In most areas of the country, winter weather has tightened its grip. Cold air, harsh winds, snow, and freezing rain together with indoor heating systems can spell doom for your skin.
Fortunately, you don’t have to spend this part of the year with itchy, irritated, red and dull skin. Below are five common skin conditions that tend to show up during the winter months, and how you can fix them.
1. Winter Dry Skin
This is by far the most common problem we all face in winter. Cold air is dry air and it pulls moisture from the skin, leaving it parched, dry, flaky and dull. It doesn’t matter what type of skin you have, you’ll probably notice at least some dryness this time of year.
The problem gets worse as we age. The skin becomes less able to replenish and repair itself, so it can’t bounce back as well from dryness. The top layer of skin that normally seals in moisture can weaken with age and environmental assaults, allowing more moisture out and irritants in.
- Cleanse gently: Ditch harsh and stripping soaps and gels and turn to creamy cleansers that cleanse while retaining moisture.
- Pick the right moisturizer: Look for deeply moisturizing products that contain ceramides and butters. These help provide a good seal on the skin while delivering nutrients into the deeper layers to plump and hydrate. Our CV Skinlabs moisturizers contain ceramides, butters, and natural oils to help deeply moisturize.
- Moisturize more often: Whenever your skin feels tight and dry, go ahead and apply moisturizer again. Your skin probably needs it this time of year. Applying right after a shower or bath is also a good idea as the cream can help the skin hang onto some of the water.
- Turn down the water temperature: Though hot water feels great when it’s cold outside, it dries out the skin, so try to either lower the temperature to warm, or spend less time in that hot water.
- Get a humidifier: Put it in your bedroom so your skin is exposed to more humid air overnight. It will help it stay more moisturized.
2. Winter Chapped Skin
Lips, hands, and cheeks are vulnerable to excessive dryness leading to chapping. This is a painful combination of dehydration, sun exposure, and potentially windburn, as well as indoor heating systems that strip the air of moisture.
Lips and hands often suffer the most as they don’t produce enough oil to combat harsh winter conditions. Lips don’t have any oil glands at all, so it’s easy to see why they tend to suffer.
Skin cells in these areas also tend to buildup, as they aren’t exfoliated often, so they don’t slough off as quickly. That creates those thick, flakey patches, which in turn, don’t retain water as well as healthy skin.
- Exfoliate: Any area that is already chapped and flaking needs exfoliation first. Use a homemade mixture of olive or coconut oil and sugar and wipe clean with a splash of warm water. This can work for lips, cheeks, and hands as well.
- Use oils: Skin that was chapped and then exfoliated is tender, so you want to treat it gently. Natural oils help protect from further damage. Apply a layer of coconut, olive, almond, jojoba, or rosehip oil.
- Moisturize: After the oil sets in, follow with a moisturizer—either an ointment or balm. Our Restorative Skin Balm works great on lips and other sensitive areas of the skin.
- Mask overnight: During the night, your skin repairs itself, so this is a good time to give it the extra nutrients it needs. Apply our Restorative Skin Balm to lips or other areas of chapped skin overnight, or simply use a thick shea or cocoa butter.
3. Winter Redness
Rosy cheeks are expected during cold months, but if the skin is suffering from winter weather, that redness can go from cute to unsightly. Winter sniffles can also cause redness around the nose and mouth that you’d rather not see.
- Calm the inflammation: Redness is typically a sign of inflammation, so you want to calm that down before you do anything else. All of our CV Skinlabs products contain anti-inflammatory ingredients, so any of them will help, but we recommend our Restorative Skin Balm as it can moisturize red areas too.
- Apply moisturizer: In addition to calming the inflammation, you want to add moisture as red areas are typically dry, too. Apply a balm to a red nose or a thick butter to red cheeks, and don’t be afraid to reapply several times a day.
4. Keratosis Pilaris (KP) Breakouts
KP is a skin condition that causes tiny red bumps on the arms and legs. Colder temperatures often cause flare-ups, which is just what you don’t want. If you notice your condition getting worse, talk to your doctor, then step up your self-care to fade those bumps away.
- Exfoliate: Exfoliation plays a big part in managing KP, but if you’re noticing a flare-up, go ahead and exfoliate a little more. Go gentle—use a fruit acid exfoliator and avoid harsh nut and bead scrubs.
- Use lactic acid: Look for a moisturizer with lactic acid, as this will help keep the skin cells from building up and prevent hair follicles from becoming blocked—both actions that can reduce flare-ups.
5. Winter Oily Skin
While most people experience dryness in the winter, some will find that their skin turns more oily, at least in places. This is the skin’s reaction to that dry air—it pumps out more sebum to help counteract the dryness. Unfortunately, that can cause unwanted breakouts.
- Avoid harsh acne products: These can make skin worse, particularly in the winter, as they are often drying.
- Look for balancing moisturizers and toners: Try not to focus on clarifying, but instead on balancing. You still want to hydrate the skin, as then it will not feel so pressured to produce more of its own oil. Try a moisturizing light toner like our Rescue + Relief Spray. It will moisturize without being heavy and could help turn the tide on your oily skin.
- Use a light but effective moisturizer: Some heavy creams may be too much for you, but your skin still needs moisture. We recommend our Calming Moisture and Body Repair Lotion. These are light lotions that deliver ceramides, butters, and natural oils to help moisturize the skin without being too heavy.
How do you treat winter skin issues?