From hot furnaces to icy winds, wintertime can be extra harsh on our skin (at least it is for me!) Whether you’ve been dealing with dry skin, eczema, or any other kind of irritated skin this winter, I’ve got all the winter skincare tips you need.
I’ve had dry skin my whole life and during the winter it can get a lot worse which is why I’m always on a mission each winter to do everything I can to prevent it from getting too irritated.
I know how uncomfortable, unsightly, and annoying dry skin is. It ain’t fun. Whether you also suffer from dry skin or other issues like eczema, keep reading because I’ve got all the tips you need to ease the dryness!
Don’t Over Cleanse
A habit that I’ve always had has been to never over-cleanse. By over-cleansing I mean scrubbing or washing our faces too often as doing so can be extra drying. This goes for our facial cleanser and the soaps we use on our whole body.
My skin philosophy has always been less is more, keep things simple, and as much as possible, let your skin do its thing.
My skin philosophy has always been: less is more, keep things simple, and as much as possible, let your skin do its thing. For me this means only washing my face at night on days when I’ve worn makeup. I don’t scrub or cleanse my face in the morning besides the water that touches my face if I’m in the shower, and as for soap, I avoid harsh antibacterial soaps and scrubbing the skin all over my body – just the important bits! 😉
One reason why it’s important to let our skin do its thing in this way is because antibacterial soaps (used all over our body for example) can actually disrupt the delicate and highly beneficial microbiome that lives on us. Microbiome being the community of essential bacteria and other microbes that play major roles in immune function and overall health.
As for products I use, I make sure I’m avoiding drying ingredients since these can be harsh on the skin (especially in winter). My favourite cleansers are Carina Organics and the Botanical Cleanser by Lavigne. I also love the bar soaps by The Soap Works.
Drying ingredients to look out for include sulfates, alcohols and benzoyl peroxide. For some people, salicylic acid, fragrances, and certain preservatives can be irritating also. See www.ewg.org/skindeep to check the toxic load of ingredients or products you use.
Moisturizing this time of year is a no-brainer. Surely if you have dry skin you’ve got a bottle of lotion somewhere in your house, but if not, now is the time! My favourite moisturizers are ones like shea butter, cocoa butter, oil or lotions made with them. For my face, I’m a big fan of oils like jojoba, Argan, and blends. I’m currently using this one here by Skin Essence. I have a blog post up on how you can make your own homemade face oil here.
Whichever you choose to use, it’s important that your moisturizer is also non-toxic and free of chemical irritants like perfumes if you have sensitive skin.
Another one of my moisturization essentials is lip balm! If you’re a long-time follower, you’ve probably heard me boast about my love for them. Again, make sure you avoid brands that use not-so-good ingredients like flavours and harsh preservatives. I like Burt’s Bees, Green Beaver, and Badger.
Dry Skin Brush/Exfoliate
Have you ever dry skin brushed before? It’s a glorious activity and a fabulous way to not only promote detoxification by stimulating lymphatic flow (the system just beneath our skin that’s responsible for moving along waste product), but also help remove dry, dead skin cells by brushing them off. It only takes a few minutes and it feels very invigorating.
Dry skin brushing is always done on dry skin, that is, skin that isn’t wet. A great time to do it is immediately before you shower. Using circular motions, brush toward your heart up your legs, thighs, arms, back, abdomen and down your chest.
Exfoliating can also be helpful in removing dry skin. You don’t need to exfoliate every single day, but once every week or two can be useful, especially if the skin on your face tends to get very dry or flaky.
Use a Humidifier
Humidifiers are a wonderful way to add moisture into the air. Now, I actually just have an essential oil diffuser that I’m using that helps add a little bit of moisture to the air, but a proper humidifier will work better, especially if you have extremely dry skin.
Avoid Hot Showers
As much as I wanted to exclude this point because I am a massive fan of nice hot showers and baths, I have to include it: avoid taking super hot showers! Hot water against our skin promotes dryness and can exacerbate already dry or irritated skin. Keep your showers or baths warm – but not too hot – and be sure to moisturize after. Your skin will absorb the moisturizer you use better when your skin is moist.
Dry skin can no doubt be due to a number of environmental factors, but dehydration is a big one, too. And with all the furnace air we’re exposed to, we should be aiming to drink plenty of water. I find I’m actually extra thirsty this time of year!
Water, herbal tea, and even hydrating foods like cucumber, romaine lettuce, and berries are wonderful ways to get extra water in your day. Aim to start your morning with a big glass of cool, filtered water (with a squeeze of lemon if you’re feeling extra fancy!)
How much water should you drink?
You should drink about half your body weight in ounces of water. For example, I weigh about 105lbs. Divided by 2 is 52.5, so I should be drinking about 52oz, or 1.5L, of water per day.
Eat Your Fats
Fat is critical to the moisture of our skin and the overall integrity of our tissues and cells. Our cell membranes are largely made up of fat, so it’s no wonder we need to be consuming adequate amounts of it each day.
Omega-3 fats are especially important as they provide anti-inflammatory support, an additional bonus for dry, cracked, or irritated skin.
Foods to eat for dry skin:
I take fish oil this time of year, specifically Cod Liver Oil as it has naturally occurring vitamins A and D. I also take vitamin D separately throughout the winter. Along with its many functions such as supporting bones and mental health, it’s also particularly good for dry, cracked skin.
What about you? Do you have any helpful tips for dry skin? Leave ’em in the comments below!