Winter blues got you down? You’re not alone. Those cold, blustering months leave us chilled-to-the-bone and wishing we were at the beach. But the worst culprit of all?
Dry, cracked winter skin.
That’s right: when the temps start dropping and the wind starts blowing, our skin suffers greatly. And trust us, ChapStick is just not going to cut it.
Fortunately, there are plenty of ways to boost hydration and take excellent care of your complexion during those frosty, brutal months. Bookmark this page—you’ll want to revisit it as much as possible. Here are 10 winter skincare tips to help you survive the chill:
1. Feeling the heat? Use warm water instead.
That scalding hot water isn’t doing any favors for your skin. Be sure to use warm (not hot!) water to wash your face and hands. According to the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD), excessively hot water can strip your skin of its natural oils, leaving it super dried out.
2. Boost moisture with a humidifier while you sleep.
Want to feel super productive while you sleep? Invest in a humidifier. Using a humidifier in your bedroom can help to soothe chapped, dry skin while you catch some major Z’s.
3. Ditch the moisturizer. You’re better off using a face oil.
Try using a face oil to moisturize your skin rather than a cream or lotion. Why? Simply put, face oils penetrate much deeper than a traditional moisturizer, delivering tons of nutrients and hydration that creams and lotions often lack. Plus, they help balance the natural oils that already exist in your skin. Need a recommendation? Try our Fresh Start Face Oil.
4. Add Niacinamide to your routine.
Here at Otto Skin Goods, niacinamide is one of our all-time favorite ingredients. We even wrote an entire blog post about it. Trust us, if you haven’t incorporated it into your skincare routine yet, it’s definitely time. Niacinamide helps to calm inflammation and redness—a problem that often becomes more severe during the winter months. It also helps to improve the moisture barrier in your skin so that it can stay healthy and hydrated.
5. Drink more water.
We know you probably hear this one a lot, but it’s for good reason. It’s a lot easier to get your H2O during the summer when it’s hot and humid, but when it comes to winter, the tendency to drink water decreases significantly. The truth is, water is necessary every day, especially after exercising. Skin cells, just like any other cell in the body, are made up of water. Without water, the organs would not function properly. If you're not drinking enough water, dehydration will turn your skin dry, tight and flaky, leaving it prone to wrinkling.
6. Contrary to popular opinion, exfoliating is actually a good idea.
We know exfoliants have a bad rap these days, but pay no attention—you still need to exfoliate. Why? It’s still important to turn over dead skin cells to reveal fresh and healthy skin, even when it is cold outside. But instead of using harsh chemical exfoliants like glycolic, lactic or salicylic acid, try using gentler alternatives such as natural fruit acids and gluconolactone for your face. For the hands and body, use a physical exfoliant such as a sugar body scrub with a coconut oil base.
7. Love that lather? You may want to rethink that.
For many of us, washing our face after a long, winter’s day is a life-changing experience. If you’re worried it might dry out your skin, use a mild facial cleanser with minimal lather. Lathering agents can be highly allergenic and harsh on skin which may lead to dryness and irritation that only worsens with cold weather. Only wash with a cleanser at night to remove makeup, sweat and dirt from the day. In the morning, rinse your face with water, but do not use a cleanser. Cleansing once a day is plenty!
8. Two words: Hyaluronic acid.
Another ingredient we’re obsessed with? Hyaluronic acid. Use a good, vegan hyaluronic acid serum daily. Plant-derived hyaluronic acid boosts moisture retention to improve dullness and dehydration for a brighter, dewier look. Just make sure it’s one of the first ingredients listed in your serum. That means it’s one of the main ingredients and at a high percentage, making it more effective.
9. Always wear sunscreen (yes, even when the sun’s not out).
Be on the defense. You should still use sunscreen even when there is no sun in sight. UVA and UVB damage can still have negative effects on your skin during the gray and gloomy winter months. Also, consider adding a serum with antioxidants to help fight free-radical damage, pollution and other environmental stressors which may be damaging to your skin.
10. Need a good scrub + mask? Check the pantry.
Want to naturally hydrate your skin without spending the big bucks? Try DIY! Ingredients found in your very own kitchen can be simple, nourishing and extremely effective in helping to soothe dry, chapped skin. Mixing coconut oil, sugar and honey is a great hand, lip and body scrub (see recipe below!). These do-it-yourself scrubs are great for removing dry skin and locking in moisture. Also, try blending avocado, olive oil, yogurt, honey and aloe for a quick, 15-30 minute face mask treatment. It’s ultra-hydrating and keeps your skin looking fresh all winter long.
Quick-and-easy lip scrub recipe:
2 Tablespoons Castor Sugar (Fine Grain Sugar)
1 Tablespoon Coconut Oil (Extra Virgin, Unrefined)
1 Teaspoon Avocado Oil
1 Teaspoon Honey
1 Splash Vanilla Extract
Make fresh for each use.
Did we miss any tips you’re just dying to share? Leave a comment! We’d love to hear ‘em.