How to Hydrate Your Skin All Winter Long
Luckily, there are a handful of easy ways to power through these winter months and prep your skin for spring.
The December holidays and New Year’s Eve are meant to be a time of joy and celebration. So far be it from me to declare otherwise. However, while I do view these next few weeks with a sense of joyousness, I can almost guarantee it’s for a different reason than what you think: the end of one year and beginning of another signals the halfway point (roughly) of winter, which means only a few more weeks of the dry, flakey, itchy, raw skin that often accompanies this time of year.
Every year, when Halloween inevitably sneaks up on my, I vow to do some serious prep for what my skin will have to deal with over the next few months. I check in with my skin, I ask how it’s feeling, what it hopes to accomplish during the winter, any blockers it can foresee in achieving those goals. And then I make a game plan. I stock up on uber-hydrating products. I make doubly sure to drink a ton of water every day. I eat like my skin’s life depends on what I’m putting into my body.
But even with the best of intentions and a meticulous, borderline psychotic plan, by mid-December, I’ve inevitably relapsed. So come New Year’s, I’m positively ready for spring to hit so my skin can return to simpler times.
Luckily, there are a handful of easy, not-at-all-psychotic ways to power through these last winter months and not only keep your skin hydrated and healthy during these trying wintry times but get it in excellent shape for the merriment of March, April and May.
Swap your cleanser + body wash.
If you’re devoted to foaming soap because you swear your skin “just doesn’t feel clean” without bubbles…get over it. The ingredients required for foam are incredibly drying and that foam you swear by is actually stripping your skin of natural, necessary, hydrating oils. Ditto anything that contains acid. Instead, swap in a hydrating, non-drying milky or gel cleanser for your face and an oil-based wash for your body.
Embrace the steam.
Don’t go overboard steaming your face — too much can actually dehydrate your skin — but a gentle, not-too-hot steam session every few days can go a long way in prepping your skin to really drink up all the moisturizing goodness your skincare products have to offer. Here’s how to do it.
H2O is the way to go for moisturizer.
The best way to make sure your skin is getting enough to drink? Stack the deck with a water-based moisturizer. While you may want to reach for the super-heavy balms and creams to combat dry skin, my advice is to actually lean into non-comedogenic serums, water-based moisturizers and hyaluronic acid — all of which will help draw moisture into the skin and keep it there.
Don’t ignore the rest of your body.
Yes, your face is the most visible and also the most likely to feel the wrath of the cold winter weather, but that doesn’t mean the rest of your skin won’t benefit from a routine changeup. The body lotion you swear by during the rest of the year isn’t going to cut it from December to March — it doesn’t have the staying power you want during the winter. A great body oil, however, will quench even the most parched skin by protecting the skin’s lipid barrier and trapping moisture, preventing it from evaporating.
Yeah right, you really thought I’d get to the end of a piece about keeping your skin hydrated and not remind you to constantly be drinking water? Morning. Noon. Night. In between. Winter. Spring. Summer. Fall. Get yourself a cute reusable water bottle and DRINK!
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