There’s a lot to look forward to in the upcoming winter months: warm drinks, big sweaters and cozy nights. Unfortunately, that cold crisp air that nips at your nose and produces picturesque snowfall, also dries out your skin, leaving it itchy and irritated. As nights get longer and days get colder, caring for our skin takes a little more time and effort. Kimo Bentley, a licensed aesthetician and educator, founder and owner of Kimo Bentley Aesthetic Clinic in Silver Spring, said that many clients come to her clinic during the winter.
“Winter weather typically is a time where everyone’s skin either becomes very, very dry, very irritated, and very itchy,” said Bentley. She also assures that there are ways to keep your skin happy and healthy despite the harsh winter weather.
Give your skin a little extra love this season with these skincare tips:
Prioritize Hydration Bitter cold winter weather can strip your skin of its natural moisture. In addition to itching and cracking, Bentley says that “if the skin is too dry, it can actually cause an acne breakout when the skin is trying to self moisturize.”
If you don’t have time to book an appointment for a hydration or oxygen facial, Bentley recommends regularly using hydrating face masks to promote longevity of skin hydration. Senior communications major Rebecca Pujo prioritizes moisturizing and likes to use hydrating sleep masks on her face to repair her skin overnight.
Thicker face creams can also seal in hydration and protect your skin from cold weather. Maggie Ouhrabka, a junior biology major, switches to a heavier moisturizer during the winter. “Kiels moisturizer makes my skin a lot less dry and helps to balance my skin,” said Ouhrabka. In addition to moisturizers, Bentley suggests using a toner to put water back into your skin. In addition to cleansing the skin and shrinking the appearance of pores, toners moisturize, refresh and protect the skin.
Apply Sunscreen Even on gloomy, gray winter days, it’s important to protect yourself from the sun. Bentley insists on wearing sun protection of SPF 30 or higher during the winter and Pujo said it’s important to implement facial sunscreen into your daily skincare routine. “This is going to protect your skin from UV rays and keep it healthy and moisturized,” said Pujo.
The sun may not feel strong and you may not be getting a beautiful golden tan, but UVA and UVB rays are still present in the winter and actively take a toll on the health of your skin.
Invest in a Hyaluronic Acid With hyaluronic acid, you can say goodbye to chapped lips and dry skin.
Hyaluronic acid is a gel-like material that retains hydration, keeping your skin hydrated, moisturized and glowing. When applied to the skin, it pulls moisture to the top of the skin for instant relief and attracts moisture for long-lasting hydration.
Pujo recommends purchasing hyaluronic acid during the winter months. “In the winter, I use my same skincare routine but I make sure that I’m using hyaluronic acid twice a day to trap in moisture,” said Pujo. Hyaluronic acid can be found in many moisturizers, serums, sheet masks and cleaners and is safe for all skin types.
Adding this simple extra step to your skincare routine can combat dryness, soothe irritation, increase and retain skin moisture, and improve the appearance of texture and roughness.
Modify your Shower Routine After spending time in the cold, there’s nothing better than taking a hot, steamy shower to warm up. Unfortunately, this method of relief could be damaging your skin and stripping it of its natural moisture. Adding hot water to dry and irritated skin may cause increased inflammation - leading to redness, itchiness, and in some cases, peeling.
“We’re not going to take hot showers in the winter,” insisted Bentley. Instead, she recommends using cool or lukewarm water and limiting the amount of time spent in the shower, in addition to rehydrating your skin after you shower.
“Especially in the winter months and when the skin is not completely dry, that is the best time to apply body butters, moisturizers and oils,” said Bentley. Natural oils and body butters are effective in sealing moisture in, acting as a barrier to protect the skin in the winter months.
Locking in hydration is key to surviving the wear and tear winter takes on our skin. With these simple skincare tips, your skin will be prepared and protected to bear the winter weather.