Your skin can go through the wringer at the changing of the seasons, whether that be a change from spring to summer or summer to fall and winter. The air holds moisture, but how much moisture depends on the air temperature. Consequently, changing temperatures cause changes in relative humidity and your skin suffers from the sudden shift.
Cold weather zaps the skin of much needed moisture because cold air can’t hold as much moisture as warm air. As temperatures drop, there’s less environmental moisture available to your skin. Additionally, cold weather can bring wind, which further dries the skin. A little pre-season planning can prevent itchy dryness and keep your skin looking and feeling healthy as the seasons change.
Signs of dry skin
When you hear the term “dry skin,” you probably picture scaly, flaky skin all over. For some people that’s true. However, more often than not, dry, scaly skin shows up in patches. It could be on the cheeks or near the eyes. Other areas of the body like the knees and elbows may get dry too. Dry skin can be flaky, but it also might appear red, irritated, and sensitive. As the drying persists, the skin can painfully crack, stinging when it gets wet or when moisturizers are applied.
Skincare products, along with healthy habits, are your ticket to happy, healthy skin year-round.
How to prevent dry skin as the seasons change:
Before we jump into what you can apply to the outside of your skin to keep it hydrated, let's focus on what you can do from the inside. Namely, drink plenty of water, whether it’s hot or cold outside. When the weather is warm, you probably naturally take your water bottle with you and sip throughout the day.
It’s just as important to keep sipping when the weather gets cold, but cold weather doesn’t typically make you feel thirsty. Here are a few tips to keep drinking when it’s cold out:
- Keep your water bottle with you and sip it
- Use an insulated thermos to keep a hot drink available
- Keep warm water with honey and/or lemon on your desk for sipping
Daily moisturizer (and moisturizing products)
A daily moisturizer after cleansing your face is an absolute must if you’ve got dry patches showing up. During the summer, a lightweight moisturizer like SkinResource.MD’s Oil Free Antioxidant Facial Moisturizer used in the morning and before bed will do the trick for many people.
However, if you’re fighting the effects of cold weather, consider layering additional moisturizing products like Baobab Skin Correction Facial Cream or Visibly Moist Toner before your daily moisturizer. An additional layer lets the skin absorb that much more moisture throughout the day.
Another hydrating option is hydrating serums. Serums tend to have fewer ingredients but higher concentrations than daily moisturizers. Hyaluronic Moisture Boost Serum, for example, contains a high concentration of hyaluronic acid, which attracts and holds onto moisture. As it’s absorbed into the skin, moisture comes along with it.
Another serum worth considering is Total Antioxidant - Vitamin C Facial Serum. This serum’s velvety texture quickly absorbs into the skin and loads it with needed antioxidants. Antioxidants fight the cell-damaging effects of free radicals. This serum isn’t specifically designed for hydration, but it does protect and correct skin damage, which can help your skin’s natural hydration barrier stay healthy and intact.
Deep night-time moisturizers and lotion for dry skin
Nighttime is when your skin heals from daily stress and damage. If you’re fighting dry skin, a heavier nighttime moisturizer like Ultra Rich Biolipid Cream can give your skin a healing advantage. Ultra Rich Biolipid Cream is more than a lotion for dry skin. It contains soluble beta-glucans that absorb deep into the skin where they promote deep healing and skin corrections. This particular formula is rich but free of common ingredients that irritate dry, sensitive skin so that it can fully absorb into the skin to heal and hydrate.
Your skin needs sun protection in warm or cold weather. The sun’s rays aren’t as direct in the winter, but they still penetrate the skin and do daily damage. Look for a sunscreen that pulls double duty by protecting the skin while hydrating it to counteract the effects of cold, dry weather.
SkinResource.MD’s Essential Solar Protector is a moisturizing, broad-spectrum sunscreen. It contains titanium dioxide and zinc dioxide, which reflect UV rays so that the rays cannot penetrate the skin. It also creates a protective moisture barrier that maintains the skin’s natural moisture barrier.
Another option, and a potential best foundation for dry skin, is Hyaluronic Facial Solar Protector. This tinted sunscreen contains hyaluronic acid to attract moisture and pull it into the skin. At the same time, the sunscreen’s titanium dioxide and zinc oxide keep UV rays from damaging your outer layer. It effectively protects the skin, evens skin tone with a neutral tint, and locks in moisture.
Dry skin needs help from the inside out. Drink plenty of water, and create a skincare regimen that provides your skin with the nutrients it needs. That could mean a mix of serums and heavier moisturizers. Or it could simply mean using your regular daily moisturizer underneath a hydrating sunscreen. Start by adding one additional hydrating layer at a time and see how your skin does. Continue to add hydrating products until you find the right balance to create glowing, healthy, hydrated skin.