Skincare Tips For Wintertime Skin Concerns

Just as you change your wardrobe with the new season, you also need to make some changes to your skincare routine. Each change in the weather — and the different temperatures that come with them — all have a different effect on your skin. In the summer, you have to think about how hot weather, humidity, and extra sun exposure can cause clogged pores through sweating, dark spots, and sunburns. Because of this, you usually go lighter on the skin and makeup products for the health of your skin in the summer (via Healthline). However, come fall and winter, that is a different story.

As the season gets colder, the air will get more frigid, windy, and dry. This causes filaggrin to decrease. This is an important skin protein responsible for maintaining your skin's barrier function as well as moisturizing factors according to Bryn Mawr Dermatology; therefore, it is important to protect it. In addition to the natural changes in the atmosphere, the warm air indoors can dehydrate your skin. Nevertheless, we're here to show you that you can maintain your skin the best you can by making just a few changes to your skincare this season.

Change up your moisturizer

During the summer, it's advised that you wear a lightweight moisturizer to minimize clogged pores because of how damp or sweaty your skin can get. On the contrary, your skin will start drying up more in the winter. "While humectants may have been sufficient to keep the skin hydrated during humid months, emollients and occlusives will be more important during low-humidity conditions," board-certified dermatologist Dr. Hadley King, M.D., tells Real Simple. Many dermatologists recommend switching to richer creams, rather than lotions, that contain petrolatum, ceramides, and hyaluronic acid to seal and protect your skin's moisture.

Hydrating cleanser

Because your skin's moisture barrier is at risk during the drier months, using a hydrating cleanser will be key this season. Harsh cleansers may be stripping more of your natural moisture off during a time when you most need it. "As a rule of thumb, if your skin feels tight after washing it is likely that the cleanser you are using has disrupted your skin barrier," consultant dermatologist Dr. Justine Hextall tells Harper's Bazaar. "Skin should feel calm and hydrated after washing, so if you are reaching immediately for your moisturizer you may want to consider a gentler cleanser." A hydrating cleanser is not only more gentle on the skin, but it also helps your skin retain its moisture while adding to it.

Exfoliation is key

Removing dead skin cells that remain on your skin is important for protecting the moisture barrier and texture of your skin. By using an exfoliator, you are ridding of those cells that have built up from the dry cold air over time. But just like any other skincare product you use during the colder months, you want to make sure it's a light, gentle exfoliator. "Switch to a gentle exfoliant during the winter season, and consider a product with bakuchiol, rather than a classic retinoid that may be too drying or irritating," board-certified dermatologist Dr. Rachel Nazarian, M.D, tells Ipsy. However, it's also important that you are only doing this about once or twice a week because over-exfoliating can cause more irritation and dryness to the skin.

Limit hot showers

The very thing that keeps you warm in the winter may also be causing some of your skin to dry up, unfortunately. While it may be a difficult task to do, you should limit your hot showers. This is because the hot temperature of the water further strips natural moisture from your skin. "Take brief lukewarm showers no more than once per day," board-certified dermatologist Dr. Hadley King, M.D., tells Real Simple. Dr. King also recommends immediately applying your moisturizer after your shower while your skin is still damp to lock and boost hydration.

Sunscreen is still essential

Sunscreen will never stop being one of the most beneficial things you can use for your skin. Contrary to popular belief that you don't need sunscreen in the winter, the sun's UV rays never go away. According to Manhattan Dermatology, it is recommended that you use sunscreen with SPF 30 or more to protect your skin from harmful UVA and UVB rays. It's important to protect your skin from any sun damage, dark spots, and wrinkles and to decrease your chances of skin cancer even in the winter. Using sunscreen ensures that all of your other skincare products can properly do their job when protected from the sun, too.