While there are plenty of good things about the winter – holiday parties, curling up in front of a roaring fire, rich hot chocolate, and ski trips, to name just a few – the effect that it can have our skin isn’t one of them. When the temperature starts to dip, the air becomes dryer… and so does your skin. If you don’t care for it properly, you’re likely doomed to several months with a dull, red, flaky complexion.
No wonder winter gets a bad rap.
When the snow’s piling up outside, you need to tweak your skincare routine if you want to keep your skin healthy and glowing. You may also need to ditch the products that you rely on in the spring and summer and bring out the big guns – items that deliver plenty of rich moisture.
The first thing you should do in winter is reduce the number of times that you cleanse your face. When it’s cold, washing too often can dry out your skin and cause flakiness. In the evenings, wash with your regular cleanser to remove makeup, dirt and oil. If you have normal to dry skin, be sure to use a moisturizing formula like Pevonia’s Hydrating Cleanser, which combines marine collagen and elastin to keep moisture in your skin.
In the morning, though, skip traditional washing with water. Instead, opt for a rich cleanser that you can wipe away with a tissue or cotton pad. Dermalogica’s UltraCalming Cleanser is an ideal option because it’s extremely gentle and won’t irritate your skin. You can also use cleansing towelettes that don’t require water to remove dirt and impurities like Dermalogica’s Skin Purifying Wipes.
When you need to exfoliate in the winter, don’t use a harsh gritty scrub that can irritate and dry your skin. Swap your manual exfoliator for a chemical exfoliant that uses alpha hydroxy acids to loosen the dead skin cells that can cause a dull, flaky complexion. The Dermalogica Skin Renewal Booster is an ideal overnight treatment when you need exfoliation – but be careful not to exfoliate too often in the winter. If you have dry to normal skin, don’t use your chemical exfoliant more than twice a week. Oily skinned individuals can use it up to three times a week.
Upgrading your moisturizer is probably the most important step to take in the winter. Choose a formula that provides intense hydration and is chock full of antioxidants. While you may not be lying outside to catch rays in the winter, snow reflects sunlight to make it even stronger – which means you can’t skip sunscreen just because it’s cold. Dermalogica’s Dynamic Skin Recovery is a great winter moisturizer for most skin types. It’s a medium-weight, emollient formula with anti-oxidants to fight free radical damage and SPF30 to provide UVA and UVB protection.
If you find that your skin is getting dry and flaky even with the right skin care routine and products, you may want keep a humidifier next to your bed. Your home’s heating system not only warms the air – it dries it too, which can dry your skin in turn. A humidifier will return moisture to the air so you wake up with hydrated, glowing skin no matter how cold it is outside.