The weather has been extremely cold this winter, and our skin can definitely be affected by getting dry, flaky, and irritated. If you’re applying moisturizer, and it’s still not helping, then follow these winter skin tips to keep your skin calm and comfortable all winter long.
1) Switch to the right kind of moisturizer
Of all the times of year, winter is when you really need to make changes to your home skin care routine. If your moisturizer isn’t doing the trick, the solution is to use the right kind moisturizer with the most effective hydrating ingredients that actually repair the lipid barrier and prevent transepidermal water loss. Some of my favorite moisturizer ingredients for repairing dry, parched, winter skin are safflower, soybean, sweet almond, carrot, borage and sunflower oils as well as ceramides and linoleic acid. These ingredients will correct the lack of oil and lack of hydration deep within your skin and repair your skin’s lipid moisture barrier to make your skin moist, supple and smooth. One of our most popular products we sell in the winter is Phytolipid Comfort Cream because it has the best ingredients for repairing dry skin.
2) Be sure to perform your night time routine
In the winter when the heat is on, the dry air looks for moisture wherever it can get it and that means taking it from your skin. This makes your night time skin care routine crucial in the winter so you can prevent unnecessary dryness. Cleanse, tone (with an alcohol-free toner), apply a skin serum for your skin type followed by moisturizer. Be sure to use it on your neck too as this area is an extension of the face and is equally prone to dryness. Use a good moisturizing cream on your hands and cuticles and body lotion on your arms and legs to keep these areas protected.
3) Use a humidifier, in your bedroom
Whenever the air is dry and moisture is not present, the air draws moisture from wherever it can (through a process called osmosis) and sometimes it will be from your skin. Using a humidifier helps counteract the drying air so moisture is less likely to evaporate from your skin. Other benefits of using a humidifier include less static electricity and being less prone to chapped, cracked lips.
4) Switch to a milder cleanser
Many foaming and gel cleansers made today are formulated with ingredients called Sodium Lauryl Sulfate, Sodium Laureth Sulfate or Ammonium Laureth Sulfate. These are surfactants; cleansing agents that cut oil from the skin. These ingredients are simply too harsh and will strip the water out of the skin after every washing leaving the skin feeling tight and creating more oil and shine. And what you wash with is the MOST important part of your skin care routine. Why? Because if you wash with a foaming cleanser or soap that is too drying, it pulls all the water out of the skin and creates dead, dry skin cell buildup. Then you have to quickly run and put your moisturizer on to put back in what you just took out! It makes no sense! Choose cleansers that avoid Sodium or Ammonium Lauryl Sulfate and won’t rob the skin of much needed water. Here’s the rule: More lather, more drying. Less lather, less drying. All Renée Rouleau foaming cleansers are sulfate-free.
5) Don’t leave your skin bare
Did you know that you have a one-minute window after cleansing your skin to seal in moisture while your skin is damp to prevent severe dehydration? Because the air is so dry in the winter, it looks for water wherever it can get it and this means taking it from your skin at its most vulnerable time after cleansing. When you wash your face, your skin is damp with water afterwards and since water acts like a magnet, it will attract water out from the deep layers of the skin and evaporate into the dry air. The result is even tighter, drier skin. After cleansing, when your skin is still damp, immediately apply moisturizer (or ideally an alcohol-free toner and serum beforehand) so your skin can stay moist and hydrated.
6) Be sure to wear sunscreen
Not using sunscreen on your face since you’re not spending much time outdoors? Think again. The UVA rays, the ones responsible for changing the DNA in the skin causing premature lines, wrinkles and sagging, are almost the same strength from summer to winter and can penetrate through clouds and windows in your home, car, or office. Without fail, a moisturizer with sunscreen should be applied to your skin every single day of the year if you are serious about protecting your skin from the damaging rays. UV light is the #1 cause of premature skin aging and because of this, I say that sunscreen is the best anti-aging product you will ever use. Also, UV rays can interfere with skin-barrier function and prevent skin from maintaining proper moisture levels. Find a formula that is compatible with your skin type and use it faithfully all winter long, and all year long.
Don’t let the dry, cold weather and central heating turn your skin into a dry, flaky mess this winter. Make these adjustments, and you are sure to have soft, smooth skin all winter long.
Renée Rouleau is a skin care expert and celebrity esthetician who believes there’s more to skin than the one-size-fits-all approach. Her exclusive skin care line is based on nine unique skin types, rather than the standard – dry, normal, and oily. Her skin care products, Dallas skin care spas, and her LA and NY pop-up spas attract a celebrity clientele and loyal fans from around the globe. Visit www.ReneeRouleau.com for more information.
Photo Credit: SHEfinds