One of my favorite perks about living in Southern California is the mild to warm weather all year. But as an East Coast girl in my heart of hearts, I do miss trudging up New York’s Fifth Avenue in six inches of snow. And when the holidays come, I ache for cold weather because it just doesn’t feel like Christmas to me without fireplaces and chunky sweaters. What I don’t miss about the cold is how incredibly dry my skin would get every winter. Before I knew how to take good care of my skin, I was always the ashy girl. It’s not a cute look.
If you’re in the Midwest or the East, you probably know what I’m talking about - dry, flaky cheeks, chapped lips and even the skin above your eyebrows manages to peel. I used to think I had to put heavy, oily creams and butters on my face in order to beat back the dryness. But in reality, there are ways to combat it without feeling like you’re smothering under layers of Crisco. The first step in dealing with any skin issue is understanding how you can prevent the issue instead of simply remedying it. So, let’s first look at what you can do before you reach for nourishing topical products.
Eat healthy fats and oils - diet plays an important part in every area of our bodies. When you eat healthy, it shows on your skin. Make yourself a small bowl of avocado slices drizzled with olive oil and sea salt instead of a hot dog, or other processed foods. Grab a handful of raw Brazil or macadamia nuts instead of eating a candy bar. The healthy fats will make your skin glow.
Drink lots of water and herbal infusions - you knew this one was coming, didn’t you? Keeping hydrated, especially if you work out a lot, is paramount to beautiful, supple skin. Follow the age-old wisdom and drink 6-8 glasses a day. Herbal teas without sweetener work, too.
Monitor how hot you make your bath water - this one is very important because hot water sucks the moisture and oils out of your skin. Putting thick, moisturizing butters and creams on your face and body won’t do much if you’re constantly taking hot, steamy baths. This applies to showers, as well. Moderately warm water will get you just as clean, I promise.
Now that we’ve tackled prevention, let’s dish on what to use topically.
Add a nourishing night-time moisturizer. In the summer, you may be able to skip a night time moisturizer, but in the winter, your skin probably needs the extra boost. Choose the one that’s best suited to your needs (anti-aging, sensitive, etc.) and apply nightly just before bed. Your skin repairs and restores itself at night without interference from makeup or sunscreen, so it’s the perfect time to put on the intense moisturizer.
Get serious about serums. I didn’t use serums until a couple of years ago because I swore they were just a way to sell me an extra product. Boy, was I wrong. Choosing a rich serum with ingredients that regenerate the cells and plump up fine lines is sheer magic. I don’t know how I lived without them for so long. Intensive Repair and Hyaluronic Acid are my favorite.
Use a mild creamy cleanser. We’ve been duped by all of those commercials showing mounds of bubbles in everything. Shampoo, laundry detergent, bubble bath - none of it needs to create mountains of bubbles to do the job. When it comes to cleansing our faces, we especially don’t want to use something harsh. This creamy cleanser, Simplicity, is amazing at cleaning without stripping away precious natural oils.
These are my best winter skin hydrating tips. Do you have some you’d like to share?