by Amanda Etkind
Winter can certainly be a magical time of year. Snowfall, ski trips, and cozy evenings by the fire (or snuggled up to your favorite rom-com with a peppermint mocha in hand) are just some of our favorite snow globe season activities. The one thing we’re not-so fond of? The actual weather. Sub-freezing temps, harsh winter winds, dry indoor air, and excessive heat can turn soft supple skin into a dry, flaky mess. "Winter climate brings low humidity due to the dry, indoor heating conditions," Dr. Sue Ann Wee of Schweiger Dermatology Group in NYC explained to Bustle. She also notes, "This low humidity can have a drying effect on skin, and dry skin is more susceptible to cracking, irritation, and infection." While we certainly can’t snap our fingers and have warm complexion-friendly weather, we can make certain tweaks to help keep our skin healthy, and happy. Here, we share our top 5 ways to change up your skincare routine for this winter season.
Try A Nourishing Cleanser
While cleansers are definitely on your skin for the least amount of time, using the wrong formula can totally throw your complexion out of whack—particularly during extreme weather conditions. The low-humidity air can really make your skin feel dry and tight, especially after cleansing. Push those overly-drying cleansers to the back of your drawer, and reach for a more nourishing creamy, milky, or balm formula packed with skin-loving ingredients like hyaluronic acid, glycerin, or hydrating oils. Choosing this type of formula will keep your skin supple and smooth while still removing any dirt, grit, or grime left over from the day. If you’re sans sink (or not) our Clean Scene Micellar Gel is a great gentle option. This lightweight gel cleanser does two things at once. The encapsulated hyaluronic acid beads deliver a burst of hydration all while gently removing stubborn makeup, oil, and impurities. The best part? You don’t need to rinse it off when you’re done. Just apply a quarter-sized amount to a cotton pad, sweep across your face, and your skin will feel oh-so fresh, clean, and most importantly hydrated.
Layer Up Hydration
If you’re like us, you likely pile on the layers before heading outdoors during this chilly time of year to keep yourself warm and cozy. Take this idea and apply it to your skincare. Creating multiple layers between your skin and the air can help keep your skin barrier protected and moisture locked in. And just like you likely start with a lightweight long-sleeve T-shirt and end with your winter coat, the key to skincare layering is to apply your thinnest formula to your thickest. Basically, start with your mists, toners, essences, and light serums then apply any thicker serums and moisturizers. If you are prone to dryness or have extra dry skin we suggest topping everything off with an oil (if you're super oily or acne-prone you can skip this step). Layering up these different types of products not only locks in any hydration, but it also protects against any irritation that can arise from the dry air.
Go Easy On The Actives
Like the true skincare lovers we are, we adore our actives and exfoliators. Using our retinols, vitamin C serums, and glycolic acid bring us (and our complexions) daily joy. While we certainly love how these products make our complexions feel and look, overdoing it can have the opposite effect. Used too often or in the wrong climate, these active ingredients can cause irritation, redness, and generally turn our skin angry. This all said, you should certainly exfoliate your skin—just choose a formula that’s gentle enough to not cause irritation but also gets the job done. Our suggestion? Skip any harsh physical exfoliators, heavy actives like vitamin C and glycolic acid, and opt for less abrasive formulas. Our Texture Magic Exfoliating Toner is the perfect exfoliator to try this time of year. Its gentle yet effective mix of AHAs, BHAs, and PHAs buffs away dead skin cells without having to scrub. Plus, because it’s formulated with a pH of 3.7 (which is the ideal number) those with more sensitive skin types can use it too.
Switch To A Thicker Moisturizer And/Or Add An Oil
You probably noticed that during the spring and summer, you don’t need as thick of a moisturizer. There’s a logical reason for that. When it’s warmer, our sweat glands’ oil production goes into overdrive, so your skin naturally feels more moisturized and hydrated during these times of year. But since warmth is obviously lacking during the winter weather (hello dry air), switching to a more heavy-duty cream, oil, or even ointment is necessary—even if you have oily skin. A thicker cream—that is made up of oils or waxes— or an oil itself, can help to lock in any moisture that your skin does have preventing transepidermal water loss—a fancy phrase for when water passes from your dermis to the epidermis and evaporates on the top layer of your skin. When searching for a winter-friendly formula skip anything that is gel or water-based and look for one that has nourishing oils like jojoba or rosehip seed oil or true butters like shea butter or cocoa butter. Our Glow Potion Oil Serum is packed with nourishing antioxidant-rich oils (like rosehip seed oil) that help lock-in hydration and strengthen your skin’s moisture barrier—basically this is a must-have for winter skin. There are certainly other ingredients to look for, but those are a good start.
Add In An Overnight Mask
What do you do when your skin needs some extra tender love and care? Apply a face mask of course. Well, what if we told you to apply a face mask while you’re catching ZZZ’s is another great way to give your winter-plagued skin a boost? These overnight masks are designed to be used as the final step in your skincare routine trapping in anything you apply before it. Plus, like we’ve mentioned in previous articles, your skin goes through circadian rhythms and tends to lose hydration come noon and it continues to lessen throughout the day. That’s why, this extra dose of hydration can be super helpful for maintaining moisture. Also, this is a great time to add in any extra ingredients like ceramides, niacinamide, and retinol. Our NEW Rest + Reset Mask & Moisturizer is a great option for this step. Our mask-moisturizer hybrid features our BLU5 technology to undo blue light damage from the day and tap into your skin's natural regeneration cycle for some serious repair. It also contains ceramides, evening primrose oil, and niacinamide and hero ingredient Bakuchiol (a plant-based retinol) to lessen the look of fine lines and wrinkles. Get ready to wake up and glow when you use it.
Now that we’ve schooled you on what you need in your winter skincare lineup, we hope you feel equipped to keep your complexion protected against the harsh winter winds. Because we want you to glow 365 days a year.