Winter Skincare: How to Prevent Dry Skin During Cold Months

It’s that time of the season again for winter flakes! Unfortunately, I am not talking about the tiny, white, magical snowflakes. I am referring to the dry, flaky winter skin – all dehydrated and cracked because of the cold winter air. Wintertime maybe kids favourite time of the year because it coincides with the gift-giving season but do you think our skin would love it as well? What do you think? Because if our skin can talk, it would surely scream with indignation that winter is the season of it dreaded the most, which is why winter skincare is essential.

Winter skincare is essential

Skin dryness is one of the most common skin issues, especially during winter. And to think that our skin is the body's largest organ that protects our body against any harmful element from the environment, it is also the most vulnerable since it is very fragile. Because of its "permeable" nature (meaning water can pass through the skin cells easily), our body can also quickly lose water as it escapes through the skin through several ways such as evaporation. Usually, we lose water when we sweat. However, there are cases when water is lost from the bodies under non-sweating situations. This water loss is called "transepidermal water loss" by medical professionals, and harsh winter conditions can further provoke this process.

Why winter causes dry skin

Don't mind me while I inject a Game of Thrones reference here, but remember Ned Stark's famous line? "Brace yourself! Winter is coming". This was more of a warning to prepare his people from challenging times ahead. So, let me be (Miss) Ned Stark to all you skin-lovers out there as I say this "Brace yourself! Dry skin is coming!"

Ahh, winter. I'm sure all of you would agree with me that winter is the perfect time for winter brews, hot cocoa and snow angels. But the joys of winter season actually masquerade this culprit in disguise as the skin hydration marauder.

Not to sound boring but hear me out. I don't want to leave out the scientific facts for you because I'm sure you're going to need this healthy piece of information about why our skin dries out in winter.

During winter, the level of humidity in the air significantly drops, which explains why air is colder. Cold air can only hold less moisture as compared to warm air. And because of that, winter creates an environment that practically sucks out the moisture of your body's skin, leaving your skin dry, flaky, and irritated. It's also the reason why water evaporates quickly out of your skin.

If it is not aggravating enough, the indoor heating system inside our homes further causes dry skin in winter. It exacerbates skin dryness by exhausting the skin's defensive barrier, resulting in the skin's difficulty in retaining moisture. The absence of moisture in the air during winter, coupled with the problem of maintaining skin moisture at home from the use of an indoor heating system, presents a double-edged sword that will ruin your skin.

Now, aren't you glad I shared this rather mumbo-jumbo medical facts with you? *wink wink* I have to so you'll take these prevention and maintenance tips seriously.

Tips to weatherproof your skin during the cold season

Here are some winter skincare tips to keep your skin happy and healthy:

Moisturize, moisturize and moisturize.

Oh, and didn't I say moisturize?

I couldn't stress this enough. But, dry, flaky skin dictates that since our skin wants moisture during the wintertime, it is only but fitting to moisturize and reduce dry skin constantly. And the good news is that there are over hundreds, no, thousands of moisturizing products available in the market that are keen on retaining the skin's moisture content. 

Most people settle with lotions to moisturize their skin during winter. But I'm afraid applying such is not enough. Skin needs heavy moisturizing during the cold seasons, which can only be made possible with the use of a thick moisturizer. Lotions, on the other hand, are not as thick as creams. Thus, you might want to reconsider changing to a body cream that will be suited for your skin in the wintertime.

Dress up properly for the winter season.

woman covering her face

The secret to protecting the skin against the cold weather is dressing properly. If layering is not something you love to do, try to find lightweight but quality clothing that can provide not just your body warmth but also skin protection. Your skin should be hibernating in this season and keep them covered all the time. Wear hats, gloves, boots and scarves outdoors.

Try to avoid 'too much hot bath' during winter.

A long and hot shower can be tempting but fight the urge. Hot baths can seriously lead to dry skin in winter. Hot water reduces the natural oils in your winter skin, which helps you retain the moisture in your body. If you find the urge to relax in a hot bath, low key it a little using lukewarm water instead. So, while it might be tempting to soak in a warm, relaxing tub bath but be mindful that it may have disadvantages too. 

Lay off on skin products with harsh ingredients during winter. 

Less is more in winter. If you have always been a winter skincare fanatic with your bottles of serums and creams all lined up for your daily beauty regimen, consider limiting them by avoiding those products which contain drying properties such as retinol. Astringents and toners are a big no. However, if you feel like you can't live without them, an alcohol-free face mist sounds a good idea.

Also, use exfoliating products during winter sparingly or unless recommended by your dermatologist. Why? Because the skin barrier is already at the peril of getting breached by dryness, which means that exfoliation might cause more harm than any good.

Finally, keep in mind that it best to use gentle cleansers or skincare products for the skin, whether it's winter season or not.

Consume a healthy diet.

As we would expect, eating can also promote better skin. Eating properly provides the body and the skin all the necessary nutrients it needs to remain healthy and hydrated. Foods rich in omega-3 and essential fatty acids like nuts and fish can encourage healthy-looking skin while helping retain moisture in it.

You can even add some great dietary supplements while you're at it. Kolla Code Collagen is a collagen supplement that can keep the skin hydrated and promote its firmness.

Since dry skin during winter may shrivel healthy skin cells, collagen helps moisturize the skin to prevent the formation of wrinkles and fine lines. 

Drink lots of water

Water is the universal solution for proper hydration. So, drink up! For best results, it is recommended to drink around six to eight glasses of water a day. And that is not just for winter seasons. In fact, we all should consider this as a lifestyle because our skin needs it regardless of the season.

Pay attention to your lips too.

Just because your skin needs a lot of TLC doesn't mean you're going to neglect your lips. It might look different from the skin in general, but it is also part of our bodies. As a matter of fact, it can be one of the most sensitive parts of the body because it is thinner and, thus, more prone to damage. A good lip balm will save your lips from chapping.

Love your skin

We hope you like these tips and guidelines. This might be basic knowledge, but a good skincare routine during cold seasons doesn't need complex solutions. However, one consideration is that not all skins are the same since genetics and other non-modifiable factors might affect skin health. In general, it is best just to pamper our skin with love, affection, and hydration.