With my family & friends getting blasted by the arctic air up in Ohio, I couldn’t think of a better topic than winter & your skin! I imagine many of our readers are enduring the frigid cold temperatures as it’s hit millions and millions of folks! With decreased humidity, colder temperatures & frigid breezes, we see that effect on our skin. Ultimately we begin to deal with a compromised skin barrier that’s dry and susceptible to all sorts of stuff. When it’s compromised in that way, it’s easier for things that are supposed to stay out of the skin to get in there & for moisture to get out! With all that going on, you’re seeing dry, irritated & itchy winter skin.
Of course, you may be one of the lucky ones whose skin behaves beautifully, it’s probably fine to keep your current skincare regime the same. But for most of us, richer moisturizers, gentler cleansers & less frequent use of harsher ingredients in the winter is generally the best rule of thumb. And like I know all too well, once skin is irritated, it’s harder to correct it than prevent it in the dang first place.
SO! We thought about what skincare products should we generally steer clear of in the wintertime & we were able to come up with a pretty generous list that started this whole blog in the first place.
If you find your skin barrier compromised week after week, read on! We think you’ll find happier skin by following these suggestions.
Shower Do’s & Don’ts
- Avoid the temptation of taking a steaming hot shower – that excessive heat will only exacerbate your dry skin
- Consider using a less ‘harsh’ soap or find a soap that won’t give you that all over lather. When soap lathers, we tend to see that it dries out the skin even more so.
- You also may be tempted to scrub the dryness away, but be gentle on those areas like hands & elbows and focus on moisture rather than scrubbing
- Bar soap can really pose a problem to folks’ skin in the winter, you should consider a gentle cleanser or better yet, an oil cleanser
Toner Do’s & Don’ts
- Avoid alcohol-based toners – I would tend to stay clear of them in a general sense too
- If your skin requires a toner, consider one that is hydrating, rather than ones that strips the skin of natural oils and moisture
Clay Masks Do’s & Don’ts
- Clay masks are known for ‘drying’ out the skin. They tend to be best for folks with acne or oily skin. So if that’s you, keep an eye on your skin… you may need to cut back its frequency
- Clay masks go through a few phases, initial dampness on the skin, then you’ll experience the START of the dry phase where you see the mask hardening, then your mask will finish out the dry phase with it being completely hard to the touch. To avoid sucking all the moisture out of your skin, when you start to see it drying but it still feels a bit sticky, it’s time to wash that bad boy off. This way, you’ll get the benefits of it without stripping away moisture
Exfoliating Do’s & Don’ts
- Winter exfoliating is quite important, but it can be really easy to over-exfoliate and ultimately damage your skin’s barrier. So if you notice your skin is getting dryer, cut back on your exfoliant a few days in a row & get your skin back on the moisturized path
- Physical and chemical exfoliants work fine just the same, but we tend to prefer the chemical ones. So consider including exfoliators like glycolic acid or salicylic acid to replace your physical exfoliator during the winter months – don’t forget to use with care. You can overdo it here too
Fragrance Do’s & Don’ts
- If you’re a big user of essential oils, you want to ensure your skin is not compromised before applying. And not only that, but some essential oils can be especially drying, like tea tree oil, so use those with care
- Many of our skincare ingredients come with natural or added fragrances. While your skin may not find it irritating in the summer months where you have humidity, you may notice that your skin is especially sensitive to products with fragrance in them, so keep an eye out for any irritations and discontinue use should you see anything pop up
Retinol Do’s & Don’ts
- As I’ve started up my retinol routine again, I want to remind folks to keep a close watch to see how your skin reacts to retinol, especially in the winter season
- If you find that you are experiencing more dryness whilst using it, I would suggest lessening the use of retinol & consider applying every few days, or mixing it with your moisturizer – I tend to do that most of the time anyways and would highly recommend. My skin hasn’t seen any dryness since following that method
Do you have a product or two that effects your skin negatively in the winter and are looking for an alternative or a unique way to incorporate it? Just write us in the comment’s section below & we will research!