The winter winds are beginning to blow, parts of the country are having snow, and your heaters are going strong! Here are some great tips to keep your skin moist and soft through the winter months.
Let’s start with the signs of dry, wintry skin and what you can do to help heal and moisturize:
Symptoms of Dry Skin
Skin tightness • Skin appears dull and less supple • Rough skin • Scaling, Flaking, or peeling skin • Cracking that may bleed if severe • Itching • Redness
For many, the winter months bring dry, itchy, tight feeling skin that lacks the glowing, youthful appearance seen in warmer months. Why? As the temperature drops, our skin is bombarded with forces that cause dryness and leave it feeling and looking a bit lackluster. Central heating reduces indoor humidity, while outside cold, dry, windy weather strips skin of its moisture. Often the worst damage is caused when the harsh glare of winter sun off of snow and ice increases exposure to harmful UV radiation. While the combined effects of indoor and outdoor conditions may leave your skin in need of a little extra TLC, for others the effects can be as severe as cracking, flaking skin and even eczema. Following a few simple suggestions will make it easy to maintain healthy, glowing skin even when winter throws its worst at us!
Common Causes of Dry Skin
Dry air from central heating • Hot water & frequent bathing • Harsh surfactants & cleansers • Not enough moisturizer • Harsh weather • Sun exposure • Age & genetic conditions
Dry skin is easily aggravated – once the natural barrier layer is disrupted, more substances are likely to cause skin damage or irritation. Avoid the discomfort of tight, dry, flaky skin this winter by making some small changes to your routine that prevent damage & keep your skin healthier all winter long.
What causes dry skin?
The stratum corneum is a layer of skin cells and natural oils that resides on the outermost portion of the epidermis. This layer forms a protective hydro-lipid barrier system to both prevent moisture loss through evaporation while protecting against invasion from foreign substances (such as bacteria). When the stratum corneum is disrupted, the skin is not capable of retaining the moisture levels necessary for proper skin function; breaks in this protective outer layer make skin more susceptible to irritation and infection. So what can disrupt the stratum corneum and natural hydrolipid barrier? Common culprits include soaps with harsh surfactants, using hot water to bathe, and harsh environmental conditions that stress skin and strip it of its natural oils. Skin dryness can also be genetic, and tends to become more severe as we age.
Mild cleansers and warm water are the key to maintaining your skin’s natural oils. A long, hot shower or bath definitely feels great at the end of a cold day outside. Unfortunately, hot water and harsh surfactants are highly effective at breaking down the natural hydrolipid layer that protects skin. Without this layer, skin is less capable of retaining moisture and more susceptible to irritation and damage. To avoid drying out skin choose a gentle cleanser (such as Celloxylin Creme Cleanse for your face, and Hydroburst Moisture Intense Body Cleanser), use warm (not hot) water, and keep showers short and sweet! To achieve the best results, continue your skin care regimen immediately after cleansing to lock in moisture absorbed during rinsing. Try patting excess moisture off your skin with a towel, then applying your moisturizers while your skin is still wet.
Moisturize more often
Cold, windy weather outside and dry, heated air inside pulls moisture from skin during the winter months. As soon as the heater goes on, you should consider making small changes to your skin care routine that help maintain healthy skin moisture levels. First, apply moisturizer more often if your skin is feeling dry and tight. This applied to your face and your body, especially areas that are prone to dryness like the hands, elbows, knees, and feet. Moisturizers should always be applied when skin is still damp to help seal in moisture, and seek out products with powerful humectant ingredients (such as Hyaluronic Acid and Tremella Fuciformis in the Nutrient Reservoir) to help your skin draw in and retain moisture. I use, love, and highly recommend Celloxylin Day Creme and Night Repair 3 Deep for your face, and Hydroburst Moisture Intense Body Lotion for you body.
Be diligent about your sun protection
Clouds and shorter days don’t mean it’s time to ditch your sunscreen. Not only do we experience UV exposure from above, snow and ice provide the perfect surface for reflecting UV rays up onto our skin from the ground. UV damage only worsens the effects of harsh weather conditions and dry air. A sunscreen that provides superior moisturization during this time of year is essential if you want to avoid the compounded effects of sun damage and dry skin. Apply a moisturizer with broad spectrum, UVA/UVB protection every time you go outside. My day cream, Celloxylin Day Defense has sun protection of ~25, just right to protect you from 97% of harmful UV rays. I also use a 30 SPF Translucent Powder for extra insurance.
Exfoliation will help clear away dead, dry skin cells that build up during the winter, making skin underneath more receptive to the benefits of moisturizing products. Just make sure you don’t overdo the exfoliation and you will be set. When used too frequently, exfoliating products begin to strip away and damage healthy skin cells at the surface; resources from deeper skin layers are then necessary to help in the repair and regeneration processes. Depending on your skin type, 1 to 3 times per week is enough to promote healthy skin cell turnover and get the most out of your moisturizer. I enjoy Celloxyin Enzyme Activated Microscrub with Sugar Beet Crystals and Papaya Enzymes for my body and face, and Celloxylin MD 20Ex Acid Peel once or twice a week for my face, and even my rough heels.
Invest in a humidifier
This simple piece of equipment can help return moisture to the air in your home or office, decreasing the drying effects of central heating. If you don’t have a humidifier, boiling water placed in a bowl left in your room, can also serve to return moisture to the air.
Don’t forget your lips
The skin on your lips is unique from other areas because it doesn’t produce sebum. Harsh conditions during the winter, therefore, mean your lips are even more susceptible to dryness and chapping. To ensure soft supple lips all winter long, be sure to use a moisturizer designed specifically for the delicate lip area, such as Celloxylin Eye + Lip Age Eraser from Apriori Beauty. Another tip for getting silky smooth lips: Gently scrub your lips with Celloxylin Enzyme Activated Micro Scrub before applying Eye + Lip Age Eraser. The soothing beet sugar crystals will help remove dry, flaking skin, while reducing inflammation. Carry around a 30 day sized Eye + Lip Age Eraser as a fantastic substitute for less effective lip balms.
I hope this has been of help to you, and given you some great tips on how to help your skin stay smooth as silk even in the winter months. Please feel free to leave a comment or question for me – I love to chat!
Thanks for stopping by and “Making My Life Beautiful!”