Many people look forward to the winter months. Winter means snowball fights, snowboarding, and ice skating. But even if you adore cold weather, the harsh winter environment can take a toll on your skin. Many people find that their normal skincare routine isn’t as effective in cold weather. If this sounds familiar to you, we have winter skin care tips that can make your skin look and feel its best during cold months.
JAN 6, 2022
01 Why You Need a Winter Skincare Routine
According to the American Academy of Dermatology Association (AADA), winter skin needs extra attention. It’s common to struggle with dry cracked skin during the winter months. And people with sensitive skin, eczema or psoriasis are especially prone to dry, itchy skin in the winter. Skin barrier protects the rest of your skin from the elements. In cold, dry weather, however, the skin’s all-important skin barrier becomes compromised.
In 2018, research into the effects of climatic and seasonal changes on skin barriers found that drastic changes occur during winter. Skin tests performed on 80 participants showed levels of filaggrin and corneocytes — vital for a healthy skin barrier — fluctuate significantly between the winter and summer months.
02 Winter Weather and Your Skin
Your skin barrier tends to reflect the moisture level of the environment around it. Warm air holds more water vapors than cold air, which helps keep your skin barrier moist. In humid environments, you’re less likely to experience dry skin.
That said, cold air isn’t kind to your skin, whether it’s cold air indoors or outdoors. In general, cold weather brings low humidity, which makes moisture more likely to evaporate from your skin, making it parched and itchy.
If you enjoy outdoor winter activities, you’ll need to take extra precautions with your skin. Cold winds strip moisture from your skin and leave your skin feeling tight. And although snow is beautiful, it reflects 80% of the sun’s harmful UV rays onto your skin. Without the right precautions, your time out skiing and snowboarding can place you at an increased risk for skin damage and dry winter skin.
It may seem the solution is to move to warmer, indoor air, but even indoor air can lead to dry skin in the winter. Often achieved through the use of a heater, warm indoor air further destroys your skin barrier. Already battered by the cold air and winter wind outside, skin gets further compromised by blasts of hot, dry indoor air through many home heating systems.
03 How to Keep Your Skin Hydrated in Winter
For most people, spending the winter months on a tropical island isn’t a realistic option. What’s more feasible is establishing a winter skin care regimen that keeps skin hydrated and prevents winter skin damage. The following are a few winter skin care tips to keep your skin healthy.
- Use a Humidifier. Humidifiers introduce water vapors back into the air, increasing overall moisture. By boosting water content in the air, humidifiers not only hydrate skin but also treat coughs and dry nasal passages. Remember to keep your humidifier clean and use it appropriately, as too much moisture can lead to mold and mildew problems.
- Opt for a Heavier Moisturizer. Winter is a good time to change up your moisturizer. With the winter cold, your skin will probably benefit from a denser moisturizer, especially one with hydrating hyaluronic acid or glycerin.
- Exfoliate with Caution. During the winter, the process of exfoliation is a double-edged sword. Exfoliation, including in the winter, can boost cellular turnover and get rid of a dull complexion. However, overdoing your exfoliation routine is an easy mistake to make in the winter. You might see dry flakes and start to exfoliate away! Unfortunately, exfoliation can also strip precious moisture and oils from skin. Furthermore, roughing up tender, dry winter skin can do more harm than good. So, when it comes to winter exfoliation, proceed with a gentle touch.
- Limit Your Time in the Shower. A long, hot shower sounds great in the winter. But those hot showers can strip your skin of its moisture in the wintertime. During the winter, shower in lukewarm water for no more than 10 to 15 minutes to keep skin smooth and hydrated.
- Take a Break from Retinol and Chemical Peels. Like exfoliation, retinol and chemical peels can worsen already sensitive and damaged winter skin. Limiting the trauma to the skin during the winter can prevent cracked and injured skin.
- Wash Your Makeup Off Nightly. It might be tempting to go straight to a warm bed after a busy winter day or holiday party, but removing your makeup is even more important in the winter. After all, you want to prevent dirt and bacteria from lingering on your dry, cracked skin. When washing your face, avoid injuring your skin and use lukewarm water instead of hot. You may even want to switch to a more moisturizing makeup cleanser or an oil-based cleanser to avoid stripping your skin of its moisturizing oils during the winter months.
- Wear Sunscreen and Winter Weather Protection. You may not be in your summer bathing suit, but you still need sunscreen in the winter. A winter-wonderland of sparkling snow means more bright sunlight reflected back onto your skin. Remember to apply an SPF of 30 or higher to exposed skin and opt for mineral sunscreen if you can. Wear sunglasses with at least 99% UV protection to keep your eyes and the sensitive skin around them safe.
- Incorporate OS-01 Into Your Winter Skincare. OS-01 improves the barrier function and enhances the skin’s natural ability to produce hyaluronic acid, collagen and elastin to keep skin hydrated and healthy throughout the winter months. OS-01 is ideal for year-round use on all skin types. Use OS-01 under your favorite winter-weather moisturizer. Feel free to layer dense moisturizers atop OS-01 to maximize your winter skin care routine.
Don’t let the harsh winter weather’s impact on your skin hold you back. You can still ski, snowboard, or take winter-wonderland strolls to your heart’s content. Just remember these following winter skincare tips:
- Harsh winter weather calls for a change in your skin care routine.
- Cold air carries less moisture than warm air, which makes your skin barrier more likely to dry out in the winter.
- Incorporate ways to hydrate skin in the winter, whether it’s using a dense moisturizer or utilizing a humidifier indoors.
- Prevent the loss of skin moisture by taking short showers, applying moisturizer liberally, and avoiding hot water.
- Add OS-01 into your winter skincare routine to keep your skin healthy and hydrated.
-  https://www.aad.org/public/everyday-care/skin-care-basics/care/winter-skin-survival-kit
-  https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/03/180307095222.htm
-  https://www.weather.gov/lmk/humidity
-  https://www.skincancer.org/press/2018-winter-sun-safety/
-  https://www.epa.gov/sites/default/files/2014-08/documents/humidifier_factsheet.pdf
-  https://www.skincancer.org/blog/cold-dry-air-requires-a-little-extra-skin-care/
-  https://www.aad.org/public/everyday-care/skin-care-secrets/routine/safely-exfoliate-at-home
-  https://www.nm.org/healthbeat/healthy-tips/do-you-really-need-a-skin-care-routine
-  https://stanfordhealthcare.org/stanford-health-care-now/2014/skin-cancer-winter.html