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The Best Tips for Winter Skin Care: How to Get Rid of Dryness



It's that time of the year—even our skin has the winter blues. 

If "dry, flaky, dull-looking, feeling tight and uncomfortable" describes your skin, stay put and read on. 

We’ve put together a skin care regimen that could very well end all winter dryness!

Content:

1. What Exactly Is "Winter Skin" and What Causes It?
     1.1 What is Dry Skin?
     1.2 What Causes Dry Skin?
2. Best Tips to Take Care of Winter Skin
     2.1 Gentle Cleansing
          2.1.1 Oil Cleansing Method
     2.2 Good Refreshing
     2.3 Fabulous Moisturizing and/or Special Treatment
     2.4 A Skin-Loving Diet
     2.5 Exercise
3. Conclusion

1. What Exactly Is "Winter Skin" and What Causes It?

This may seem like a redundant question, but—well, it's not. 

It's important because dry, flaky, or scaly and red skin can be simple xerosis (dry skin)...

1.1 What is Dry Skin?

Or it could be a symptom of a more serious skin condition—think atopic dermatitis (a form of eczema), psoriasis, and so forth. Commonly affected areas are the face, sides of the neck, elbows, wrists, knees, and ankles.

However, these conditions should be diagnosed by a doctor or a dermatologist. Once identified, consult with a doctor before embarking on any skin care routine, including this one. (The wrong routine can exacerbate the condition.) 

But more importantly—don't ignore the symptoms.

Because untreated, these conditions can lead to redness, cracking, inflammation, and other complications, according to Advanced Dermatology P.C. [1]

Folliculitis or inflammation of the hair follicles can also develop if the skin is not properly cared for. Cellulitis, a bacterial infection of the skin’s tissue, can potentially be serious if the bacteria enter blood vessels. These conditions tend to develop as a result of one neglecting to properly care for his or her skin.

Hopefully, you are sure that you are only in need of a different skin care routine.

What Exactly Is "Winter Skin" and What Causes It?

1.2 What Causes Dry Skin?

In order to address any skin condition effectively, you need to have an idea of what caused it in the first place.

Start looking here:

Environmental Factorsthe weather, pollution, heat/AC, and allergens. Your skin has many functions, but it is firstly a protective barrier between the environment and the rest of your body. 

When this barrier function is compromised, your skin will immediately show signs and symptoms to warn you. For instance, dry, very cold weather can dehydrate and even harm the epidermis. 

Also, if you're a city dweller, you're probably familiar with smog and dust and how they clog the pores! Very harsh pollution can dehydrate the skin if it is not properly protected.

Air conditioners can also be culprits for dehydrating the skin.

The effects of these can be managed with a few lifestyle adjustments and a good skin care routine.

Environmental allergens can also affect the condition of your skin, but an allergic response can only be diagnosed by a medical professional. Your skin routine will depend on what the doctor advises. Your current skin care products may also be to blame here.

What Causes Dry Skin?

Physical Factorsillness, chronic medication, poor diet, and a sedentary lifestyle. Chronic illness or a health condition can affect the condition of your skin, as will any chronic medication you take. (Read the package insert if you suspect your meds might be the culprit.)  

Anything you do or don't put in your body can do the same. A poor diet will quickly make your skin look sallow and undernourished. This also goes for exercise—when your body moves properly, it carries nutrients and oxygen more efficiently to your organs, including the skin. This will almost immediately show.

Physical Factors—illness, chronic medication, poor diet, and a sedentary lifestyle—can affect the condition of your skin.

RELATED: Can Thoughts Affect Your Health?

Emotional Factorsthoughts, feelings, and attitudes. Think of the way blood drains from your face when you receive shocking news. Or how chronic stress (the bad kind!) shows up in the body after a while. Trauma and stress also tend to lead to anxiety and poor lifestyle choices, which will affect the way your skin looks and feels. 

Emotional Factors—thoughts, feelings, and attitudes—can affect the condition of your skin.

RELATED: The Anti-Anxiety Mechanisms of CBD

Genetic Factors—explains Julissa Treviño, writing for Popular Science: [2]

Human bodies house between 20,000 and 25,000 different genes, which are made up of DNA, and these genes determine everything about us, including how our skin behaves. Genetics are largely responsible for our skin type (like whether we’re dry, normal, or oily), many skin conditions, and, to some extent, even wrinkles.

