Winter is a time of coziness, jewel tones, snuggling, comfort food, and the pure bliss of hibernation. However, it’s also a time of dry skin.
For many, dry skin and winter can be itchy, tight, flaky, and oh-so uncomfortable.
If this sounds familiar, here’s an easy and affordable guide for how to care for super dry skin in winter…for skin care newbies!
Add humectant products
Humectants are ingredients that draw moisture to the skin and lock it there. The most popular and gentlest humectants are glycerin and hyaluronic acid. Luckily, there are many affordable serums with these ingredients you can add to your regimen.
I love the super thrifty The Ordinary Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5 Hydrating Serum ($7.50). Pop this on after you cleanse and tone, and before you apply moisturizer.
These are great for bolstering your regular daily SPF moisturizer so you don’t have to invest in a new one for winter.
Use a hydrating night mask
Your daily moisturizer (which should have an SPF in it!) won’t cut it for night time. Take the opportunity to apply an ultra rich hydrating night mask to sink into your skin as you sleep.
My holy grail is the Clinique Moisture Surge Overnight Face Mask ($39.00). It’s SO good, but don’t go thinking it’s a mask, it’s really just an intense moisturizer. It’s not greasy or claggy, but perfectly rich and leaves my skin feeling divine in the morning.
A more affordable but also fabulous option is the CeraVe Skin Renewing Night Cream ($20.99).
Use rich facial oil
There’s something luxurious about applying a facial oil, especially after cleansing and moisturizing the skin at the end of the day. Facial oils not only hydrate but they can create a protective barrier as well as help to regulate sebum production (so you don’t have to deal with breakouts on top of dry skin).
My all-time favorite facial oil is rosehip. I have sensitive skin and it’s so gentle yet effective. It has vitamins A and C, and plenty of fatty acids to nourish the skin. Rosehip oil can even brighten the skin and help to reduce lines and wrinkles! Magic.
There are plenty of mixed facial oils on the market using multiple ingredients, and they’re great! However, I love the simplicity of a single, reliable oil.
Press a few drops of facial oil onto the skin after your serums and creams at night, and before your SPF and makeup in the morning.
Steer away from the hard core exfoliants…but still exfoliate
The last thing you want to do is scrub away at your dry face with a physical exfoliant as it will strip even more precious moisture.
However, exfoliating once or twice a week is smart as it will remove any built-up dry skin that can clog the pores and create a barrier that stops moisture from sinking in.
Opt for a gentle chemical exfoliant like The Ordinary Glycolic Acid 7% Exfoliating Toning Solution ($10.00). It will break down and remove dry skin as well as brighten and even out the skin tone.
Use at night only (it can make skin more sensitive to UV damage in the day) and follow up with your serum.
Choose an oil-based cleanser
If your Spring/Summer skin is oilier, your cleanser may be a little too harsh for winter. The key is to find a cleanser that gets rid of dirt and makeup residue but doesn’t strip the precious skin barrier.
Tip: use a product-free tool such as the Face Halo ($11.97) to remove your makeup before cleansing. This means you can be gentler with your cleanser as the makeup will already be long gone.
The Tatcha The Rice Wash Skin-Softening Cleanser ($38.00) is divine as it contains hyaluronic acid and is specially designed to cleanse dry skin. A more affordable option is the CeraVe Hydrating Cleanser ($15.99).
Have a hydrating mist on hand
And finally, a hydrating face mist is a secret weapon to keep the skin fresh and hydrated throughout the day.
The LiveGlam Mist Independent face mist (from $14.99) is truly amazing. First off, the spray nozzle is on point, no big splotches to be seen. What’s more, it smells friggin divine, but most of all, it really hydrates and refreshes the skin.