Dry and itchy chapped skin, redness, and textural changes are the concerns I get asked about most this time of year. And rightfully so...
Cold weather can wreak absolute havoc on our skin, both on our face and body. Skin can go from dry and itchy to chapped and flaky, even cracking sometimes, which can be painful. But we don’t have to sit around suffering through the cold-weather season, checking in with our skin and tweaking our daily lifestyle habits can provide relief and healing to skin that’s trying to adapt to change.
Let’s start with the why! Why does our skin respond so extremely to changes in weather for some of us? Skin is the largest organ of the body and its purpose is to protect us and literally provide a barrier between our body and the outside world.
It’s the very part of our body that comes into contact with the world we live in and protects us from fluctuations in temperature, humidity, and wind. So what can we do?
- Lower the heat. Keeping the house warm and cozy can also be very drying to the skin. If keeping your home toasty is a non-negotiable consider investing in a humidifier. Adding a humidifier with your heater running in the background can improve all-around air quality in the home. Even just running it while you sleep at night could be a game-changer.
- Shower time and temperature. Lowering the heat in both air and water can help skin stay balanced. Unfortunately, the hotter the water, the more oils, and moisture is removed from our skin. And the longer we linger in that hot water the harder it is for the skin to keep a balance. To prevent moisture loss, keep showers lukewarm and short to keep skin happier.
- Ditch the harsh cleansers and opt for natural gentle cleansers instead. If kicking sulfates (SLS) to the curb has been on your to-do list all year long then this is the time to tackle this family of ingredients. Often marketed as coconut-derived, sulfates (SLS) are more like detergents and don’t belong in our self-care or body care practices at all. They are powerful surfactants found in anything that lathers like body washes, liquid hand soaps, shampoos, and bubble baths among other products. If you're a fan of LUSH products that lather, I'd talke a second to check out the ingredient list. Look for sulfate-free (SLS Free) alternatives. This alone could help your skin heal if you’re suffering from dry skin and you find sulfates in products you use every day.
- You are what you eat and drink. Cold weather invites us to change our diet. What does that mean? Eat warming foods and healthy fats that will moisturize skin from the inside out. Do not overdo it with alcohol, caffeine, or coffee, these diuretics lead to dehydration and moisture loss. So you probably guessed the next tip, and that’s finding ways to keep drinking your water.
- It’s time to check-in with your skincare and self-care practices. Balance is the goal and I like to think of balance as an action word, rather than a destination. So when the environment changes - we must respond by making changes ourselves. Summer Skincare doesn’t always equal Winter Skincare - this is how I personally like to change things up.
- PM Cleansing - I still only cleanse at night. Alternating cleansing with my complexion bar soap and using golden beauty oil + organic castor oil for the Oil Cleansing Method, every other night.
- AM Cleansing - Before rinsing my skin with water in the morning, I like to check-in with my skin to see how it’s feeling. Does it feel soft, plump, and supple or is it feeling dry and tight with more visible wrinkles? Then I splash with warm water or rinse with a warm washcloth.
- Toner - If you’re still using an alcohol-based toner and you’re experiencing dryness - this is the time of year to upgrade to an alcohol-free toner like our Rose Water or Lavender Water Toners. Alcohol strips the skin of moisture - that’s right, the very moisture we need to keep skin happy as a barrier from the elements. So say no to alcohol in your toners.
- Moisturizers - This is something I change up every winter too. Radiant Beauty Oil is my go-to favorite for replenishing my skin, absorbing well, and keeping my skin happy and healthy, however this time of year I need a little more hydration. Immediately after spritzing skin with my Rose Water Toner and while my toner is still wet on my skin, I massage a blend of Radiant Beauty Oil + Golden Beauty Oil Moisturizers into my face and neck. During the warmer months of the year, I find our Golden Beauty Oil formulation sits on my skin and doesn’t absorb like I’d like it to however this very characteristic is what I LOOOOOOOOVE during the cold winter months. The extra richness of the Sweet Almond Oil is just what my skin needs to keep that protective barrier healthy and doing the good work.
- Exfoliate - Our skin renews itself every 28 days. Technically we shed skin cells every single day and by exfoliating dry, dead skin we encourage these dead skin cells to shed, preventing a buildup on the skin's surface. My skin does well with exfoliating once or twice a week and I think that’s a good place to start and build up from there. How will you know if you’re exfoliating too often? Tune in to the subtle messages your skin is trying to send you. Dryness and irritation are two ways your skin will tell you to slow down. Be gentle with your skin and remember it will not renew itself more often than every 28 days so treat your skin with love and kindness.
- Masks - Masks are a great way to also beef up your moisture. I like a quick 10 minute Manuka Honey Mask mid-week, or try mashing an avocado or doing a simple olive oil mask. Washing the skin well afterward. If you love your Clay Mask, add hydrating, moisturizing liquids like full-fat yogurt, milk, avocado, or honey.
Has your skin been protesting the change in weather? Need a consultation? You can fill out our Cosmic Skincare Consultation form and I'll reach out to set up a virtual 30m appointment with you.