She quotes Dr. Adam Friedman, professor of dermatology at the George Washington School of Medicine and Health Sciences, who says that genetics play a large role—but not the only role—in determining whether you have good skin. 

So, inherited dry skin can be remedied with a good routine.

2. Best Tips to Take Care of Winter Skin

So, it should be clear that no matter the state of your winter skin—to get it back to glowing, it needs a holistic approach. Simply slapping on expensive products and hoping for the best will very likely not have lasting results.

Best Tips to Take Care of Winter Skin

These are the key players in skin care, and they are truly non-negotiable if you want your skin to be healthy and stunning-looking! 

Another non-negotiable is good products and a routine that works the best for your skin type. Just like bodies are different, your skin and its needs are unique. Visit a professional beautician or dermatologist to help you identify your skin type if you're not sure. 

Then, experiment with products and routines until you've broken the dry skin cycle. Your skin will be smoother and soft to the touch; plus, it will glow!

A tip from a dermatologist: keep your routine as simple as possible...

Experiment with products and routines till you've broken the dry skin cycle.

Let's start with the first step.

2.1 Gentle Cleansing

"Gentle" is what you're aiming for when cleaning your skin. The skin is a fabulous organ with built-in cleaning mechanisms. It needs only the gentlest and simplest of help to remove environmental pollutants each day.

Invest in a fragrance-free, high-quality cream- or oil-based cleanser.

Or, alternatively, try the oil cleansing method (OCM).

This involves using a blend of natural oils in a specific way, usually before going to bed. The method is good for nearly every skin type, as the oils have healing and balancing properties. It also removes dirt gently and effectively without stripping the skin of moisturizers.

The first step of any good skin care regimen: gentle cleansing.

OIL CLEANSING METHOD

For this, buy a commercial oil cleanser, or blend your own oils. The secret is to experiment till you find what works well for you.

  • For dry and/or mature skin, consider a mix of good-quality, pharmaceutical-grade olive or sesame oil. Add a tiny bit of castor or hazelnut oil (nature's astringents). 
  • For dry skin with acne, use sesame or jojoba oil. Or, use a pure olive squalane oil. Add a few drops of pure tea tree essential oil.
  • Sensitive dry skin—use only squalane oils.
  • Don't start with coconut oil, because it has a drying effect on some skins. 
  • For extremely dry skin, mix in a bit of beeswax with a blender.
  • Add a few drops of pure lavender essential oil—it's a known remedy for dryness, inflammation, and more. And it smells heavenly! [3]

Mixing all of these with a blender should turn it into a cream, if that's the consistency you prefer. 

Then, do the following to not only remove makeup and other pollutants, but to also give your skin a massage and extra moisture. It should also leave it glowing. 

The oil cleansing method not only removes makeup and other pollutants, but also gives your skin a massage and extra moisture.

Do this in the shower, bath, or at the bathroom sink.

  1. Don't wet your face. Instead, massage a small amount of the oil blend into your skin using smooth, circular motions. Do this for at least one minute. You're massaging your skin (which it loves!), and you're allowing the oils to be absorbed properly.
  2. Hold a clean washcloth under very hot tap or shower water till soaked. Wring out quickly, and place the open cloth over your entire face. The steam emitted from the cloth will open the pores and help remove impurities. Let it stay on your face for a minute or until it cools down.
  3. Very lightly wipe off any excess oil. Not too much, ‘cause you don't want to strip your skin completely of the oils! 

Remember: Your skin will take about a week or so to adjust to this new treatment. It may even break out or become a bit oily—don't worry. After a short while of cleaning like this, your complexion will be transformed.

2.2 Good Refreshing

Using a refresher removes the last bit of dirt and tightens the pores. 

If you're using one of the astringent oils in the OCM described above, you can skip this step. 

Alternatively, buy a moisturizing refresher, or use witch hazel diluted with distilled water. Or, if your skin is extremely dry, just rinse your face off with a bit of cold water.

If your skin is extremely dry, just rinse your face off with a bit of cold water.

