Yes, winter is a magical time of year. But cold temperatures and changes in humidity can be harsh on delicate skin. If you’re struggling with chapping, chafing, flaking and dullness, you’re not alone. It’s normal to experience some irritation along with the changes in the weather. Fortunately, seasonal discomfort isn’t a fact of life. It’s manageable and preventable with a little extra care and the right habits.
Let’s get real about the reason why winter dryness happens and what you can do to replenish lost moisture, prevent irritation and find sweet relief while preserving your skin’s beauty and softness.
Why is winter dryness so common?
Even if you’re not prone to dryness the rest of the year, wintertime creates the perfect storm for dry skin. This is because outdoor and indoor conditions are working against us. Outside, frigid forecasts, harsh winds and precipitation can strip the skin of its natural oils. But inside, the heat is cranked up to keep everyone cozy and hot showers are a popular way to escape the chill. This extreme heat paired with a lack of humidity in indoor air can damage the outer surface of your epidermis, known as the skin barrier, and make it difficult to break the cycle of dryness.
If you’re wondering how you can tell when your skin barrier is damaged, you’ll be able to see it. You’ll notice that it looks dry and irritated, and it may feel different, too. You might see dandruff on your scalp, cracks and rough patches on your hands and face, or feel itching, stinging or general sensitivity on the rest of your body.
Winter-proofing your skin.
As irritating as these things can be, the good news is that they’re not inevitable. There are plenty of ways to get ahead and nip the problem in the bud. Here are our top 7 do’s and don'ts to keep your skin soft, supple and dewy whether you’re preventing, or healing from winter dryness.
1. Do drink more water.
Hydration starts on the inside, so what you put into your body is even more important than what you put on it. Drinking enough water throughout the day helps flush the system and improve overall health, so make a habit of bringing your water bottle with you everywhere.
Water intake from water-rich foods counts, too. Raw veggies and fruit are packed with the moisture your body needs, along with the nutrients that help skin look its most radiant. Not sure how much water you need? A common calculation is to divide your weight in half and aim for that number of ounces each day.
2. Don’t take ULTRA HOT showers and baths.
We’ve said it before, but it’s worth mentioning again. An ultra-hot, steamy shower or bath can feel great on a cold evening, but it’s not worth the itchy, dry red patches that can come afterwards. Stick to warm water to keep your skin and your scalp soft and healthy during the harsh winter months. If you miss the extra warmth, go for a towel warmer instead (or just pop it in the dryer for when you’re done). A toasty towel or robe after a relaxing bath is the feeling of luxury.
3. Do look at ingredients.
Humectants are a powerhouse that help attract moisture to the skin. Hyaluronic acid is a humectant that holds 1,000 times its weight in water – acting as a super magnet for moisture. Our Rejuvenating SKIN Facial Moisturizer and SKIN Intensive Hydrating Serum with Elastaplex® both include plenty of hyaluronic acid to keep skin glowing. Look for thick body creams with hyaluronic acid as well, and apply them when you’re shower-fresh, immediately after patting skin dry to seal moisture in.
4. Don’t throw the whole arsenal at the problem.
Dry, damaged skin needs TLC, but it’s best to keep things simple when healing the skin. Going overboard with targeted treatments, harsh toners, peels and masks can strip your skin, further damaging the barrier and exacerbating the issue. A few gentle, nourishing products used consistently are the strongest defense against (and cure for) dry, irritated skin.
We recommend our simple 3-step system to take the guesswork out of cold-weather skincare. It’s also tempting to cover the symptoms of dryness with heavier makeup – but stick to a trusted tinted moisturizer and spot treat with a creamy concealer where you need a little extra coverage.
5. Do cover up for protection.
Yes, scarves, hats and gloves are an extra step, but they’re more important than we give them credit for. Even for a short walk outside, protecting your hair and skin from extreme temperatures goes a long way to prevent discomfort from chronic dryness. Usually the first area to dry out is our hands, so keep cold-weather gloves on hand and consider wearing rubber gloves when doing the dishes in hot water, too.
6. Don’t spend too much time by the fire or heater.
Spending too much time huddled up near the fire or space heater can have a drying effect as well. Over time, the extreme heat draws moisture away from the skin and hair, and can perpetuate dryness. Don’t deprive yourself of a cozy fireside night with a good movie or book, but do get into the practice of reapplying moisturizer after sitting near a heatsource – and remember to turn on that humidifier! That brings us to our next “do”...
7. Do use a humidifier at home.
Humidifiers are essential when it’s cold outside. They help quickly introduce moisture into the air, so you can keep them running all winter long in the rooms where you spend the most time. Keeping one in your bedroom is a gamechanger for overnight rehydration. The outer layer of your skin will thank you and your houseplants will, too! No humidifier? A pot of water on your stove or radiator works fine.
During the season of extreme cold outside and high heat inside, we’re all facing the realities of dry skin. Keep these tips in mind to protect your skin barrier, replenish lost moisture and prevent irritation for healthy, beautiful skin and hair.
Our entire collection supports the body’s natural ability to stimulate the replenishment of elastin while defending against matrix protein damage caused by aging, stress, sun exposure, weight changes and other factors. You can try NULASTIN risk-free because every one of our products is backed by a 100% Performance Guarantee. If our product(s) do not perform to your expectations, you can exchange or return them at any time [Terms and Conditions Apply].