It might not be winter just yet, but it’s never too early to start planning your cold weather skincare routine. It’s no surprise that frigid temperatures can do a number on your skin: not only does cold, low-humidity air wick skin of its moisture, but indoor heating does, too.
In order to safeguard your skin, you’ll have to add even more nourishment to your winter skincare routine. There are lots of options when it comes to moisturizing and shielding your skin, but these are seven of our favorite ways to do it this winter and beyond.
- Start With a Gentle Cleanser
A cleanser’s purpose is to clean your skin’s surface of dirt and oils. As such, you’ll find that many of them contain harsh ingredients that effectively whisk away these impurities but can leave your skin feeling tight and dry. This is an especially uncomfortable result in winter, when the air is also doing its part to make your skin feel the same way.
There are plenty of gentle cleansers on the market, so update your basic skincare routine by switching out a harsh soap for a simpler formula from brands like Aveeno, CeraVe or Cetaphil. You’ll still wash your skin of any impurities, but milder ingredients do so without sacrificing hydration.
- Invest in a Humidifier
We already mentioned how winter air is lacking in the humidity department. In fact, your supple summertime skin is due in part to the fact that the air is full of moisture; once it’s colder, then, you’ll have to introduce your own source(s) of moisture to maintain your hydrated visage. Start at home by investing in a humidifier to pump a little bit of moisture into the dry, heated air.
- Stick With Sunscreen
Summertime sunshine makes it obvious that you need sunscreen. Winter grays and snowstorms, on the other hand, don’t seem to require the same regimented application.
But wearing sunscreen year-round is one of the best ways to safeguard and nourish your skin. In fact, it’s considered one of the things a plastic surgeon doesn’t want patients to know because it’s so effective at preventing wrinkles from forming. And, beyond the cosmetic, sunscreen can prevent your skin from absorbing unsafe UV rays that can cause skin cancer and other ailments.
- Switch Your Moisturizer
We’ve already covered how skin doesn’t need as much moisture in summertime because there’s plenty of it in the air. As such, many people use lightweight moisturizers during that time — or they don’t use moisturizers at all.
Harsh winter temperatures require you to look for a heftier, thicker moisturizer that will build a barrier to protect your skin from losing its moisture. Oil- or ointment-based moisturizers are often the way to do it, so try something like Vaseline as your first line of defense against dry, water-wicking air.
- Remove Make-Up Differently
There are so many convenient ways to wipe make-up off of your face at a long day, with pre-moistened wipes. But these and many other types of makeup removers are made with alcohol, which can strip your skin of moisture as they strip your skin of makeup. Avoid further drying your skin by removing makeup with oil-based products. You can try make-up remover lotions, as well as coconut or olive oil to gently take makeup off without drying your skin.
- Drink Plenty of Water
It’s easy to remember to drink water in summer when it’s blisteringly hot and you’re constantly thirsty. In winter, though, it’s easier to forget to drink a cold glass when all you want is hot coffee, cocoa and tea.
Make a point to regularly drink water and keep your body hydrated. You’ll find there are plenty of important benefits to staying hydrated that come in handy all year round, including the fact that proper hydration can mute cravings and keep your digestive system on a regular schedule. As for your skin, water helps flush toxins from skin while keeping your skin moisturized and clear.
- Add a Serum to Your Regimen
Most skincare routines go a little something like this: cleanse, tone, moisturize. As we’ve established, though, winter can be a bit too harsh on even a regimen as solid as this one.
This winter, try adding the additional nourishment from a serum into your routine. Many serums tout the fact that they’re anti-aging, but much of what anti-aging serums do is what you want for winter: they give your skin another layer of hydration that can just so happen to plump fine lines and wrinkles in the process. Make sure you put your serum on after your toner and before your face lotion for a one-two punch of moisture that’ll last all day long.
With these tips in mind, you’ll build a pretty strong line of defense for your skin to take on winter’s coldest, driest days. And, before you know it, your dewy, hydrated skin will be safeguarded by mild spring, humid summer, and crisp autumn once again.