Everything You Need to Know About Winter-proofing Skin

I’ve had dry skin my whole life. If I don’t use the right cleanser, my skin feels tight. If the heater’s on, my skin feels like it’s being torn to papery dry shreds. And along with dryness, redness, flakiness and irritation always happens when the weather is colder or drier. So hydration, to put it mildly, has been a lifelong obsession.

Even if you don’t have dry skin, during the dry winter months, dryness, dehydration and irritation can get to the best of us (did I mention that NYC is currently in the midst of a blizzard?) – so here are my best tips to keep skin hydrated and glowy.

1. Drop the Towel

A tip I learned from my mother, I’ve been a big proponent of not using a towel (check out my earliest blog post on this skin tip from 2014, 2015, or the recent video with Joan Keem below, from 1:28) for many years. Not only does a towel present hygiene problems – especially since it’s hanging in your bathroom near the toilet (ack) – but there’s a great skincare opportunity when your face is still moist from cleansing. Instead of whisking away this good moisture with a towel, use your fingertips to gently pat the skin until it’s damp (no longer dripping wet) then follow immediately with skincare, or of course, the 7 skin method. This easy trick helps to keep skin dewy and plumped for longer, plus is simply more hygienic.

2. Slough away dead skin

It seems counter-intuitive to exfoliate in the winter when skin feels more sensitive. The colder months, however, means that skin turnaround becomes more sluggish, which results in dead skin cell build up. Ever feel like the creams or serums you’re using just don’t seem to sink in? It could be because your skin needs to be re-texturized to help your skincare go where it needs to. Instead of a manual exfoliator (think grainy scrubs) that could potentially be irritating to the skin, try a chemical exfoliator such as an AHA, BHA or PHA to help ‘unglue’ dead skin cells.  When travelling, I always take a Salon de Tte mitt (makeup remover, cleanser, peel, toner in one) to buff away at skin, then slather on a luxurious essence and moisturizer to seal in moisture.

3. Keep your barrier intact

A healthy, strong moisture barrier is what keeps bacteria and inflammation at bay. If your skin is irritated, red, chapped or unbalanced, this could mean that your moisture barrier is compromised. Moisture-binding ingredients such as hyaluronic acid, sodium hyaluronate or squalane help to restore the moisture barrier and keep skin healthy and supple-looking. A recent favorite is our newest curation, Olivarrier Dual Moist Hyaluron Essence, which is formulated with antioxidant-rich squalane made of the highest quality olives (only 0.2% of olives harvested make the cut), which quickly absorbs into the skin for a insta-blast of hydration. It’s my daily skin drink and one of those treatments that I notice when I’ve left it out of my routine.  When skin is irritated, it could take up to two weeks of consistent use of a hydrating treatment to repair the moisture barrier and get it back to optimal health.

4. Use SPF

It’s easy to forget sunscreen in the cold winter months, but UVA ray levels (the ones that cause aging!) are fairly level year round. Without the protection of sunscreen, your skin is exposed and vulnerable to the elements. Essentially it will be so busy fending off UV rays and environmental aggressors, it will have less bandwidth to replenish and rejuvenate. I love hydrating, silky, essence-type sunscreens like Goodal’s Sun Essence for lightweight protection for all seasons.

Besides these tips, try to:
– Hydrate from the inside out by consuming plenty of fluids
– Keep the environment from being too dry with a humidifier
– Incorporating hydrating masks into your routine such as sheet masks or overnight masks
– Avoid overly long hot showers or baths, which can dry out skin.

Let me know if the comments what other skin tips you have for the winter!

Get your glow on,

P.S. Check out my YouTube video about my routine for dry skin.

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