By Michelle Keane
The winter season is around the corner and for many of us, along with the delicious food and pretty lights, comes dry, irritated skin as well.
Are you eager to show your skin the love this winter? If so, it is important to keep in mind that like most changes that must be made for cold weather, your winter skincare routine will involve making some shifts as well.
The great part about that? Skincare in winter can be super cozy and super fun. If you’re seeking out some simple but super essential winter skincare tips and tricks you may have not considered before, then this is the blog post for you!
TIPS TO KEEP YOU AND YOUR SKIN HYDRATED THIS SEASON
WHY, WHY, WHY IS MY SKIN SO DRY?
A question that gets so commonly asked is “Why is my skin so dry in the winter?”
The reason you notice your dewy glow begins to dim is due to the humidity level outside that shoots down along with the temperature. This causes the natural moisture in your skin to evaporate which leads to that tight and sometimes flaky feeling.
The good news is that with some attentive winter skin efforts, you can win the fight against flakiness! And that starts with consciously maintaining good hydration. Here are some things to consider when keeping hydrated skin in winter:
- Even though it is indeed, snuggling up with hot cocoa time, it is so necessary that you still drink as much water in the winter as you do all year round.
- If you’re feeling way too chilly, try enjoying warm water with some added lemon!
- Switch out coffee for green tea. Green tea still offers you that pick-me-up while hydrating you. Coffee dehydrates you. (This doesn’t have to be an all the time thing, I get it! Remember that every difference counts)
THE HUMIDIFIER: A WINTER SKIN MUST HAVE
If you are wondering if a humidifier for winter skin is a good idea, the answer, my friend, is 100 % yes.
We of course have to keep the heat on as snow wisps around outside the window, and a lot of us are notorious for having it cranked right up. Unfortunately, this keeps the fight against dryness remaining as a battle lost. And we know we want to win. That’s where a humidifier comes into play.
A humidifier is so wonderful for the winter because it brings hydration levels in the air up rapidly by releasing moisture throughout your surroundings.
And it only gets better from there. Some other benefits a humidifier offers to your overall well-being are:
- Potentially preventing the spread of airborne viruses (something we need now more than ever)
- Helps your home feel warmer (yay! Let’s turn the temp down a little)
- They are also extremely hydrating for the throat, lips, and sinuses. You will be breathing a little easier with a humidifier the next time you catch the common cold or have allergies.
CLEANSING THE SKIN DURING THE COLDER MONTHS
WHAT SHOULD I AVOID FOR MY FACE IN THE WINTER?
To prepare for winter skincare, you may have to make a few adjustments to the products you've been putting on your face. I know, we're attached to our skincare products, aren't we? But new ones are also just so...fun, and online shopping is a great wintertime/pandemic activity.
You must make sure to seek out something that won’t strip your skin of its splendidly natural oils. Indication that your skin is being stripped is that squeaky clean kind of sensation and sound.
To avoid this sensation, steer away from products that involve sulfates, fragrance, and alcohol.
You should also keep your cleansing habits to a minimum, less than you did during the warmer weeks because over-washing will dry out your skin further. It's very different than skincare in the summertime, when your body is producing more sweat and is asking to be cleaned more frequently.
APPLY MOISTURIZER RIGHT AFTER YOU’VE WASHED
Moisturizer is a key component to a happy winter skincare routine! Putting on a thick moisturizer (rather than a lotion) on your damp skin is much more effective than applying it to your skin when it’s dry. That's because it locks in a lot more of the moisture.
Occlusive ingredients, often found in moisturizers, decrease the amount of water your skin loses from evaporation, so keep an eye open for those guys.
The best winter moisturizer will be one that is natural and packed with hydrating qualities. These kinds of moisturizer’s tend to be found in tubs rather than tubes or bottles.
This applies to winter skincare for combination skin, as well.
SHOW YOUR HANDS SOME LOVIN’
To ensure your hands stay soft this season, make sure you always pull your gloves on before walking out of the door. Yes, it seems so simple, but I've been guilty of brushing this off when in a rush more than often.
Apply moisturizer to your hands before and after you slip on your gloves. This way you’re keeping your hands hydrated in the winter and promising them that warm protection.
SHOWERING, FOR WINTER SKINCARE!
