We’ve all been there–the outside temperature drops; frosty, harsh winds whip, our skin freaks out. We ski, we skate, then warm up inside by pumping dry heat. Naturally, our skin becomes stressed and confused. Here are 5 tips & 5 products to heal flaky, itchy, cracked out skin!
- Adding a humidifer to your home is a good idea–as long as it is properly cleaned and maintained! Hydrate from the outside, in.
- Moisturizing straight out of the shower is a must. For those suffering with eczema, you know the drill. Slather up while your skin is still damp to lock in the moisture. Adding water without lotion will actually cause more moisture loss and escalate the drought. (PROTIP: put your moisturizer in the fridge to cool & soothe)
- Add Hyaluronic Acid (HA) to your routine. This is an absolute must for anyone and everyone. HA is a naturally occuring compound in our skin. With Collagen and Elastin, HA is responsible for attracting water molecules to maintain the skin’s moisture barrier. HA is THE plumping and hydrating factor our skin requires. Over time, with environmental stress and age, our skin loses HA and this crucial moisture element–this is why dermal fillers are made of HA gel–to restore volume and plump. Add it back; add it to your routine and maintain that youthful, hydrated skin.
- Hydrate. You don’t need to drink a gallon of water a day, but you should drink 2-3L of fluid per day. In the winter, we don’t feel as thristy, so this can be difficult. However, the more hydrated we are inside, the better our bodies can fight inflammation and oxidative stress. Your skin can reveal this through sensitivities, damage, and active aging.
- Avoid harsh products with acids, chemical surfactants, & exfoliation. We should do this anyway as a rule of thumb, but in particular during the winter months, our skin needs extra gentle TLC. Avoid:
- “Acne-specific” products
- Acids–including salicylic; excluding HA–this can cause peeling, irritation, and actually worsen breakouts
- Vitamin C (if you have acne, rosacea, perioral dermatitis, or general sensitivity)
- Chemical peels (my safer chemical peels are a mild and protective alternative)
- Exfoliating cleansers/scrubs
- Washing with wash cloths.
All tend to be too hard on skin and whack out the moisture balance even more. Focus on products with natural oils and HA for gentle, soothing, restoration. Cleanse in upward, circular motions with your fingers only.
5 Hydrating Products to try:
1. $$ Beautycounter Balancing Oil: Lightweight and silky smooth, this blend of oils is designed to help hydrate, calm, smooth, and even skin tone. A good option if you are prone to redness or irritation.
3. $ Pure Hyalauronic Acid (HA) with just 3 ingredients, one of which is water! (PRO TIP: mix with balancing oil for extra excellence)
4. $$$ Beautycounter Cleansing Balm: 2-for-1 this cleanser doubles as a hydrating overnight mask. Simply wash with or without water for a deeply gentle clean and on days where you feel extra dry, leave on as an overnight mask.
5. $$ Baby Protective Balm: Not just a barrier cream to protect against diaper rash, but also for severely chapped, chafed, cracked skin. Use this overnight or anytime to soothe the roughest, angriest wind burn or peeling cuticles. (PROTIP: little red dots or bumps on your upper arms or legs? This is Keratosis Pilaris and this balm CURES it.)
Stay warm, stay moisturized, stay confident with evidence-based beauty solutions.
Kim Suvak Warden, NP, is the founder and sole provider at The Klinic by KSW Medical Aesthetics in Medford, Massachusetts. She is a Family Nurse Practitioner with a background in health and wellness, urgent and primary care. She has spent the last decade researching and documenting critical links to rising disease rates and our exposure to unregulated chemical ingredients–many of which, reside in our daily personal care products. Her mission is to educate and empower consumers to make better beauty choices, while supporting the national movement for ingredient oversight and legislation. Clinical-grade skincare does not have to come at a cost to your health or your wallet.