During the winter, it’s essential to switch up your skin-care routine to keep your skin glowing. Your skin needs an extra hydration boost and relief from the effects of the cold weather. “As the temperature is low and the heater is on, the indoor air gets dehydrated and your skin loses moisture from the environment,” says St. Louis, MO, dermatologist Michelle Tarbox, MD. “Water always moves downhill, even on a microscopic level, and when the level of moisture in the air drops due to the heating process, it practically sucks the water out of your skin.”
We rounded up the top four winter skin-care concerns and selected products to help address them all. Read on and try our picks for yourself, your skin will thank you.
Winter Skin Horror #1: Dry, itchy, cracked body and hands
Use a humidifier at night and while working to help prevent moisture loss indoors. “Humidifying the air can reverse the process of skin dehydration and is particularly helpful for patients with dermatitis,” Dr. Tarbox says. She suggests using distilled water instead of tap water for the best results. “Twice a day, apply a body or hand cream filled with botanical extracts and active ingredients to replenish and protect the skin’s moisture barrier,” says says San Francisco plastic surgeon Edward Miranda, MD.
Skin-Saving Solutions: AHAVA Natural Dead Sea Mud ($15); Avalon Organics ALOE Unscented Hand & Body Lotion ($12); Caswell-Massey Signature Almond & Aloe Body Butter ($28)
Winter Skin Horror #2: Dry, flaky face
Number one tip: “Do not peel the flaky skin! This may lead to further skin damage/scarring. Let it heal on its own,” says Dr. Miranda. Choose anti-aging products with moisturizer. Essential oils, jojoba oil and shea butter oil are all beneficial ingredients found in certain moisturizers. Use products that also contain fat molecules known as ceramides that help protect the skin. It’s also important for people to choose products suited to their skin type. “The less water a moisturizer has, the longer it will last,” Dr. Tarbox explains. “When in doubt, thicker is often better while choosing a skin moisturizer.” Using moisturizer consistently will help prevent dry skin from returning.
Skin-Saving Solutions: bliss firm, baby, firm ($75); Elemis Pro-Intense Lift Effect ($130); L’Oréal Paris Revitalift Triple Power Deep-Acting Moisturizer ($25)
Winter Skin Horror #3: Pale, lackluster skin
Drink plenty of fluids and avoid alcohol when possible. Drinking caffeinated coffee and alcoholic drinks can also lead to dehydration and dry skin. To prevent dehydration, Dr. Tarbox recommends drinking one glass of water for each alcoholic or caffeinated beverage consumed. “Look for products formulated with natural antioxidants, peptides and natural amino acids to hydrate, nourish and illuminate the skin when exposed to cold winter weather. Antioxidants protect from negative effects of harmful assaults and helps to keep the skin looking younger, brighter and healthier,” adds Dr. Miranda.
Skin-Saving Solutions: Meaningful Beauty Crème de Serum ($90); Peter Thomas Roth Camu Camu Vitamin C Brightening Moisturizer ($72); Jane. Cosmetics Skin Primer ($10)
Winter Skin Horror #4: Sensitive, irritated skin
Avoid harsh cleansers. Some cleansers are irritating and can lead to severe dryness. Replace these cleansers with more mild, skin-friendly products to prevent dry skin. “You can look for some beneficial ingredients like essential oils, jojoba oil and shea butter oil,” Dr. Tarbox says.
Skin-Saving Solutions: Erno Laszlo pHormula 3-9 Cream ($265); June Jacobs Intensive Age Defying Hydrating Cleanser ($60); Proactiv Green Tea Moisturizer ($35)