Why does our skin wig out in winter?
Before we get to the solutions, have you ever stopped to think about what really causes winter skin problems? In colder months, humidity levels drop significantly leaving you with less moisture in the air and less moisture in your skin. When you couple that with an increase in indoor heating and long hot showers, your skin inevitably becomes dry, tight and flaky.
How to treat dry skin in winter
If you’re reading this post, our guess is that winter may have already done some damage to your skin, so let’s break down exactly what you need to do to undo that damage.
Treating your face
When you roll out of bed in the morning and look into the mirror, are your first thoughts – I’ve got a serious case of dry-winter-skin face? Your words will probably jumble together like that if you haven’t had coffee yet, but if that rings a bell, you need to get to work in bringing your skin back to life. The only way to do this is to implement a routine of cleansing, exfoliating and hydrating.
To prep your skin for hydration, cleansing and exfoliating with the right ingredients will certainly help. Our Skin Smoothing Exfoliator, which is the first step in the Proactiv routine, sloughs away those dry dead skin cells, but it also contains an ingredient called sodium hyaluronate, a humectant that draws moisture to the skin.
When picking a moisturiser, you want to choose one that contains fatty omega oils and hyaluronic acid (a powerful humectant able to hold hundreds of times its weight in water) so that it leaves you with happy, bouncy and hydrated skin all day. Our Complexion Perfecting Hydrator, the third step in our routine, has both of these ingredients. It’s also important that you apply your moisturiser immediately after you wash your face. Your moisturiser will absorb much more deeply when your skin is still damp.
Got dry winter skin and breaking out at the same time? Well, that’s rough. It’s no secret that using topical acne treatments can cause dryness and irritation. If your skin is getting drier during the colder months, one option is to reduce the frequency of your treatments. Slow down and gradually increase once your skin is ready. And the most important thing is to always follow your treatment with an application moisturiser.
Treating dry, chapped lips
Sometimes it feels like our lips get it the worst in winter. But the good news is that you only need to treat them the same way that you treat your skin – cleanse, exfoliate and hydrate.
In the morning try using a soft toothbrush to gently exfoliate your lips with lukewarm water. Gently buff in circular motions until the excess skin falls away. Follow up by using a nourishing lip balm. Keep it with you at all times and reapply every time they start to feel dry.
Treating cracked hands
Extremely dry cracked hands can get worse in winter. To keep them hydrated, avoid over-washing your hands with hot water and steer clear of harsh soaps. After you wash your hands, moisturise immediately while your hands are still damp. If your day-to-day requires you to frequently wash your hands, use latex or vinyl gloves to keep your hands away from harsh chemicals.
Treating your winter eczema and dermatitis
If you have eczema or dermatitis, winter can cause you to have flare-ups. During the colder months be sure to stay away from known irritants and speak to your dermatologist to ensure that you’re using the best topical cream containing a hydrocortisone.
How to avoid dry skin in winter
Now that you know how to treat your dry winter skin, let’s talk about what you can do to prevent further irritation.
Spend less time in the shower
We know this one is hard, but try and reduce the amount of time you spend in the shower. As good as that warm water feels, spending too long in the shower could actually be detrimental to your skin by washing away your body’s natural oils.
Invest in a humidifier
At home or at the office, invest in a humidifier to boost the level of moisture in the air.
Cover up when you go outside
If you’re going to be in windy conditions, wear gloves and try to cover up your face with a scarf as much as possible.
Keep moisturiser and lip balm on you at all times
Take a lip balm and travel-sized moisturiser with you everywhere. As soon as you feel the dry itch come on, reapply immediately.
Stick to your skincare routine
Above all, stick to your skincare routine (as outlined above). We know it’s tempting to spend less time at the bathroom basin when it’s cold, but consistency is key.
Winter is a tough time for everyone’s skin. But if you develop a routine with these tips in mind, your skin should stay hydrated and plump – no matter how low the temperature drops.