As a part of our 12 Months to Transform Skin Care series, we’re featuring a complete guide for winterizing your skin care routine – including the leading tips and treatments for maintaining gorgeous, glowing skin during cold, dry weather.
Cool weather is just around the corner. Take some time to review your skin care routine and see which summer formulas need to be swapped out before winter arrives. From tips about daily sun protection (yes – even in winter!) and the latest, most effective products for defending against dryness, here’s your winter skin care guide.
Why does skin change with the seasons?
Whether you live in an uber-cold climate or in a more moderate place without much snow, the months between November and March are likely to bring cooler, drier air and more wind. Keep in mind that no matter how much time you spend outside during the cold weather months, your skin is still affected by winter. In addition to the cold, windy outdoor air, your skin will also respond to the drier indoor atmosphere that results from the furnace, fireplace and other heat sources that suck humidity from the air.
The way that winter affects your complexion has as much to do with your skin type as it does with how dramatic the weather is where you live. If you have especially oily skin during the summer months, you may find that your skin is balanced and normal when cold weather arrives. If your skin is just right in the summer, you might need an extra dose of hydration during the winter. It’s all about staying in-tune with your skin and paying close attention to your complexion. Even if you’ve never noticed any visible changes in your skin with the changing seasons, your skin can respond differently to seasons as you age.
Tweak your routine
The transition from the cold temperatures outside to the warm indoor air may trigger dry, itchy skin. While your first thought might be to infuse a bit more hydration into your daily routine, it’s also important to pay attention to other parts of your daily regimen, including ingredients and exfoliation.Exfoliate often. When it comes to treating dry skin, it’s most common to reach for a moisturizer – but that’s not enough. Julyne Derrick of About Beauty points out that regular exfoliation enhances your skin’s ability to absorb lotion. So be sure to exfoliate from head to toe on a weekly or biweekly basis. For the face, use a gentle scrub. For the body, applying a salt or sugar scrub during your shower works well, but using a dry skin brush beforehand is best.Avoid hot water. Hot water robs skin of moisture, triggering dry skin. So, no matter how much you long for that steamy hot bath, if you battle with dry skin, turn down the temperature. Also, avoid showering more than once per day, and try your best to keep showers as quick as possible. Skip hot tubs, which not only bathe your skin in steamy hot water, but also potentially harsh chemicals. Pay attention to ingredients. Soaps and alcohol-based cleansers can be drying to skin, so choose creamy cleansers that include ingredients like glycerin or petrolatum. Lotions with shea butter are ideal for the body, while hyaluronic acid, niacinamide and dimethicone are great ingredients for the face, in addition to non-clogging oils including avocado oil, mineral oil, primrose oil, almond oil, sunflower oil and coconut oil.Don’t forget SPF. Think you can skip SPF during the snowy winter months? Think again! Not only are UV rays still damaging to the skin, but when they bounce off the bright snow they are even more potent that summertime rays. Always use a broad-spectrum sunscreen on your face and any other exposed areas of skin.
Swap out your summer skin formulas
Not sure how to tweak your winter routine? From face to feet, here are our favorite formulas to add to your cold weather regimen.
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