7 Winter Skincare Tips to Combat That Dry, Flaky Skin

It is actually cold and dry in SoCal for winter now and that may be foreign to some of us who have lived in warm climates. So, what happens to our skin? Skin gets dry, tight and flaky, like sandpaper. People of all skin types, no matter how oily, dry, flaky and crusty suffer from dry skin during wintertime. Many reluctantly talk about ashy skin but the dry winter air is brutal to our skin. Skin is the first-layer of defense from those yucky, bacterial germs that cause infections, but dry, crackly skin in the wintertime causes wounds to open up─making it more prone to infections. Don’t forget it is also flu season, meaning there are more viral germs in the air! Therefore, it is important to protect our skin to fight those nasty germs. 

The most common remedy for dry skin is to use lotion and is often proved to be pretty successful when used on the hands and the body. However, putting lotion on your face is not effective. Facial skin is thinner and more sensitive than the rest of the body. The face is exposed to the air 24/7, while your body is protected mostly throughout the day. Consequently, lotion can only do so much. This is where skincare comes in. Skincare nurtures the skin to provide nutrients that skin desperately needs and protects the skin from harmful sun radiation. It took me a lot of time and research to find a good winter skincare routine for that trendy, dewy skin during the cold seasons. Here are some skincare tips I want to share to battle that dry, winter skin!

  1. 1. Watch out for alcohol-based products!

    Some alcohol-based products are extremely harmful to your skin. It strips away all essential nutrients skin needs and leads to dehydrating the skin. The types of alcohol to look out for are the following: SD alcohol 40, denatured alcohol, ethanol, and isopropyl alcohol. Other alcohol ingredients such as: cetyl, stearyl, cetearyl alcohol, propylene glycol, and retinol are proved to be very beneficial to the skin.

  2. 2. Use a hydrating cleanser instead of foamy or clay-based cleansers.

    Hydrating cleansers provide and keep moisture to the skin and only strips away the unnecessary dirt the skin does not need. Avoid foamy or clay-based cleansers because they are harsher on the skin (used for deep-cleaning the skin)─leaving your face tighter and drier than ever. As for a recommendation, I currently use the Matcha Hemp Hydrating Cleanser, which is an antioxidant cleanser “boosts the skin’s intake of antioxidants and essential fatty acids.”

  3. 3. Exfoliate, but to an extent!

    Exfoliating gets rid of those dead skin cells (aka those dreadful flaky bits of skin). Without exfoliating, skin rebuilds to the point where it leaves the skin texturized rather than smooth like a baby’s butt. When looking for exfoliators, use chemical ones, like the Cosrx BHA Power Liquid. If you’re hesitant about putting chemicals on your face, you can use gentle physical exfoliating scrubs (not the Kylie Jenner Walnut Scrub). Although, physical exfoliant tends to be harsher and causes micro-tears on the skin (not good long-term).

  4. 4. Keep an eye out for hyaluronic acid products to help retain moisture.

    I fell in love with hyaluronic acid the first time I used it. It leaves your skin looking supple and moisturized all day for that dewy skin look. You can find hyaluronic acid in toners, gels, and serums. Choose your pick and try incorporating it into your routine! I personally like hyaluronic acid in serum form because it is more concentrated. Serums can be pretty pricey but cult-favorite The Ordinary’s Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5 only comes at $6.80.

  5. 5. Sheet masks are your hydrating best friend.

    Sheet masks are going to be your lifesaver during the cold seasons. Sheet masks hydrates the skin to the max. It is full of nutrient-packed solution that nourishes the skin and leaves your skin feeling refreshed like a cucumber. Nowadays, you can find sheet masks at your local Target or CVS. Look for masks that specifically target in hydrating your skin to restore your dryness. Use sheet masks 1-3 times a week. If you ever crave that needed self-care, put on a sheet mask and just sit down, wind down, and relax.

  6. 6. Use thicker or more hydrating creams to lock in moisture. And no, it is not the same as a body lotion.

    Thicker creams moisturize and hydrate more than lotion and locks in the moisture that you added from the cleansers and serums. Another option to creams is gel-based creams (i.e. Neutrogena Hydroboost Water Gel) for a  more refreshing feeling. It is important to use the cream as the last step of your routine so you don’t lose that precious moisture. Although, be careful when using creams because every skin is different and can cause breakouts and irritation.

  7. 7. Beauty comes from within: drink plenty of water!

    You are what you drink! Just because you are putting all these creams and serums on your face, it does not mean it will be 100 percent effective. After all, we are made up of water. Drinking water frequently flushes out all the bad toxins and gives the skin a healthy complexion. We forget to drink water on a day to day basis but try making it a routine to drink water when you wake up, after exercising, and 30 mins before and after eating.

Be patient if you are testing these tips out! Just like with our everyday life, it takes time to see results. Start now to get a routine going and you will be looking dewy in no time! These tips also serve as a good makeup base to avoid makeup picking up dead skin. If you are new to skincare or have no idea how to incorporate this into your routine, apply during the morning and nighttime and always start with thinnest to thickest products. A skincare step should look like the following: cleanser, toner, serum, cream, and sunscreen (for mornings). Also, use it minimally on your skin to see if your skin is sensitive to it or not when trying new skincare products, 

On a side note, always apply sunscreen,  cloudy or not, before going out to prevent aging to look 30 years old at the age of 50, like Jenny from the Block (aka Jennifer Lopez). Winter is the season of love and joy and our skin deserves the same.