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When the weather gets colder, skin dryness can become a big problem, fast. If not addressed, dry skin can become uncomfortable and also cause your otherwise beautiful skin to appear flaky, uneven, and dull. What’s more, the cold winter air outside and dry indoor heat inside can exacerbate your dry skin problem as the season goes on. That’s why it’s important to nip winter skin dryness in the bud right when you notice the first sign of parched skin.
If you think there’s not much you can do, it might be time to re-evaluate the products you’re using in your daily skin care routine. If they’re the same ones that you used over the summer, that may be the first warning sign that what you’re using isn’t helping your hydrating efforts, but possibly hurting them instead. Read on for our best skin care products to help hydrate and nourish your skin during the winter months—and we’re not just talking about using a facial moisturizer. Turns out, there are a lot of ways to adjust your skin care regimen in order to put an end to winter skin dryness. With these hydrating picks in your beauty arsenal, you’ll be able to keep dryness at bay all season long.
To clean your complexion without causing it to become flaky and dry, consider switching to a cream cleanser during colder months. Gel or foaming cleansers may be a bit too harsh for use during the winter because in addition to removing surface dirt, sweat, and oil, they may also strip your skin of the little natural moisture it has left—and this is oil you’ll want to preserve, not eliminate completely. A cream-based cleanser, like the L'Oréal Paris Age Perfect Nourishing Cream Cleanser, can still deliver a clean, fresh feel while helping skin to retain its natural moisture.
Beyond the type of cleanser you use, how you cleanse is also important. We preach this tip all year long but it’s especially important in the winter: Switch to washing your face using lukewarm water, as hot water can further dry out skin.
Another product to use in order to help avoid stripping your skin of the little natural moisture it has during colder months is micellar water, which can be used to remove your makeup and cleanse your skin. Micellar water can remove makeup and clear away surface impurities while also hydrating your skin at the same time. How cool is that? Better yet, it requires no water for wetting or rinsing your skin and the formula dries without having to be rubbed or patted—again, removing an element of your skin care routine that can exacerbate dryness. Reach for a micellar water formulated for dry skin, such as the L'Oréal Paris Micellar Cleansing Water Complete Cleanser – Normal to Dry Skin.
Editor’s note: If you’re unfamiliar with all of the beauty benefits and uses of micellar water, it’s high time you learn more about this amazing, multi-use product. Read our article 5 Benefits of Using Micellar Water for all the details.
A chemical exfoliator involves the use of beta-hydroxy acid (salicylic acid), alpha-hydroxy acids (glycolic acid, citric acid, tartaric acid, lactic acid, among others), or enzymes (pumpkin, papaya, etc.) to chemically break down surface buildup. While mechanical exfoliation (i.e. scrubbing) with a salt or sugar scrub may be too harsh on skin that’s already dry, chemical exfoliators are typically gentler on skin. Consider jumping on the chemical exfoliator bandwagon and using a gentle peel pad, like the L'Oréal Paris Revitalift Bright Reveal Brightening Daily Peel Pads, two or three times a week after cleansing. This will help dissolve away dry, dead skin cells to reveal the brighter, younger-looking skin that was hidden underneath all that flaky, dull buildup—all without over-drying your skin!
Instead of simply relying on your daytime or nighttime moisturizer to hydrate your skin, consider layering another hydrating product, like a serum, beneath your face cream or lotion. Apply a lightweight, hydrating serum underneath your moisturizer to deeply nourish skin and keep it protected from the harsh elements. Try the L'Oréal Paris Revitalift Derm Intensives 1.5% Pure Hyaluronic Acid Serum, which is formulated with hyaluronic acid and will leave you with smoother, more hydrated skin.
Editor’s note: Facial serum isn’t just beneficial during the winter months—you should be using it in your skin care routine no matter the season! Read our article, 4 Reasons to Use a Face Serum, to learn more.
Your day cream should not only moisturize your skin but protect it too! Environmental elements like air pollution and UV rays can cause skin to produce free radicals—which can lead to premature aging and overall skin damage. Antioxidants, such as vitamin C, can protect against these free radicals, which is one reason you’ll see them in so many skin care formulas. Try it for yourself and apply a facial moisturizer or serum that’s formulated with an antioxidant, like the L'Oréal Paris Revitalift Derm Intensives 10% Pure Vitamin C Serum, to clean skin in the morning and at night.
Two to three times a week, apply a hydrating face mask to clean skin for an extra dose of moisture—and self-care! Sometimes, if a skin care concern, like winter skin dryness, isn’t given a little special attention is can be difficult to sufficiently address. Putting forth a concentrated effort, like adding a face mask to your weekly skin care routine, may be just what your dry skin needs. Look for a formula that can moisturize and illuminate your dry skin and stay away from mattifying face masks which may do the opposite of what you’re looking for.
Replenish your skin with another surge of moisture at night, when your skin’s recuperating abilities are optimal. Whether you reach for a night cream or an overnight mask, be sure that you apply it with gentle, upward motions and make sure you’re using a formula that’s nourishing. If you have mature skin, which tends to get extra, extra dry, try the L'Oréal Paris Age Perfect Hydra Nutrition Manuka Honey Night Balm.
Next up: 5 Must-Know Winter Skin Care Tips