5 Tips to Boost Skin’s Radiance in Winter
The cold-weather months are notoriously hard on the skin. Frigid temps can make skin raw and chapped, while indoor heat saps moisture from the skin.
There are things you can do, however, to protect and rejuvenate your skin during fall and winter: all it takes is a few tweaks to your current routine.
1) Dial down the water temp. Sure, we all want to gravitate to steamy showers when it's cold out, but hot water will only aggravate sensitive, irritated skin even more. Use warm, not hot, water when showering—and limit your time under the spray. When washing your face and neck at night, use lukewarm water. And pat, don't rub, your skin dry. (Rubbing can make chapped skin worse.)
2) Crank up a humidifier. I call these electronics one of skin's most important beauty tools during the winter. Indoor heat sucks essential moisture out of the air; without moisture, skin gets rough, dry, and lackluster. Once you add moisture back into the air with a humidifier, skin begins to look rosy again. An added benefit: the hair and scalp gets hydrated, too, eliminating static-y fly-away strands.
3) Add an exfoliator to your daily regimen. The skin sheds its dead outermost layer every 28 days, allowing new skin cells to rise to the surface of the skin. Age and harsh weather can interfere with this process, slowing it down.
But when most people think of exfoliators, they think of harsh scrubs. This is definitely not what you should be using. (Harsh exfoliators can further irritate dry, sensitive skin.) Exfoliating best bets: natural "chemical" peeling agents like glycolic, salicylic, and azelaic acids. These help gently remove the dry, dulling outer layer of skin so fresh, radiant skin cells can shine through. (You can find these natural exfoliators in cleansers, toners, moisturizers, and chemical peels.) Exfoliate once daily; nighttime is often best as sloughing off dry, dead skin cells helps nutrient-rich night crèmes to be better absorbed so you get more noticeable results.
4) Swap out your moisturizer. Set aside the lightweight hydrator you used during the spring and summer months, or layer over it with a thicker, more hydrating cream. Your skin needs more moisture now, even if you have oily skin. Some potent hydrating ingredients to look for include hyaluronic acid, which attracts moisture to the skin, and olive oil.
5) Get some exercise. While this doesn't seem like a typical "beauty" tip, getting some exercise every day is key to boosting circulation—and radiance. Blood carries oxygen to every part of the body, including the skin. It's oxygen that gives your skin a healthy, rosy glow. So even when the weather outside is frightful, still make time for some exercise—even if it's only 5 minutes here and there throughout the day. Your body, and skin, will thank you.
Stay radiant this season!