It’s fair to say that winter has well and truly set in and colder temperatures have become a regular part of life, and while summer isn’t too far away (hurrah!), it’s important to know how to keep your skin healthy and hydrated during the cold snap. From chapped lips to dry hands, cold weather can wreak havoc on our largest organ. But with just a few small changes in your routine, you can make sure that your complexion stays content this winter season! So allow us to dive into the Winter Skin Survival Guide, where we share our 12 top tips for keeping skin healthy and hydrated, meaning you can kiss those winter-skin blues goodbye.
Top Tips for Healthy, Hydrated Winter Skin
1. Hydrate from the inside out
Our bodies are made up of 60% water, which is why it is so important to drink plenty of fluids, especially water, every day. When we don't drink enough fluids, our body's cells become dehydrated and the effects of this can show via our skin!
The best way to stay hydrated is to drink plenty of water and other healthy fluids throughout the day. One 2015 study showed that by increasing water intake in people who typically consumed very little, skin hydration was positively impacted. Herbal tea is a great choice, especially if you're looking for a caffeine-free beverage. Other good choices include fruit juice, vegetable juice, and low-fat milk. You should also avoid drinking too many sugary drinks, which can actually cause dehydration.
It's important to drink enough fluids regardless of your activity level. However, if you're active, you need to drink even more fluids to stay hydrated. Sports drinks are a good choice for athletes or anyone who exercises regularly, but they should be consumed in moderation since they can be high in sugar and calories.
2. Eat your water
Eating water-rich foods often is a simple way to boost daily hydration. Making healthy food choices such as a variety of fruits and vegetables, salads and soups will not only increase your overall water consumption but help your body obtain the vitamins and antioxidants that it needs to stay healthy.
3. Use hydrating CBD skincare
As well as hydrating from the inside out, adding moisture externally can help improve skin hydration. Moisture-enhancing natural ingredients such as CBD are becoming increasingly popular in winter skincare. CBD moisturisers and serums can provide effective relief from dryness and itching, whilst hydrating the epidermis. CBD is a powerful anti-inflammatory which soothes and repairs, and it is a gentle cannabinoid which is suitable for all skin types. Furthermore, some CBD-infused skincare products contain additional hydrating ingredients such as hyaluronic acid or Vitamin E, to enhance skin hydration further.
4. Take a lukewarm shower (or bath)
We know, there’s no better feeling than taking a hot shower when the temperatures are freezing. But your skin won’t thank you for it, since hot water is super drying. Instead, we recommend lowering the temperature of your bath or shower (and even when washing your hands). Even better, keep your shower short and use a good quality hydrating moisturiser afterwards to lock in moisture.
5. Use a humidifier
With the winter season comes drier, colder air, which has an impact on your skin which absorbs moisture from the atmosphere. Running a humidifier in the home can help to replenish the moisture in the dry air. Optimal humidity levels in your home are around 40 to 50%.
6. Gently cleanse the skin
Avoid using soap on the skin which can be irritating as it strips the skin of its natural oils, increasing dryness. Look for cleansers and body washes that are fragrance-free and, ideally, designed for sensitive skin. Look for naturally hydrating ingredients such as hyaluronic acid, CBD, Vitamin E, shea butter and natural oils.
7. Apply SPF every day
Even on those grey, rainy days, don’t skip the SPF. The harmful UV rays from the sun can still cause skin damage when it’s cloudy, and on snowy days, your UV exposure can increase due to the reflection of the sun on the snow. Before heading outdoors, apply a good-quality broad-spectrum SPF 50 cream to all parts of the body that will be exposed to the sun. Don’t forget hats and gloves for additional protection.
8. Moisturise your hands after washing
If there’s one thing the COVID-19 pandemic taught us, it’s that regular handwashing is crucial for good health. However, the more we wash our hands, the more our skin suffers. There are fewer oil glands on the skin of the hands compared to other areas of your body, which means they can dry out quickly. Keep a hydrating moisturiser in your bathroom, and apply it after each wash to minimise the risk of dryness, itching and cracks.
9. Use a humectant on your lips
When thinking about skincare, we don’t always consider our lips. But dry, cracked and sore lips are one of the first signs that our skin is suffering during the winter months. This happens when the top layer of the skin loses its elasticity and becomes dry and chapped. A good quality lip salve provides an extra layer of protection for the lips against the harsh outdoor air and the dry, hot air from indoor central heating; both of which can wreak havoc on the sensitive skin of your lips. Lip balms containing hemp seed oil, petroleum jelly, beeswax or cocoa butter are all great choices, and if it has an SPF? Even better!
10. Remember your feet
Hidden by chunky boots, feet are often overlooked during the colder season, but they are also prone to dryness and cracks, and it’s important to maintain your foot care all year round to keep them as healthy as possible. Using a pumice stone to remove dead skin and opting for a foot cream with a humectant such as hyaluronic acid or glycerin is a great way to hydrate and hold moisture in the feet.
11. Avoid over-exfoliation
Skin exfoliation is great for replenishing skin cells and refreshing the complexion, but go easy in winter. With an already-compromised skin barrier due to the dry weather, too much exfoliation can enhance dryness and irritation. Exfoliate gently and no more than once a week.
12. Keep active
Keeping up a regular exercise routine in winter will do wonders for your skin. Exercise increases your heart rate and improves circulation, giving your skin a glow as more blood is pumped around the body. This is especially important in winter as your blood vessels, oil and sweat glands constrict due to the colder temperatures.
The Bottom Line
By making a few changes to your routine, including increasing your daily water intake, using a hydrating CBD moisturiser, taking shorter, cooler showers and applying SPF daily, you can reduce the risk of dry skin in the winter months. Keeping your skin hydrated is not just important for comfort, but also for protection from environmental damage and maintaining a healthy glow. Taking preventative measures now can ensure that you maintain a glowing complexion throughout the harsh winter season.