Once the indoor heat kicks in, it’s all downhill for skin. Between
dry indoor air and snowy, windy weather, your complexion can take a beating
this time of year. But there are steps you can take to head off winter
dryness before it makes you want to cover up your face with a scarf. Start
by nixing these bad habits ASAP.
Not protecting your skin before heading outdoors.
We don’t just mean SPF (though of course you already know that sunscreen
is just as important in the chillier months as it is at the beach). Your
skin also needs a protective layer to help keep its moisture barrier intact.
Step out with a naked face and the wind and cold can create tiny cracks
in your skin’s surface, leading to redness, dry skin and damage.
Slather a lotion with SPF on any exposed areas before venturing out into the cold.
2. Not using a humidifier.
A humidifier is our number one trick to preserving skin’s glow all
winter. Not only does adding humidity to dry indoor air help you breathe
better, it helps your skin lose less moisture. If you don’t own
a humidifier, a bowl of water placed on top of a radiator will also work
(it adds moisture to the air as the water evaporates).
3. Washing with hot water.
Whether you’re showering in it, splashing it on your face, or rinsing
your hands with it, hot water strips your skin of its natural oils and
leaves it parched. Rinse with warm or cool water instead.
4. Peeling flaky skin.
Don’t do this! Peeling off your skin can lead to infection and scarring,
and can actually make uneven texture worse. Instead, use an exfoliating
product that combines a chemical exfoliant (i.e. an acid or enzyme) with
a gentle mechanical exfoliant (A.K.A. scrubbing beads) to slough off dead skin.
5. Using mineral oil-based moisturizers.
Lip balms that are made with mineral oil or petrolatum don’t get
absorbed; instead they create an occlusive barrier on skin’s surface.
This helps trap moisture in, but doesn’t hydrate skin that’s
already parched. Instead, try a product with hyaluronic acid, ceramides
or even an oil — all of which penetrate skin to moisturize beyond
6. Using heavy face creams.
Okay, using a heavy cream isn’t bad per se, but it’s not the
most efficient way to combat dry skin. Instead of relying on a single
rich product, layer a lightweight moisturizing serum under your face cream
first to better hydrate skin and lock in moisture. Think of it like long
johns for your face.