Brrrrr. Like it or not, we are now into the thick of winter. It’s the worst… I feel like I’m being tag-teamed by the bitter cold outside and the drying heat inside. My skin is naturally pretty dry but it gets even worse this year. It gets tight and itchy – and if I’m not careful, rough patches form on my arms and legs. Ew. And none of that feels very good but maybe the worst part is that my skin definitely looks older when it’s not properly moisturized. Fine lines are more visible (especially around my eyes and at the jawline), and that is just sad. So, it’s a war on dry skin over here. Today, in partnership with Pond’s, I’ve compiled ten easy things you can do to prevent dry winter skin.
Before we dive in, though, my scientist pals at the Pond’s Institute gave me some really interesting information that I had to share. Did you know that women are more tolerant to the cold than men? In a 1997 study, when exposed to the cold (12°C) for 1 hour at rest in the winter, women’s tolerance to the cold was superior to men’s. Women’s skin is also more sensitive to temperature differences. In another study, they asked women to test water temperatures that were only slightly different. The women picked up on them the best. Girl power. 😉
ONE // Be mindful of taking hot showers and baths. This one is a hard one for me as when I am cold, nothing feels better than a nice long hot shower. Sadly, that is the worst thing you can do! When the water is too hot it fights with the skin’s lipid boundary, keeping it from being moisturized. Keep your showers short – and avoid using harsh cleansers to prevent skin from drying out.
TWO // Exfoliate all over (gently!). I’ve found that dry brushing my skin before a shower really makes a big difference. And a few times a week I will use a body scrub all over… focusing on the areas that get the most dry (feet, knees, elbows, upper arms). Besides the fact that it feels good and gets rid of flakes, it makes it easier for moisturizers to penetrate the skin’s surface so your creams + oils will be even more effective.
THREE // Update your winter double-cleanse. You know by now how much I love a good double-cleanse. In the winter I will adjust my double-cleansing. Start with a gentle face scrub to exfoliate and prep skin. Dry skin off with a towel and then apply a thick layer of Pond’s Cold Cream Cleanser. Massage it all over and then just towel it off. Exfoliating beforehand sloughs off dead skin cells, prepping it for the cold cream. The cold cream will take off any residual makeup… but the important thing this time of year is that it is so, so hydrating!
FOUR // Switch to a hydrating cleanser! I alluded to it above but Pond’s Cold Cream Cleanser is one of my most favorite cleansers this time of year. It gets rid of any makeup/dirt/oil without stripping the skin. And it leaves skin so, so soft. It’s the best $5 you can spend right now.
FIVE // Take care of your skin from the inside, by watching your food intake. Try foods that are rich in essential fatty acids (salmon + walnuts). Omega-3’s boost hydration. Foods rich in vitamin A and E can help improve skin cells. Good foods to try here include avocados, carrots, tomatoes, peanut butter, spinach, turnip greens, wheat germ, sweet potatoes, sunflower seeds, liver, almonds, pine nuts, milk and hazelnuts.
SIX // Moisturize immediately. Once you get out of the shower and/or wash your face, pat skin dry immediately and apply moisturizer and/or oil immediately. (If you use both, apply oil and then moisturizer). The way that moisturizers work is by trapping existing moisture in your skin… they’re most effective right after a shower or washing your face. (Same goes with after you wash your hands!) Use a thick, creamy moisturizer like Pond’s Dry Skin Cream.
SEVEN // Switch up your laundry detergent and the fabrics you wear. Choose a detergent that is free of dyes and fragrances (it will be labeled hypoallergenic) and switch to non-irritating clothing. Cotton and silk are best. Even just layering a cotton tee under a wool sweater will make a difference.
EIGHT // Load up on water (and cut back on booze). It’s just as important to hydrate from the inside (drinking water) as it is from the outside (applying moisturizer).
NINE // Try a pre-bedtime coconut oil treatment. They say coconut oil can cure anything, and while I’m not so sure about that, it’s definitely great for dry skin. When the skin on my body gets really dry, a really soothing trick is to heat up a few tablespoons of coconut oil. Warm it up on the stove or in the microwave… and then take a (not-too-hot) shower right before bed. Smooth the oil liberally all over your body. You will wake up with glowing, soft skin.
TEN // Invest in a humidifier. Heaters turn dry cold air into dry hot air… a humidifier adds moisture back into the air and will make such a difference in your skin.
Created in Partnership with Pond’s.
Photography by Trent Bailey.