It’s the deep heart of winter for just about everyone in the northern hemisphere, and if you live somewhere with dry, cold air then your skin is probably doing some not-so-cute things right about now.
So I turned to 5 holistic skincare gurus – with 68 total years of skin care knowledge collectively (!!) – to get their tricks for making sure skin looks and feels fresh, not parched, all winter long.
They are practicing estheticians (i.e. licensed pros at dealing with skin) and some are even cosmetics formulators.
So listen up! I’m bringing you advice that people pay hundreds of dollars to learn, for the cost of — oh, just your time reading this article. Not a bad deal.
(Make sure you scroll down to see #6, you won’t believe how weird it is!)
7 Winter Skin Care Rules Everyone Should Follow
#1 Avoid Foamy Cleansers
Jordan Samuel Pacitti, Esthetician and founder of Jordan Samuel Skin, who’s been devoted to skin care for 8 years, shares this wise advice:
Avoid overly foaming cleansers at all costs. While we might like the tight squeaky clean feeling after using a foaming cleanser, those bubbles are doing you no favors.
Foaming products will leave the surface of the skin alkaline and completely stripped of water and oil.
The surface dehydration left behind will trap the oil from the sebaceous glands underneath the first layer of skin.
Not only will you be left with a possible spot, but your skin’s own naturally-moisturizing sebum won’t be able to get to the surface to lubricate properly. An absolute no no for skin dealing with harsh winter elements.
Opt for non-foaming cleansing gels, cleansing milks, cleansing balms or oils.
#2 Scrub Yourself (gently!)
Jami Sherman founder of Echo Natural Beauty, with 15 years of skin care experience says:
[Read: Exfoliation Basics]
It is important to exfoliate in the winter. A gentle scrub to remove dry and flaky skin is an essential part of any skincare routine.
#3 Use The Right Moisturizer For The Job
Cecilia Wong, founder of Cecilia Wong Skincare, with 17 years of experience says that:
In the winter, you need a lot of moisture and most people use heavier moisturizer to combat the dryness, but that can lead to clog pores and breakouts.
Face oils because they are more hydrating and absorbs into the skin much faster.
But if face oils still aren’t’ doing the trick, then you may need to upgrade to a balm, the Echo Natural Beauty duo recommends them because:
Balms are richer, hold moisture in the skin and will give more protection especially if you are outside in a cold and windy climate.
But don’t stop there, otherwise you are going to miss what two of our skin gurus say is absolutely essential for treating dry skin…
#4 Spray On Moisture Throughout The Day
Laurel Shaffer, Owner/Formulator of Laurel Skincare packs 9 years of skin knowledge under her belt. She is a big fan of spraying on the hydration:
In the winter and colder months we constantly get comments from clients who are unhappy with their dry skin — and they always have one thing in common: when I ask if they are using an Elixir, Facial Mist, Facial Tea, or Hydrosol, they always say no.
Most of us are more dehydrated in the colder months for several reasons; we drink less water, heaters can be dehydrating, and our bodies are typically more inflamed and need more water to deal with that.
This shows up on our skin as dehydration, which many of us combat with rich balms and facial oils. Don’t get me wrong, balms and facial oils are AMAZING and provide us with necessary lipids for healthy skin. But it takes hydration and lipids to relieve dry dehydrated skin.
Laurel’s (year-round) recommendation:
Use an Elixir! Or use a hydrosol or facial mist for dewy glow-y skin all year long.
If that’s not convincing enough, Cecilia Wong drives the point home by urging:
Take a toner with you on the go and spritz your face whenever it’s feeling dry, even if you’re wearing makeup. This is like giving your skin a drink of water.
Cecilia suggests looking for “an alcohol-free version with calming and hydrating ingredients like lavender, chamomile, hyaluronic acid or rose.”
#5 Spot Treat Itchy Skin Naturally
Dilute organic apple cider vinegar with purified water to keep on hand if you are feel ichy and red. This will help calm the skin (body). On the face, apply a little to a Q-tip and use it as a spot treatment. It helps reduce redness and inflammation.
#6 Put lip balm on your nose (say whaaaat?)
I bet most of you have never considered doing such a ridiculous thing, but keep an open mind here, because it really works! I speak from personal experience, and Jillian Wright says one great way to keep “everything hydrated” is to:
Apply a natural based balm to coat your lips and nostrils at bedtime. You will wake up feeling ‘normal’ and not dry.
Bonus: Jillian says this is especially helpful if you are prone to sinus infections.
#7 Hydrate While You Sleep
Jordan Samuel Pacitti insists that you’ve got to invest in a humidifier.
I swear this one tip (over time, not over night) will help more dryness/dehydration issues than any expensive cream or oil out there.
So many clients will come into my practice having spent a lot of time and money layering products or slathering on one heavy product. That won’t help in the least if the actual air in your bedroom is bone dry.
You need to have an environment where the air is filled with moisture so it can give back to the skin instead of taking its reserves.
Here’s a link to the humidifier I love — and I’ve been through a few. It ain’t cheap, but as Jordan said, it’s been an investment that’s paid off big time for my skin!
If you like what you’ve read, give a shout out on social media and share this article with those you think could benefit from it.
Also let me know in the comments below what you are excited to try and how your skin reacted once you started doing any of these things.