year, she recommends taking a warm shower. She said: “A hot shower might seem reasonable because it’s so cold, but that heat can really rob it of the moisture it’s struggling to maintain during the colder months. After stepping out, while the skin is still damp, apply a moisturizer to enhance absorption of the active ingredients. Apply an even layer of a hydrating serum first, followed by the rest of your routine and finished with sunscreen, she says.
Try No7 Lift & Luminate Triple Action Day Cream SPF 30, $26.99, Ulta.com.
2. Get rid of crow’s feet with hyaluronic acid
Right now, you might be looking at yourself in the mirror and thinking: When did the lines around my eyes become so obvious? That’s another thing you can blame in the winter. “Most wrinkles around the eyes aren’t necessarily wrinkles; more commonly due to dehydrated skin,” says Katie Sobelman, esthetician and skincare educator at Organic Esthetician (@the_organic_esthetician). She likes facial products with hyaluronic acid. “This is a humectant [meaning it draws water into the skin] can hold up to a thousand times its weight in water,” she said. (Research backs up this superpower claim!) Apply hyaluronic acid serum all over face. On top, apply an eye cream containing ceramides. “These create a protective barrier on the skin, increasing moisture and locking in moisture,” she says.
RELATED: 10 surprising causes of dehydrated skin
3. Solve the upper arms by rebuilding your barrier
Florence Williams, a content creator focused on natural hair care and cruelty-free beauty in Atlanta (@theblendedbeauty) has eczema and often has flare-ups on her biceps. To help restore the skin barrier, she uses a cream called Skinfix Barrier +, which contains lipids and proteins. “Over time, it repaired my skin and helped it become healthy again,” says Williams.
She’s also made changes to her diet that she’s found can reduce her breakouts. This includes reducing the amount of gluten she eats (over the years she’s discovered that wheat protein aggravates her skin), increasing probiotics through supplements and through fermented foods like kimchi, and focus on anti-inflammatory foods like salmon, blueberries, and cherries.
Try Skinfix Barrier + Triple Lipid-Peptide Face Cream, $50, Sephora.com.
4. Raise the Ante in Knee and Elbow Moisturizing
Knees and elbows can be important sites for dry, chapped skin, says Mariwalla, because, as mentioned, the skin is thicker here.
There needs to be a heavier hand with hydrating products. In addition to applying your usual body moisturizer, continue by applying “a thin layer of something like kerosene (Vaseline) or Aquaphor Healing Ointment,” Gray recommends.
Try Aquaphor Healing Ointment for Dry, Chapped or Irritated Skin, $17.59, Target.com.
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5. Exfoliate to soften feet and heels
There’s nothing like winter heels, which tend to lead to cracking, despite being tucked in all day. Mariwalla says areas of thicker skin and heels are more prone to dryness.
“The best way to tackle dry feet is to start with exfoliating,” says Sobelman. “This removes any dead skin that might be preventing products from penetrating properly,” she says. Her aim is oil-based scrubs because the exfoliating ingredients will remove dead skin, and the oil base will help moisturize. (Your pick doesn’t have to be marketed specifically for the feet, but could be any body scrub.) Then, apply foot cream and socks — warm. will help the ingredients seep into the skin, she says.
6. Consider CBD-based topical treatments for thighs
When Williams broke out with a birthmark on her thigh, she applied a layer of CQuell Spot Treatment. It’s a steroid-free cream that contains 200 milligrams (mg) of CBD, plus terpenes (another chemical found in hemp) to calm angry skin. “I put it on an area on my thigh and my itching subsided in a few minutes,” she says. Williams will also apply an ice pack for a few minutes to reduce swelling. While the use of CBD in skin conditions, including eczema, is promising, as these products may have anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties, ultimately more research is needed to determine their role in the treatment of these skin conditions, according to an article published in December 2020 in Clinical, cosmetic and therapeutic dermatology.
Buy CQuell Spot Treatment, $34.99, CQuell.com.
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7. Quick exfoliator for lips
You may feel as though you’re addicted to lip balm right now. Just going outside with the strong wind and snow is enough to make you red around your mouth. The best way to get rid of lip peeling? “Exfoliate regularly,” says Gray. If you’ve found a lip scrub you love, then go ahead and use it. But it is not necessary to have a separate product. The genius trick she used? “I just gently rub the wet toothbrush on my lips,” she said. Follow up with a lip balm. That said, don’t overdo it – as the American Academy of Dermatology warns, exfoliating any part of the skin too much can cause irritation and redness.
8. Maintain a good routine for the whole body for smooth skin
To stay hydrated overall, you’ll need to be extra vigilant with your winter skin care routine, and that can correct areas of skin that are particularly prone to dryness. Case in point: your feet. “Due to the distance from the feet to the heart, the circulation here is slower. When you’re dry, skin tends to recover more slowly, says Mariwalla.
That’s why prevention pays off. “My body routine includes washing my face with a body oil, body oil, and body butter,” says Williams. To aid in general skin hydration, she also loves taking a daily fish oil supplement, specifically OMG! Omega the Great by HUM.
Try OMG! Omega the Great, $30, HUMNosystem.com.
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