IT'S WINTER, TURN DOWN THE HEAT
I know that this title seems like a major contradiction in terms, but it is totally true that a steaming hot shower is not good for your skin, especially at this time of year.
How you take on showering in winter plays a massive role in the results of your winter skincare routine. So, let’s talk about shower tips!
As somebody who loves an on-the-brim of near scalding hot shower, I hear you, fellow heat lovers. However, taking the heat down from hot to warm will allow your skin to hold onto a higher percentage of its natural oils.
If cool showers in winter sounds like a big no to you, practice progressively making your shower a little cooler each time. I know it sounds difficult, but the benefits of cold showers do wonders for the physical body and the mind. Simply running cooler water on my face in the shower has noticeably benefited my skin.
SHOULD I SHOWER IN THE MORNING OR AT NIGHTTIME?
If your skin tends to get quite oily, the build-up usually takes place at nighttime, making a morning shower most suitable. Of course, with winter skin being so dry, this might be another switch to be made for you.
Try to maintain a balance that lets your skin produce some more natural oils throughout the day with the ability to still utilize morning showers for that refreshing feel we often need at the start. Pick your days out that you'll decide on a morning shower or a nighttime one.
SHOWERING ON THE CLOCK
The longer the shower, the more time for the skin to become stripped. I don’t even want to begin to admit how many way-too-long showers I have had, but it’s something I have been working on for my skin as the air gets increasingly chillier.
You can use a timer, or to make it more fun, track your shower time by a favorite tune. That way, you can sing your little heart out and still get out in good time. And the best part about that? You aren’t just helping out your winter skin for the better, you are contributing to the health of this planet, as well.
KEEPING YOUR WINTER LIPS SOFT AND KISSABLE
Chapped lips in winter happen to practically everybody. And if they don’t happen to you, then you, my dear, are a very lucky duck indeed.
Let’s be real, lip problems bum us out just as much as skin problems do. Especially when the mistletoe is soon to be up.
The reason dry, burning lips in winter are so painfully common is because your lips are completely void of oil glands, which means they are always exposed to cold elements. The good news: it’s fixable.
I NEED A KISS! OH, WHAT TO DO?
When it comes to how to fix dry lips in the winter, lets first start with what you need to avoid:
- Stop licking your dang lips! (This is one of those easier said than done ones. To stop licking your lips, create the mental intention of stopping early in the day, and you will notice yourself doing it less.)
- Avoid lip balms that contain fragrance, cinnamon, menthol, camphor, or eucalyptus
Piling on harmful ingredients to your already sore lips will only irritate them further. To reassure your lovely mouth that you’ll keep her naturally plump and velvety, here are some things to utilize:
- Water (duh, just another reminder to keep hydrated!)
- Seek out products with nutrient-based ingredients like shea butter, oils (almond oil, avocado oil. coconut oil, moringa oil), dimethicone, and petroleum jelly
- Exfoliation (a sugar-based naturally packed product tends to best)
And of course, with your smooth winter lips, remember to remain safe out there by continually keeping the pandemic in mind. <3 Mwah.
WINTER SELF-CARE DURING A PANDEMIC
This will be the first full winter stretch where we are facing a global pandemic and there is no denying that this will come with physical, emotional, and mental struggles.
It is crucial that you prioritize yourself this winter and to remember that you must offer yourself self-love throughout it all.
One of the greatest things about this season is that there is no cozier time of the year for skin routines, bubble baths, and snuggling up with your new favorite book.
Although we tend to frequently fixate on the condition of our skin, mouth, hands, or how cold we feel, it can be detrimental if we neglect to also give ourselves and our souls just as much of that heart.
So, stay safe out there, stay warm, and soak up all of the self lovin’ you can get. You deserve it.
Oh, and a P.S.
FOR FELLOW WRITERS OR WANT TO BE JOURNALERS
if you are a writer like myself and struggle with the dreaded winter’s writer’s block, OR you’ve been considering getting into writing more, give the ARCH Community Initiative Journal Cards a warm, winter welcome.
Breathing as a beautiful card set of 24 intentional prompts, these cards were created to motivate journal writings and self-reflection. Super fun and super introspective, these cards will allow you to come inward with your best self this winter and potentially write things you may have not thought up as easily beforehand. A great companion to your skincare, self-indulging times.
Happy writing and happy skincare, lovely people. Have a wonderful winter! xx