If you are one of the lucky .02% of the population who is not affected by the dry, windy air of winter, congratulations! You are fortunate enough to miss out on one of the most frustrating aspects of an otherwise cozy season.
For the rest of us, winter means waging an exhausting war against dehydration, scaly elbows, and general dryness. Sometimes, effective prevention and treatment of the havoc winter wreaks upon our skin means adding three or four extra steps to an existing skincare regime.
But who has the time—or the money? Fortunately, there are plenty of cost-effective tweaks you can make to your existing regime that will save you both while still saving your skin.
A Double-Duty Moisturizer
First things first, even if you have oily skin, you should still invest your energy into finding a heavy-duty moisturizer for the winter. Contrary to popular belief, oil is actually not the enemy of oily skin. In fact, if you suffer from oily skin, you want to take as much care as a dry skinned gal that your skin is slathered up sufficiently, or you are just going to exacerbate your oiliness problem.
When you avoid rich products or products with oil after cleansing your skin, your skin will overcompensate by producing even more oil. Therefore, oily skinned people should be introducing products that balance the production of oil on their face and send the message to your body that you don’t need to overproduce any longer.
This brings us to our first skincare hack: you should be finding a thick moisturizer for winter that not only attracts moisture to your skin but works to keep it there. Ingredients like hyaluronic acid and glycerin will attract water into your skin cells, and then occlusive ingredients such as petrolatum or honey keep it from leaving.
When it comes to a dense moisturizer that accomplishes all of this, you don’t need to go high-end. Your local drugstore will have plenty of affordable options that perform swimmingly. Just take care to read the ingredients and avoid unnecessary fillers, and your skin will thank you. Look at ingredients lists for moisturizers from CeraVe or Egyptian Magic to get an idea of what you should be aiming for.
Don’t Forget the Eyes
The skin around your eye is so delicate that it often feels better not to touch it at all. But even though it is probably not getting flakey in dry wintry wind like other parts of your face, you should still be concerned for its wellbeing. Excessive dryness in skin exacerbates the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Moreover, skin with less moisture is more prone to breakage and damage, which contributes to signs of aging.
You don’t need a fancy, dedicate eye cream to get the job done, either. Moisturizing the skin around your eye with your everyday moisturizer will do wonders for the appearance of fine lines and this delicate region’s overall health over time.
Are you wearing sunscreen every day of the year? If not, you should be! Sun exposure in the winter can be just as damaging to your skin as sun exposure during the summer months. In some weather conditions, the risk of sun exposure may even increase. UV rays can bounce off of snow and burn the neck skin of people wearing hats. Scary!
There are two different type of sunscreens: chemical and mineral sunscreens. Chemical sunscreens work by seeping into the top layer of your skin and dissipating UVA and UVB rays. Mineral sunscreens sit on the top layer of your skin and reflect UVA and UVB rays. While they work differently through differing active ingredients, they are both effective at keeping you safe.
But which is right for you for trekking across the snowy tundra of dry air that is the winter season? Chemical sunscreens tend not to leave a white cast across skin the way mineral sunscreens might, but mineral sunscreens are said to last longer. Ultimately, as long as you have a separate product for sunscreen, you are doing fine. (It’s important to note that the SPF included in some moisturizers does not offer up nearly enough protection to be worth investing in.)
What does this have to do with keeping your skin winter weather ready? Well, sunscreen is a cheap occlusive. If you’re not ready to give up your holy grail moisturizer for a thicker formulation, layering a reliable sunscreen on top is an easy way to keep all of your moisture in. Plus, sunscreen is easily accessible and often cheaper than most moisturizers. Score!