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The best way to keep your skin feeling healthy all winter long is to apply a liberal layer of moisturizer day and night.
Is your skin ready for winter? Even if you love the coziness of the cooler months, winter calls for a little more self care. Here are seven ways to take better care of your skin (and your soul) when the days turn cold.
Before we go into the cold, let’s talk about why winter weather can be so hard on the skin. Cold air holds less moisture than warm air, so it feels very dry. Once we get inside to warm up, the assault continues: heaters and radiators also dry the air. This combination means our skin gets dehydrated easily.
It’s not just the skin that’s at risk. Roughly 6% of Americans suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), a drop in mood due to the dark and cold days of winter. Even if we don’t have diagnosed SAD, it’s common to feel a little blue in the winter. Here’s how to keep your skin glowing and your mood up even when the weather is working against you.
1. Exfoliate. Your skincare will work better.
No matter the season, it’s important to remove excess dead skin cells through exfoliation. When the excess cells are removed, skin appears healthier and more vibrant. But that’s not all – skincare products are better absorbed on exfoliated skin.
But be sure to go easy! Exfoliating too harshly can damage the skin barrier. A damaged skin barrier means skin can be easily irritated, which will feel particularly uncomfortable in the dry winter climate. (Read more about why a healthy skin barrier is so important here.)
2. Replenish your skin barrier with a nourishing serum.
Your skin is far more vulnerable just after it’s been scrubbed. Cleansing and exfoliating strip away your skin’s Natural Moisturizing Factor (NMF), the cocktail of hydrating components your skin naturally produces to keep itself hydrated. (Read more about NMF here.) Our Firm + Replenish Serum delivers a dose of NMF so your skin doesn’t need to work as hard to replenish it on its own.
3. Load up on the moisturizer.
The best way to keep your skin feeling healthy all winter long is to apply a liberal layer of moisturizer day and night. To make sure you’re getting the most out of your moisturizer, be sure it’s packed with humectants. Humectants act like a sponge, attracting water from the environment (and from the moisturizer) into the skin. One of the most powerful humectants is Hyaluronic Acid (HA), which can hold approximately 1,000 times its weight in water.
HA can be found in our Firm + Replenish Serum, Revitalizing Hydrogel Moisturizer, and Hydrate + Restore Rich Cream. To really put your humectants to work – and combat the dry air from your heater – we often recommend sleeping with a humidifier.
4. Lock in that hard-earned moisture.
Now that you’ve moisturized, make sure those nourishing ingredients stay where you want them. Our b-silk™ protein forms a lightweight, breathable barrier that keeps hydrating ingredients close to the skin. It acts as a vital defense against environmental stressors as well as a moisture depot, delivering immediate and sustained hydration throughout the day. As shown in a clinical study, b-silk™ protein leaves your skin incredibly soft and smooth while visibly firming, lifting, and increasing overall radiance.
5. Wear your SPF.
We know you know this already, but it must be said: wear sunscreen! UV rays can be just as harmful in the winter as they are in the summer. In fact, those rays can be even stronger on a snowy day. Fresh snow is great at reflecting light, and can almost double your exposure to UV rays. Don’t forget to apply to the tops of your hands as well, unless they’re wrapped in a pair of gloves.
6. Double down on Vitamin D.
Vitamin D is present in very few foods, so we get most of it from the sun. When we’re wearing sunscreen and full-coverage clothes, our skin has little opportunity to absorb this essential vitamin. As such, many doctors recommend taking Vitamin D supplements in the winter. In some studies, Vitamin D has been shown to improve mood. (Always be sure to consult with your doctor before starting a vitamin regimen!)
7. Take a hydrating bath.
A hot, bubbly bath may sound perfect in the winter, but we have some unfortunate news: hot baths can dehydrate the skin. Thankfully, there are ways to make your bathwater more moisturizing.
Start with the temperature. A warm bath is far better for the skin than a scalding hot bath. Then, add hydrating ingredients like coconut oil or olive oil to make the water more nourishing. If your skin is feeling irritated, add colloidal oatmeal – not quite the same as your breakfast cereal – to the warm water. You can buy a pack at the store, or make your own by grinding whole, uncooked oats in a food processor until they form a light powder. Then, you’re free to soak away.
With the right mindset (and the right skincare), winter can be pretty charming. Light the candles, slather on the Hydrate + Restore Rich Cream, make yourself a cup of tea, and lean into cozy season.