It’s frigid and windy outside, and although we’re trying to spend as much of our time as we can at home, in our softest pajamas and coziest socks, re-watching The Holiday and scrolling through Instagram, being out in the great outdoors every day is something that we can’t avoid. We can bundle up in gorgeous outerwear, but our faces are left to fight the blowing winds.

The result? Dry skin. Whether or not your skin is dry year round, wintertime can be a bit of skin battle. Read on to learn how to prevent dry skin and keep skin hydrated in winter.

You may be asking, why does my skin itch in the winter? Winter itch is caused by exposure to external, environmental factors including cold temperatures, low points of humidity and exposure to heating systems. The sensation is often referred to as “Winter Itch,” and although it can’t be avoided, there are steps that we can take to soften it’s blow. Wintertime is beautiful and fun — so get outside, make a snowman, go for a walk, and enjoy the season — just be sure to care for your skin while you’re doing so.

From the Inside Out

Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate! Make sure that you’re drinking lots of water and hot tea during the winter, and eating tons of water-rich foods such as cucumber, celery and tomatoes. Note that alcohol is a diuretic, so if you’re prone to having a cocktail most evenings, make sure to compensate for it with some water. Vegetables are full of nutrients and can help to keep you hydrated. Another great option? Warming vegetable soups. The broth is full of nutrients, and it’ll help to keep you warm and hydrated. 

From the Outside In

When it comes to keeping your skin moisturized, it’s all about your winter skincare regimen. Start with a gentle, hydrating cleanser, twice daily. A great pick? The Camellia & Rose Gentle Hydrating Cleanser by Pai Skincare. We also recommend the Hydra-Restore Cream Cleanser: Olive Leaf, Plantago Extract by Grown Alchemist. Simply massage it onto your face and rinse. It’s essential to clean your face all year round, but in the winter a cleanser that’s too rough can work against your skin. Wash your face gently but thoroughly, and make sure to use water that isn’t too hot, as that can be further drying. Avoid harsh cleansers — your skin is extra delicate during the wintertime, and anything with drying, stripping chemicals and harsh ingredients won’t do you any favors. Instead, look for simple cleansers make of clean, natural ingredients that’ll gently remove the day from your face.

After cleansing, apply a layer of moisturizer. The best moisturizer for winter skin? A richer formula than you’d use in the summer. Unless your skin is super oily, think cream rather than a light moisturizer. There are tons of great products that fit the bill, and won’t leave you with greasy skin. Try the Néroli Crème Fraîche by French Girl Organics. You can apply extra moisturizer to any dry patches. Avoid moisturizers that are too light, as during the wintertime they may not get the job done. Before going to sleep, a good night cream will do wonders to hydrate and nourish your skin while you sleep.

Next, use a serum that’ll help to further hydrate your skin. Try the Beauty Sleep Elixir by Beauti Skincare. Comprised of 14 plant-based oils, it’s formulated to slow down the aging process, and has collagen-and-elastin protecting qualities, which will keep your skin plump and hydrated in the winter. It’s also anti-inflammatory! Pump two to three times, straight onto the skin (and especially on dry patches) onto clean skin, every day and night. You can also apply the elixir as a spot treatment onto super dry patches on your face.

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If you love doing face masks, you may need to switch up the masks that you’re using during the winter season. During the wintertime, think of face masks as an ice castle spa treatment. A few masks that’ll serve your winter skin? The SALT by Hendrix Crystal Waters Hyaluronic Mask is a great product for nourishing dry skin. Apply a layer of the Noni Glow Sleep Mask by KORA Organics before heading into a long winter’s night of sleep. It gives your skin overnight hydration, so that you wake up to smooth and plump skin in the morning. It’s also a pillow-proof formula, so the morning will reveal glowing skin and clean bedding. Avoid using face masks that are drying, as they’ll obviously work against your already dry skin. Masks that have charcoal and clay can be great during the warmer months, but they’ll suck moisture straight out of your face in these temperatures, and thus should be avoided. Save them for the summertime, when the air is humid and you’re looking to avoid having a shiny summer visage.

Home Is Where the Moisture Can Be

The air outside is dry, dry, dry, so why not make your home less harsh on your skin? Invest in a great humidifier. If you have plants in your home, they’ll also appreciate the extra dose of humidity during the winter. It’ll also help prevent you from getting a stuffy nose while you’re sleeping, which is essential during cold and flu season. A diffuser can also be a really nice wintertime (and year-round) treat for the home. Add a few drops of a pine or cinnamon-scented oil, and bring the winter countryside in!

Body Love

When your mittens are off, apply hand cream to your hands to avoid cracking cuticles and dry, red hands. A great body lotion will work wonders for the rest of your body. Though our bodies are protected from the elements during the winter, no area is safe. Apply it and let it soak in before getting into your pajamas and enjoy smooth, silky skin.

It can be tempting to spend all of your time in front of a space heater, but know that the heaters in your office, home and car can further dry skin. Everything — including heavenly doses of heat — in moderation!

So there you have it. The days are getting longer, but we still have a long, cold winter ahead. Live it to the fullest — savor ever warm cup of coffee and cocoa, light a few gorgeous candles, and stay hydrated — inside and out! 

Happy skin means a happy winter!

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