The change of seasons—and extreme temperature shifts in general—can do a number on your complexion, especially when that shift is from gorgeous warm weather to the bitter cold. Yep, that’s right: According to the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD), dry skin is a pretty common issue during the winter, and that dryness can lead to your skin looking more dull and lackluster than it does the rest of the year. To maintain gorgeous, glowing skin during these frigid times, it all comes down to your skin care routine. With the right skin care products and beauty tips, you can help to keep your skin hydrated and looking and feeling its best. Below, we share everything you need to know about cold climates and the skin care changes you should consider making in the winter, including switching to a more nourishing moisturizer.
HOW COLD WEATHER AFFECTS YOUR SKIN
First things first, it’s important to know why winter wonderlands—despite how gorgeous they might look—can affect your skin. During the winter months and in the midst of colder temperatures, low humidity reigns supreme. According to the Mayo Clinic, skin tends to be driest in the winter because that’s when temps and humidity levels fall. But that’s not all, the Mayo Clinic states that central heating and space heaters—you know, two winter necessities—can reduce humidity and dry out your skin. Plus, taking long, hot showers—most likely one of your favorite cold weather activities—can also be drying to your skin.
4 SKIN CARE SWAPS TO MAKE FOR COLD CLIMATES
Chances are you swapped out your summer clothes for heavy-duty winter garb to protect yourself from the elements. Well, the same way you switch out your tank tops for your turtlenecks, you should change up your skin care routine to better align with the climate. Trust us: Those lightweight moisturizers and serums may not cut it on sub-freezing, windy days. If you’re not sure where to start, make the following four swaps in your skin care routine.
SKIN CARE SWAP #1: FACIAL CLEANSER
Every proper skin care routine starts with a fresh slate—meaning washing your face should be a non-negotiable part of your beauty regimen, no matter the time of year. During the winter, however, it’s important to make sure you’re not causing undue dryness by using a harsh cleanser. Instead, reach for one that soothes and hydrates, like micellar water. Micellar water is a gentle no-rinse cleansing option that removes everyday impurities from skin’s surface without over-drying. Saturate a cotton pad with the L’Oréal Paris Micellar Cleansing Water Complete Cleanser Waterproof - All Skin Types and wipe it across your face until clean. That’s all there is to it!
SKIN CARE SWAP #2: MOISTURIZER
According to the AAD, the best time to apply moisturizer is when your skin is still damp because this helps lock in hydration. Simply slather on your face and body lotions after cleansing or taking a shower. As for what to use for your moisturizer, try the L’Oréal Paris Age Perfect Hydra Nutrition Manuka Honey Day Cream and the L’Oréal Paris Age Perfect Hydra Nutrition Manuka Honey Night Balm. Both moisturizers are formulated with manuka honey and nurturing oils to provide mature, dry skin with nourishing comfort.
SKIN CARE SWAP #3: HAND CREAM
Oftentimes, you’ll moisturize your face because it receives the brunt of wintry weather, but it’s easy to forget about your hands. They’re out in the elements, too—and frequent hand-washing can cause them to become dry. Be sure to toss a thick, rich hand cream into your purse (and keep one on your bedside table as well) so that you can moisturize on the go. We recommend the L’Oréal Paris Age Perfect Hydra Nutrition Manuka Honey All Over Balm - Face, Neck, Chest, and Hands, which relieves mature, very dry skin on your face, neck, chest, and hands.
Editor’s note: If you don’t think a hand cream is enough to save your hands, you may need to take an extra precaution or two. If your hands are often immersed in water—while washing dishes, for example—the AAD recommends wearing waterproof gloves.
SKIN CARE SWAP #4: SOAP
According to the Mayo Clinic, many soaps can strip your skin of moisture. In the winter, be sure to stock your bathroom and shower with fragrance-free, hydrating soaps and body washes instead of harsh ones.
5 TIPS TO ADD TO YOUR COLD CLIMATE SKIN CARE ROUTINE
Now that you have a better understanding of what happens to your skin in colder weather and the product changes you should think about making, it’s time to talk tips. With an array of easy lifestyle changes and a little extra attention paid to your complexion, you can manage dry winter skin like no other.
1. PAY ATTENTION TO YOUR ENTIRE BODY
When it comes to moisturizing, it’s not just your face that needs extra TLC in the winter—the skin all over your body can also be prone to weather-related dryness. Keep a body lotion by your bathtub for easy access and apply it every day.
