Dry skin can happen to you any time of year but it’s especially prevalent in the cold winter months. Even if you generally have normal, combination or even oily skin in warmer seasons, the cold winter air can strip your skin of its essential moisture while outdoor windy conditions and indoor heating diminish the moisture in your skin which may lead to tight, flaky or simply very dry skin.
What causes dry skin?
As the weather gets colder, the outside air contains less moisture than warmer air which means less environmental water for your skin to absorb. Further exacerbating the problem is the use of indoor heating (a necessity for overall comfort but not your skin’s best friend!) Heating reduces the humidity in the air even more. Likewise, you might be taking hotter showers or indulging in baths more frequently than during the summer. Water that is too hot can remove natural oils from the skin, leaving it without its protective moisture barrier against dry skin and irritants.
Dry Skin Symptoms
Dry skin may appear in a variety of forms; you might not even know you suffer from dry skin, especially if you are typically oily! Signs that your skin is dry include:
• Irritated skin (redness and inflammation, particularly on your cheeks)
• Itchy skin
• Flaking or peeling skin
• Gray or ashy skin (this is particularly common in melanin-rich skin)
• Overproduction of sebum
• A dehydrated skin barrier
Your skin barrier health is especially important as the cold weather and other drying winter factors can leave skin feeling vulnerable and less resistant to skin conditions such as rosacea or eczema. This is why it’s extremely important to protect your skin during winter with an effective serum and/or moisturizer.
The Green II Gold Way
While dry skin in cold weather may feel unavoidable, it’s not! Here are some tips and tricks to help soothe and keep your skin as hydrated and healthy as possible.
Adjust your face washing routine
As noted above, using water to wash your body that’s too hot can contribute to drying out your skin. Nowhere is that truer than with the delicate skin on your face. Ditch super-hot water and wash your face with water that feels lukewarm or approximately the temperature of your skin. Wash gently with your favorite hydrating cleanser, like our nourishing Protective Oil Cleanser, taking the time to caress your skin and really work the product deep into your face. Pat dry with a clean, soft cloth, taking care not to rub your skin too vigorously.
Add occlusives to your routine
Occlusives are a category of ingredients that create a physical barrier on your skin, allowing it to lock moisture in. Common examples that prevent trans-epidermal water loss are petroleum or lanolin-based products. Hemp seed butter is one of our favorite occlusives, as formulated in our best-selling RX3 Restoring Serum. Hemp seed butter is a wonderful occlusive in skincare because it’s not as heavy as some such as shea butter or jojoba oil, so it provides the same benefits without clogging pores. Moreover, hemp seed butter is hydrophilic, meaning it is attracted to water molecules and ultimately helps to draw moisture into the skin.
Include Extra Doses of Balanced Fatty Acids
Another key step to keeping your skin healthy and glowing is to make sure you focus on eating foods that are high in antioxidants and omega-3 fatty acids such as walnuts, edamame, salmon, avocado and flax seeds. These nutrients can protect your skin cells from environmental damage and help your body make new healthy cells.
We recommend including antioxidants into your skincare routine as well. Found in our RX3 Restoring Serum, hemp seed oil is an antioxidant high in essential fatty acids that will help balance your skin’s sebum production to prevent and treat dry skin.
With these recommendations, your dry, itchy or ashen winter skin will soon start to feel calm, hydrated, restored and loved.