Top Six Reasons Your Skin is Dry in the Winter

There is nothing like curling up by a fire with a mug of hot chocolate during the cold winter months. The only problem – your itchy, dry skin is driving you crazy.  Not only that, you notice your face has flaky, dry patches from being outside in the windy, cold air. So why do you feel the wintery season’s effects on your skin more than any other time of year? There are many reasons, but we’ve listed our top six here.

  • Too much exfoliating. – It’s no wonder you want to exfoliate your skin. The human body sheds about 50 million skin cells a day, so you naturally want to slough them off your skin for a healthy glow.  The problem is, too much exfoliation can leave your skin inflamed and blotchy. Try using products that will help shed the unwanted cells such as SkinMedica’s AHA/BHA scrub without stripping your skin with over exfoliation.
  • You’ve stopped the sunscreen. – Even when there is snow on the ground, your skin is still susceptible to ultraviolet light which is responsible for 90% of all signs of aging. The colder weather might also mean spending more time on your computer which exposes you to even more harmful UV rays.  Use a product such as SkinMedica’s new Thermivive that acts as a bio-barrier against these invisible threats.
  • Cranking up the heat without using a humidifier – When your skin is faced with cold temperatures outside and dry heat inside, it can become dehydrated and dull. Humidifiers can increase the water content of the air around your skin and ultimately help moisturize it.
  • Using harsh bar soap – Using harsh soaps can make your face irritated and dry because they strip your skin’s natural oils and weaken it’s protective barrier. Instead choose a mild cleanser like Skin Medica’s Sensitive Skin Cleanser  or even Dove’s sensitive skin Beauty Bar which our PCA, Mallory Krispinsky recommends to treat dry winter skin and eczema.
  • You need a heavier moisturizer – With cold temperatures, it’s important to moisturize with a ultra hydrating lotion. We recommend applying your moisturizer when the skin is damp allowing it to spread evenly and reapplying often. Even better, is first prepping your skin with a hyaluronic acid which can hold 1,000 times its weight in water providing the extra hydration your skin needs. Our favorite is SkinMedica’s HA5.   
  • Taking long, hot showers – There’s nothing better than a long, hot shower to help you unthaw from Old Man Winter, but don’t do it! Keep your showers and baths short and at a mild to medium temperature, keeping in mind that water doesn’t hydrate your skin but instead repels it’s natural oils causing dry, flaky skin.

We know the colder temperatures can be tough on your skin, but knowing what NOT to do will help keep you moisturized, hydrated, and itch free. Now grab a blanket and go get your hot chocolate.

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