2. GET AN INSTANT PICK-ME-UP BY USING FACIAL SPRAY
Regardless of how well you moisturize, you might still crave a mid-day moisture boost. That’s where facial sprays come in handy. Just spritz one on whenever your skin is feeling dry. We love the L’Oréal Paris True Match Lumi-Shake and Glow Dew Mist, which is formulated with vitamin C and coconut water.
3. INVEST IN A HUMIDIFIER
Since winter weather is infamous for sucking the moisture out of the air, a humidifier is the perfect way to bring some hydration back. If you want to know more, click through to our article on How Using a Humidifier Can Benefit Your Skin.
4. EXFOLIATE, EXFOLIATE, EXFOLIATE
If exfoliation isn’t already part of your regular skin care routine, it should be. Exfoliation is the process of sloughing off dead skin cells from the surface of your skin—and when dead skin cells build up, they can make your complexion look dull. You can benefit from both facial and body exfoliation. For your face, add the L’Oréal Paris Revitalift Bright Reveal Brightening Daily Peel Pads to your nightly skin care routine. They're formulated with glycolic acid to help resurface dull, uneven skin tone and rough texture to reveal underlying youthful-looking skin. Just remember: Glycolic acid can cause skin to be sensitive to the sun, so be sure to apply an SPF of 15 or higher in the morning and remember to reapply throughout the day.
To exfoliate your body like a pro too, use an exfoliating body wash, applying it in circular motions to wet skin in the shower. Give your elbows, feet, and knees extra love, since they can be especially prone to dryness. Of course, it almost goes without saying but you’ll want to follow up with body lotion afterward.
5. RESIST TURNING UP THE HEAT
Whether it’s a long, hot shower or blasting your heat on your ride home from work, try to resist the urge. When you take hot showers, this can strip your skin of its natural oils, which are necessary for keeping your skin hydrated. Similarly, when you crank up the heat indoors, you can dry out the air—and your skin as a result. Opt for lukewarm water in the shower instead—and invest in some comfy sweaters to help keep you toasty indoors.
HOW TO WINTER-PROOF YOUR MAKEUP FOR COLD CLIMATES
In addition to your skin care routine, you may find that you need to swap out a few of your makeup products, too. Don’t fret—with these five tips you’ll be able to brave winter’s windiest days looking like a million bucks.
1. REACH FOR A DEWY-FINISH FOUNDATION
If your skin looks duller than usual, save your matte products for summer and opt for a dewy-finish foundation during this time of the year. Pick up the L’Oréal Paris Infallible Pro-Glow Foundation and apply it with a makeup blender, like the L’Oréal Paris Infallible Blend Artist Foundation Blender, using dabbing and rolling motions to blend it onto your skin.
2. COLOR CORRECT
There’s a solid chance your skin may show signs of blustery winter winds. Newsflash though—you don’t have to walk around looking wind-beaten. Just grab the L’Oréal Paris True Match Color Correcting Crayons and use the green-hued concealer to cover redness. Since green sits opposite of red on the color wheel, it can help neutralize the look of redness. Follow up with a flesh-toned concealer, like the L’Oréal Paris True MatchSuper-Blendable Multi-Use Concealer and no one will know redness is one of your winter skin care concerns.
3. USE WATERPROOF EYE MAKEUP
If you find your eyes always get watery when it’s windy outside, consider using waterproof eye makeup so that you don’t have to keep checking the mirror every few minutes. Try the L’Oréal Paris Le Liner Signature Easy-Glide Mechanical Eyeliner, Waterproof in Noir Cashmere and L’Oréal Paris Air Volume Mega Mascara Waterproof, Lightweight in Blackest Black.
4. SPRITZ ON A SETTING SPRAY TO HELP SEAL IN YOUR LOOK
Along with winter weather comes bundling up—and when you have a scarf wrapped snugly around your neck and mouth, that might mess with your makeup. Set your look with a setting spray, like the L’Oréal Paris Infallible Pro-Spray and Set Make-Up Oil-Free Setting Spray. Hold the bottle eight to ten inches away from your face and spray it in “X” and “T” motions.
5. PERFECT YOUR POUT
For the final touch of your winter-approved makeup routine, exfoliate and hydrate your lips. Just like the skin on the rest of your face and body, your lips may feel dry during the winter. So, go ahead and pamper them with the L’Oréal Paris Pure-Sugar Nourish & Soften Cocoa Scrub, then follow up with a hydrating lip balm.
Next up: And now you’re all set to brave the wintry weather and look beautiful while doing it. If you're looking for more in the way of winter beauty tips, check out our article, 9 Beauty Hacks To Add To Your Winter Skin Care Routine.