We are officially in the full swing of winter here in NC! Even though that means temperatures still in the 50's some days... we are all getting a little crusty. I have dry skin normally and I've been fighting some dry skin on my lips for the past week! Let's chat a bit about how we can stay hydrated all season long.
1. Stay hydrated!
There is less moisture in the air during winter, which means that the first layer of our skin has less of a fighting chance to replenish the natural layer of "oil" we have on the surface, resulting in dry & cracked skin. Staying hydrated is your first line of defense against drying temperatures! Drink your water girl!!
2. Keep moisture in, at all costs.
Once temperatures drop in the winter, we all throw the heat on. While I love to be cozy in a warm room, these dry temps cause our skin to lose a lot of moisture. We can avoid this by using a humidifier! You can buy a great humidifier on Amazon for under $50. I would recommend putting it in a central place in your home where you spend the most time. It will help add the moisture back into the air of the house while still keeping it warm! Something to keep in mind is that prolonged periods of hot water can pull moisture right out of your skin. You'll want to limit your hot showers and baths to only 5-10 minutes a day.
3. Please don't strip your skin.
Often times when we have a dry patch or overall dry skin, our first reaction is to take the harshest exfoliator possible and scrub away all of the dry skin flakes. This is no-bueno! While exfoliation is great to get rid of excess dead skin cells that are clogging the pores of your skin, using a harsh exfoliant can strip your skin of its natural oils. Over exfoliation can lead to micro-cuts in the skin that can lead to inflammation and even more loss of hydration. I recommend using a light exfoliator 2-3 times a week. I really love the Acure Brightening Facial Scrub. It is only $10 at Ulta and is vegan, cruelty-free and free of parabens. It's a win-win in my book!
4. Mask that face.
On the days when you exfoliate, I would definitely recommend using a moisturizing mask to soak in as much moisture as possible. When you are exfoliating you are removing the first few layers of dead skin cells that are clogging your pores. This means that after your exfoliation, your pores are open wide and ready to take in whatever product you use next! During the winter months, we want to use a mask that has hydrating & calming ingredients like hyaluronic acid, rosewater, aloe, ceramides, glycerin, silicones, petrolatum, salicylic acid, and alpha-hydroxy acids. I know that sounds like a mouthful, so I've picked out two options that have my 5-star rating.
I personally have used it for years and love the Fresh Rose Face Mask. It is packed with Glycerin, Pentylene Glycol, and Rosewater, all great ingredients to hold in moisture. This mask retails at $62.00 for 3.3 oz. Although it's got a hefty price tag, I can confidently say that it lasts me an entire year, masking 1-2 times a week.
If you're looking for more of a budget option and don't love the idea of a jar face mask, I recommend using Tony Moly Master Lab Hyaluronic Acid Sheet Mask. The magic of hyaluronic acid is that it is naturally found in your skin. This substance's main function is to hold in water and keep the skin moist. This mask is packed with Hyaluronic Acid (obvi) and multiple humectant moisturizers. One mask retails for just $4.00!
5. Oils, Creams & Lotions, OH MY!
Seriously, these guys are going to be your best friends all winter long. Even if you have oily skin, it is still important to moisturize, especially during winter months! We want to look for moisturizers that are full of ceramides (oils), dimethicone (a type of silicone), and shea butter, which help provide a good seal on the skin. The thicker the cream the better because it provides the skin with a barrier of moisture and protection. After putting on a fun face mask, I recommend using an oil and a thick cream.
The Mario Badescu Rose Hip Nourishing Oil wins it in my books. It has a short ingredient list that is doing the most for us. It contains essential fatty acids and Vitamin-C, which is going to be perfect for brightening and smoothing away dry patches. It retails for $22.00 for 1 oz. You only need about half a dropper size amount for your full face and neck!
Now, as for moisturizers... I could talk all day about moisturizing your damn skin!! I swear by Embryollise Lait-Creme Concentre. This stuff is THICK, making it perfect for the daytime in these dry winter months! For my dryest clients, I will even apply this in a thick layer and let it soak into their skin as a mask before applying face makeup. This Cream is packed full of shea butter, beeswax, soy proteins and aloe vera and is paraben-free! It retails for $16.00 on Embryolisse's website and will last you all year.
If you're looking for a thick, moisturizing cream that leaves a lasting dewy effect I would opt for Weleda Skin Food Original Ultra-Rich Cream! This is perfect to use as a night cream to allow optimal time for the ingredients to soak in. The extra-special part? This cream is one of the few that is actually meant for both face and body. It is free of synthetic preservatives, fragrances, colorants, and raw materials derived from mineral oils. It retails for $12.49 at Ulta for 1 oz.
Stay moist out there...
You know It's honestly surprising that it's taken me this entire blog post to say the word "Moist." I hope that these tips are going to help you to stay hydrated in these winter months and beyond. Remember to always be careful about what you're applying to your skin, check out the ingredients list, talk with your dermatologist and read plenty of reviews. & at the end of the day, stick to the things you know about yourself and your skin. Be honest about what will actually be useful for you and don't break the bank trying to care for your skin! It doesn't need to be expensive or a million steps. Do what feels right for you and your skin will thank you in the end.