With winter upon us, it is time to start thinking about changing up our skincare ritual to help our skin stay healthy, hydrated, and glowing. Winter can be really rough on the skin for a few reasons but it all boils down to this: your skin's ability to retain water. And in the winter, everything stacks up against it. Here are 8 tips on how to take care of skin in winter naturally!
photo by Caleb George
Use a humidifier
First thing your skin has to tackle in the winter is low humidity in the air. Cold weather outdoors means the air doesn't hold as much moisture. This means it is more difficult for your skin to retain water since there is so little in the air. If you spend most of your time indoors, you won't have much luck there either since heated air also has a low humidity content. A quick solution is to use a humidifier in your work place or at home.
Use hydrating products that contain powerful humectants
Help your skin retain water by using hydrating products that contain humectants. Humectants are ingredients that help attract water to the skin. Our favorite is vegan hyaluronic acid, which we use in our Rose Hydrating Toner. You can also try a hyaluronic acid serum or cream.
Use nourishing facial oils and a face balm
To keep water in, your skin needs a healthy protective layer to seal all that good hydration in. Our skin's sebum does this, but supplementing it with good facial oils and a balm will go a long way in helping your skin stay soft, supple and flake-free. I wrote a little bit more in depth about how oil and water work together to keep skin healthy in this article on Mind Body Green.
A facial oil is a great option if you are looking for something that will sink in easily while a face balm might be a better option if you need extra protection from the elements, such as wind and extreme cold. You can read more about balms vs facial oils on this blog post I wrote about face balms.
Avoid hot showers and baths
Okay, I know this one is totally unrealistic but hot water will dissolve that natural protective barrier that helps keep skin hydrated. So if you are like me and aren't willing to take tepid showers during a cold winter, make sure to follow your shower or bath immediately with a good body oil and face oil. Alternately, you could also use a moisturizing body scrub in the shower.
Dry skin in winter can be avoided in part by using an exfoliating mask or scrub in your skin care routine. This will remove that top layer of dead skin cells that makes skin feel and look dry. Exfoliating also preps the skin to receive those hydrating humectants and nourishing oils that help keep your skin healthy. This applies to both face and body.
Use a facial steam
One of my favorite additions to any winter skincare routine is an herbal steam. Dry winter skin will not have a chance against a weekly or even bi-weekly steam. Steams are a great way to give your skin a break from that dry air and really immerse it a gentle steam that will hydrate, nourish and detox. Make sure to follow with a facial oil or balm.
Hydrate from the inside out
When it's cold outside, it's hard to motivate yourself to drink cold water so it is easy to get dehydrated. If that's you, try drinking herbal teas, flavored room temperature water, or eating watery fruit. Keep a water bottle near by at all times so you don't forget to sip!
Use a gentle cleanser
The last thing you want to do any time of year is use a harsh cleanser. This is a sure way to strip the skin of beneficial oils which results in dry skin. You can read more about cleansers and get some tips for dry skin in our "How to deal with dry skin" series. I recommend using our Aloe + Rose Clay complexion soap at this time of year, or you can also try switching it out with an oil cleanser, our Hibiscus Exfoliating Mud or one of our toners (which can double as a cleanser when used with a cotton pad)