The importance of winter skin care may be hitting us right now, after the rush of the holidays and the excitement of a new year starts to wear off. If a warm tropical vacation isn’t in your near future, then you (and so many of us!) are probably in for another few months of cold, cold weather. Low humidity, exposure to the drying effects of indoor heating and freezing winds can all lead to dry and itchy skin. It’s not just uncomfortable–dry skin can also crack and become the perfect entryway for germs and infections.
Winter skin care doesn’t have to be a complete overhaul of your current routine. In fact, it’s as simple as making one or two tweaks to reap major rewards. And with spring just around the corner (we’re optimists), just think of winter skin care as prepping for the upcoming warm weather. Here are our top 3 tips that have worked well for us.
Hydrate, Hydrate, Hydrate
The importance of drinking enough water cannot be overstated, but the best way to hydrate the skin is topically with an effective moisturizer. Moving to a heavier moisturizer for the winter and applying it to damp skin allows the hydrating properties to be absorbed more effectively as well as locking in the moisture that’s already on the surface of your skin. Shea butter, ceramides and hyaluronic acid are all hydration stars. And, one of our favorite ways to bump up the hydration factor is with oils. A few drops of a facial oil, like Apothekari Antioxidant Face Oil, in our regular daily moisturizer softens skin, seals in moisture and prevents evaporation. The best part is that it’s not heavy or shiny. For the body, we can’t think of a better way to soft skin than using an extra hydrating therapeutic creme, like Apothekari’s Shea Body Butter. This luscious body butter was inspired by and created for gardeners, farmers and carpenters and will whisk away dry, rough, callused, and cracked areas such as hands, feet, elbows and knees, leaving softness behind.
Taking off layers during the coldest months of the year may seem counterintuitive, but gentle exfoliation may just be the missing link to great skin. Whether you use a dry brush, a sugar scrub or incorporate the magic of urea into your daily routine, adding exfoliation to your winter skin care is the ideal way to remove dead skin cells that can block the effectiveness of your moisturizers and oils. For the face, we prefer using a cleanser like AHA-Mazing Clean Cleansing Gel. Made with alpha hydroxy acids, it’s zero extra work with high rewards.
Sunscreen as Winter Skin Care?
Winter skin care isn’t complete without sunscreen. Yes, it’s true that the chances of getting a sunburn are lower in the cold months, but who hasn’t seen a friend or two come back from the ski hills looking like a raccoon with a goggle tan? While UVB rays are the ones responsible for tanning and burning, UVA rays are the ones that cause the skin to age prematurely, which can lead to wrinkles, sagging skin and dark spots. The bad news is that UVA rays are prevalent year-round, regardless of the weather. They can penetrate clouds and windows and bombard us from sun-up until sun-down. If you’ve put away your sunscreen for the season, we think you may want to get reacquainted with it. The good news is that sunscreens are available to protect skin from damage. During the winter, we like Ombrelle SPF 60 Face Cream or Avene Crème SPF 50 for their rich and hydrating formulas. Protective and nourishing, all in one.
While you concentrate on winter skin care, keep your eye on the horizon: Spring!