If you live in a place where temperatures drop in the fall and winter, you’ve probably dealt with dry, flaky skin. I certainly get dry patches on my face, flakiness on my legs from wearing jeans, and cracks in my hands that can result in bleeding (tmi, I know). Besides the typical “drink more water and stay hydrated” plan, I have a few hacks I use to beat cold weather skin in the wintertime that I’d love to share with you all!
- Mask, Mask, Mask
Just so you know, I’m obsessed with face masks. They’ve changed my skin over the past two years and I started receiving weekly compliments on how “glowy” my skin is since using them. When my face is dry, I try to stick with masks that promote “brightness,” “moisture,” “hydration,” and “nourishment.” These keywords mean the masks contain super moisturizing agents meant to target dryness and breath life into dull skin. I also use foot and hand masks at least once a month during the winter so they don’t get too dry. I love getting out of the shower, throwing on a foot mask, putting on fuzzy socks, grabbing my cup of tea, and curling up with a good book. Masks also force me to devote time to pampering myself. It’s like scheduled self-care!
I know that exfoliation may sound counter productive when your skin is dehydrated, but removing dead, dry skin is the best way to ensure any creams your put on your face get fully absorbed. I’m not talking about a harsh scrub that leaves your face red – try a clay mask or peel that focuses on brightening or gently removing dead skin cells, not a whole layer off your face. And, of course, be sure to avoid anything with drying properties that target “oily skin,” as they can contain drying agents that are less obvious. Be sure to steer clear of harsher chemicals like retinol, or at least use them sparingly. Also, exfoliants don’t have to be regulated to your face – I love using a sugar scrub all over my body or a hand exfoliant to get rid of dead skin. You feel so smooth afterwards!
The Ouai Scalp and Body Scrub, $38, has your whole body covered!
3. Oils and Serums
You may feel weird about doubling up on moisturizers, but they can really save your skin in the long run. Before bed, if I feel like my skin has begun to flake, I’ll use my toner to get rid of any debris or dirt on my face, then start with a light layer of a vitamin enriched serum or oil. Once I’ve given this first layer time to absorb, I’ll layer either my usual night moisturizer or a heavier hydrating cream on top to seal the serum’s moisture in. This process gives your skin a lot of great nutrients to work with overnight as you sleep!
My favorite serums and oils: Drunk Elephant NightBright Duo, $28, and Mario Badescu Vitamin C Serum, $45 – Although these are on the pricier side, you use such a small amount of product that the investment lasts you over half a year!
4. Beware of Heat
As much as the cold air and wind can damage your skin, so can extreme heat. Dry heat in your home, using a hair dryer after you shower, and bathing in hot water can all contribute to unhealthy skin and hair. I know I’m guilty of hopping into a scalding hot shower after being outside in the cold – it just feels soooo good. But, I try to remind myself to towel dry my hair or wrap it in my scarf and keep the showers to a nice warm temperature without going too hot. This simple reminder can save your skin from dealing with constant hot/cold extremes that throw it out of wack.
5. Carry your Protection
The best defense is always being prepared. I keep tiny tubes of hand cream at my desk and in my pocketbook (both work and weekend bags), as well as a larger tube by my bed so I don’t forget to moisturize before going to sleep. I make sure to moisturize before leaving the house in the morning and I carry Aquaphor around for chapped lips and any other dry patches that might surface during the day. Knowing that I have moisturizers at the ready makes me less stressed if I get a nasty case of windburn during my lunch break and have to head back to the office.
Following all these tricks has helped preserve my soft skin during the wintertime and prevent flaking and cuts. Let me know if you use any of these tricks or if you have ones of your own!