2.3 Fabulous Moisturizing and/or Special Treatment

For this, invest in good products. 

Look for those of organic origin and with ingredients that support skin health, such as cannabidiol (CBD)

The compound is known for its healing properties and is widely used on its own. In skin and beauty products, it is a star ingredient, well supported by others like: 

  • aloe vera 
  • essential oils like chamomile, lavender, and ylang-ylang
  • rose hip
  • vitamin E oil 
  • pomegranate and more

Consider treatments that offer remedial or extra care for very dry skin. For dry skin everywhere else, consider a CBD balm with anti-inflammatory properties

Don't use too much product, or it will clog the pores. But be sure to slap it on minutes after drying off from the shower or bath. This way, the moisture will be retained well.

CBD Infused Skin Care: Exquisite, Organic Care for Your Skin

RELATED: 8 CBD Benefits That You Should Consider

2.4 A Skin-Loving Diet

The link between healthy skin and a healthy diet shouldn't even have to be explained.

In fact, your skin is probably where binging on unhealthy food will show first, and not just in the form of pimples and/or acne. 

Whatever is going on in the intestines is quickly reflected on the surface. For instance, if you're chronically constipated and toxins don't evacuate from your body regularly, your skin will appear dull and have an unhealthy color.

Also, if you don't consume enough fats and oils, or your fluid intake is inadequate, your skin is likely to be dry.

Replenish your dry skin from the inside with foods like:

  • Oily or fatty fish and meat, such as mackerel, salmon, and herring. These, as well as venison, are rich in omega-3s and other lipids your body craves.
  • Nuts and seeds are also a good source of healthy lipids. Think sesame and sunflower seeds, walnuts, almonds, pine nuts, and more.
  • Veggies like avocado, sweet potatoes, bell peppers, broccoli, tomatoes, and soya.
  • Drinks like green tea, red wine, and organic hot chocolate (think antioxidants) and, of course, water. [4] 

Also consider taking a good nutritional supplement to support your skin health.

A skin-loving diet includes fatty fish, nuts and seeds, veggies and fruits, and healthy drinks.

2.5 Exercise

This is another no-brainer. 

Talking to Peter Jaret, WebMD, author and associate professor of dermatology at Mount Sinai School of Medicine, Ellen Marmur (MD) said this about exercise and the skin:

We tend to focus on the cardiovascular benefits of physical activity, and those are important. But anything that promotes healthy circulation also helps keep your skin healthy and vibrant...

Also, exercise improves the distribution of oxygen through your body. This is good for the skin, explains Marmur, because:

Blood carries oxygen and nutrients to working cells throughout the body, including the skin ... By increasing blood flow, a bout of exercise (will) help flush cellular debris out of the system. You can think of it as cleansing your skin from the inside. [5]

How will it help dry skin specifically? Well, the body is complex, and its systems tend to work together rather than in isolation. If you want a glowing complexion, exercise should form part of your skin routine. Even gentle exercise, such as a brisk walk 15 minutes a day, could make a difference.

If you want a glowing complexion, exercise should form part of your skin routine.

Conclusion

The American Academy of Dermatology lists the following additional tips as good practices for keeping dry skin at bay:

  1. Don't shower or bathe too long or in scalding water.
  2. Use ointments or cream rather than a lotion, as the latter can be irritating and less effective.
  3. Carry a non-greasy hand cream with you everywhere, and apply after each hand-washing.
  4. Wear a good lip balm.
  5. Avoid skin products with alcohol, fragrance, retinoids, or alpha-hydroxy acid.
  6. Wear gloves to avoid dry hands.
  7. Choose non-irritating clothes and laundry detergent.
  8. Don't cozy too close to the fire or heater.
  9. Make use of humidifiers, if the air is extremely dry. [6]

Sources:

  1. https://www.advanceddermatologypc.com/service/dry-skin-xerosis/
  2. https://www.popsci.com/genetics-skin-health/
  3. https://www.healthline.com/health/essential-oils-for-skin#dry-skin
  4. https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/12-foods-for-healthy-skin#section10
  5. https://www.webmd.com/skin-problems-and-treatments/acne/features/exercise#1
  6. https://www.aad.org/skin-care-basics/dermatologists-tips-relieve-dry-skin

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