It’s no secret that dry skin sucks. You know, that solid itchy feeling, the flakes coming out of nowhere, and the rough spots? It’s not fun. As the temperature drops in winter, so does the level of moisture in our skin, making our bodies ultra dehydrated. And while you may spend less time outdoors and more indoors mastering your quarantine self-care routine, dry heat from a thermostat can exacerbate the risk of redness and dryness. Rest assured, however, our moisturizers will ensure that no ash is created against you. Next, these expert tips for fighting dry skin in winter will make you radiant, smooth and shiny faster than ever.
“During the colder seasons, our skin is under double attack,” says Dr. for TZR. Michelle Henry, a certified dermatologist at the Center for Laser and Skin Surgery in New York City. “Typically when you go outside, dry cold air draws moisture out of our skin. And when you warm up indoors, air from dry heat also sucks in moisture. So basically your body is compromised on two fronts.” Colder environments facilitate the evaporation of moisture that our skin retains and that is why the use of skin care that blocks moisture is crucial.
How to cure dry skin in winter: Moisturize with rich creams and butter
In winter, switch from lighter lotions to heavier, thicker creams. “Lotions have a higher water content and won’t be able to effectively lock in moisture like creams,” Henry says. Look for ingredients like hyaluronic acid that you will add to your routine for extra moisture. Hyaluronic acid, also known as the “moisture molecule”, holds 1,000 times its weight in water and acts like a sponge that retains water in the skin, according to Healthline.
Ceramides are also critical, another mandatory ingredient for winter skin care. “These are natural lipids in our skin that retain water and keep the skin hydrated and soft,” she adds.
How to cure dry skin in winter: Use a humidifier
Room heating is super dehydrating. That’s why dermatologist Dendy Engelman, Ph.D. Med., Manhattan Dermatology & Cosmetic Surgery recommends to all its patients the use of humidifiers in winter. “The optimal level of humidity is 40 to 60%, which helps maintain the protective function of the skin and reduces transdermal water loss by adding clean moisture to the air all day and night,” says Engelman. “I love the new canopy humidifier, a fog-free humidifier that’s anti-mold and extremely easy to maintain.”
How to cure dry skin in winter: skip hot showers
As relaxing as they can be, hot showers can dry out the skin and disrupt the lipid layer that traps moisture. “Hot water causes damage to the furthest layer of the skin, and as those cells are disrupted, the skin dries out and can’t lock in moisture the way it should,” Engelman explains. Alternating cold and hot temperatures back and forth makes the first layer of skin more vulnerable and as a result drier. Yikes. To prevent skin peeling, take a lukewarm shower for less than 10 to 15 minutes and use a gentle, moisturizing body wash with nutrients for happy, healthy skin.
How to cure dry skin in winter: Peeling
Exfoliation is crucial for maintaining healthy, radiant skin. By nature, your skin sheds dead cells every 28 days. However, when you hunt for heavier products in the winter, it slows down the process, which makes it even more important to remove those dead layers of skin. Exfoliation not only makes the skin softer, but ensures that all the good ingredients you invest in actually penetrate the skin. Do not go also crazy though – your body may be more sensitive and prone to irritation due to external dryness, so take a step. Start exfoliating once or twice a week and increase as tolerated.
How to cure dry skin in winter: A layer of oil
If you don’t lubricate creams with oils, are you hydrated at all? To be clear, oil on dry skin does nothing – it will become great, but functionally it won’t do much for you. The most important thing is to apply moisturizer and body oil as soon as you get out of the shower or bath on slightly damp skin. “Personally, I like to use Augustinus Bader body oil, which contains vitamin E, moisturizing argan, nourishing olive oil and squalane to moisturize the skin and provide hydration,” Engelman tells me. You can also skip the cream and just use body oil – but only while your skin is still moist. Coconut oil is light, has antimicrobial properties and works wonders for dry skin.
How to cure dry skin in winter: Pack hand creams
With the constant application of laundry and disinfectants due to the pandemic, our hands are drier than ever. Heal ashy hands with emulsifying creams that provide relief in movement. Chanel’s La Crème cream in my head lives for free, thanks to packaging worthy of Instagram and a blend of hydrating plant species that prevent premature aging.
How to cure dry skin in winter: Mask
Flash news: Sheet masks are not just for your face. Daily texting, typing and driving along with hand washing create havoc on your hands and quickly deplete moisture. Treat your skin with a moisturizing hand mask with the use of hand cream. For a quick pick-up, apply a self-heating hand + a cuticle mask that is poured into the oils. It is easy to use and restores dry skin in minutes.
How to cure dry skin in winter: Drink more water
Ask any skin care expert and they will reveal to you the secret to plump healthy looking H2O skin. “There is no dermatologist who will tell you that hydration is not important, because hydration is a crucial function of skin health,” Engelman shares. In addition, when the skin is dehydrated, it actually creates more oil to make up for the missing water, which can lead to worsening acne, irritation and dry spots. Increase your water intake and aim for eight glasses a day for optimal hydration.