January is here which means for most of us, it’s wintertime. Winter can be an interesting time of year. Cold weather means more of us are spending time indoors. Meanwhile, it can also wreak havoc on many people’s skincare routines. Chilly temperatures and arctic blasts of air mean that many people are struggling to maintain moisture and prevent flakes from not only appearing but ruining their makeup applications. So, if dry winter skin is frustrating you, keep reading to learn how to put an end to bad skin days.
Make Exfoliation a Regular Part of Your Routine
In reality, you should always be exfoliating regularly. But when chilly winter weather is causing flakes and dryness to be an everyday occurrence, that’s a sign that you might need to increase how frequently you exfoliate.
Exfoliation is simply a fancy word for removing dead skin. Contrary to what some people believe, exfoliation doesn’t have to be harsh or painful. There are plenty of natural exfoliating products that help to gently remove dead, dry skin without harsh chemicals that sting.
While you shouldn’t exfoliate every day, depending on the severity of your winter skin, you might want to consider adding a purposeful exfoliation step into your skincare routine for every other day. Similarly, consider adding a daily exfoliator such as a glycolic acid toner step after cleansing your skin, or a niacinamide serum before applying a moisturizer.
Consider Adding a Nighttime Retinol
To be clear, not everyone will take well to retinol as it can cause redness and sensitivity in some people. But retinol is well-known for its cellular turnover properties. In short, it helps to boost your complexion by encouraging cell growth and removing dead skin.
Just keep in mind that retinol can increase your sensitivity to the sun because new skin isn’t used to being exposed to sunlight. So, many experts recommend incorporating retinol as a nighttime-only step to minimize photosensitivity. Similarly, you’ll want to invest in a good SPF moisturizer and use it religiously even on cloudy days.
Alternatively, if retinol doesn’t work for you, consider using bakuchiol. It features similar cellular turnover properties as retinol but tends to have fewer side effects — making it a great option for people with sensitive skin or retinol sensitivity.
Focus on Hydration
Hydration is another important thing to prioritize to banish winter skin. This step can take many forms depending on the severity of your skin. Focus on moisture-loving ingredients like squalane oil or hyaluronic acid. Hyaluronic acid is known for being able to hold 1000 times its weight in moisture.
Likewise, squalane can help to boost hydration and plump skin. Note though, that squalane is an oil which means it’s going to be a heavier ingredient. So, you might want to avoid applying it right before applying makeup as it may cause products to slide.
Another often overlooked aspect of hydration is ensuring that you’re drinking enough water or sugar-free drinks. Boosting oral hydration can aid in improving the look and feel of your skin. If drinking plain water is difficult, consider incorporating a sugar-free seltzer or adding natural flavoring to water.
Switch Up Your Moisturizer
Finally, consider swapping out your moisturizer for something stronger. While a lightweight moisturizer might be more than enough in the spring and summer, freezing weather calls for something more heavy-duty.
However, similar to our squalane oil recommendation, you’ll need to time your moisturizer application around your makeup. Heavier moisturizers are effective but may take more time to fully absorb into the skin. So, if you apply them too soon before your makeup, products may slide.