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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. So, what’s a girl to do to maintain gorgeous, glowing skin during these frigid times? Believe it or not, 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.
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. That’s right: 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.
You swapped out your summer clothes for heavier-duty winter garb to protect yourself from the elements, didn’t you? Well, the same way you switch out your tank tops for your turtlenecks, you should change up your skin care routine, too, to better align with the season. Trust us: Those lightweight moisturizers and serums may not cut it on sub-freezing, windy days. Not sure where to start? Make the following four swaps in your skin care routine.
Skin care product swap #1: Facial cleanser. Every good 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. But during the winter, 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 skin. Saturate a cotton pad with the L’Oréal Paris Micellar Cleansing Water Complete Cleanser for Normal to Dry Skin and wipe it across your face. That’s all there is to it!
Skin care product swap #2: Moisturizer. According to the AAD, the best time to apply moisturizer is when your skin is still damp because this helps to lock in hydration. So, slather on your face and body lotions after cleansing or taking a shower. Do you experience dry skin in the winter? Try the L’Oréal Paris Hydra Genius Daily Liquid Care for Extra Dry Skin, a water-based moisturizer that is formulated with hyaluronic acid and aloe vera water to provide comfort and long-lasting hydration.
Skin care product swap #3: Hand cream. Be honest: How much attention do you pay to your hands? Oftentimes, you’ll moisturize your face because it receives the brunt of wintry weather, but what 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. The AAD recommends applying hand cream after washing your hands and wearing waterproof gloves if they’re frequently immersed in water.
Skin care product 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.
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 extra attention, you can help to manage winter’s dry skin.
1. When it comes to moisturizing, pay attention to your entire body. 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 immediately after showering to help lock in moisture.
2. Get an instant pick-me-up by using facial spray. Regardless of how well you moisturize and how many precautionary steps you take to hydrate your skin from the harsh elements, you might still crave a mid-day moisture boost. That’s where facial sprays come in. Just spritz one on whenever your skin is feeling dry!
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 get some moisture back.
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 Brighteing Daily Peel Pads to your nightly skin care routine. They are formulated with glycolic acid to help resurface dull, uneven skin tone and rough texture to reveal underlying youthful-looking skin. (Just remember: Newly revealed skin can be sensitive to the sun, so be sure to apply an SPF of 30 or higher in the morning.) To exfoliate your body like a pro, use an exfoliating cleanser, 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—follow up with body lotion afterwards!
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.
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. Does your skin look 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. Blustery winter winds have you feeling flustered? There’s a good chance your skin may show it. Good news 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 is opposite red on the color wheel, it can help to neutralize the look of redness. Follow up with a flesh-toned concealer from the L’Oréal Paris True Match™ Super-Blendable Multi-Use Concealer, which comes in 14 shades to match every skin tone and undertone.
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 Infallible Pro-Last Waterproof Pencil Eyeliner and L’Oréal Paris Voluminous Lash Paradise Waterproof Mascara.
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 & Set Makeup Extender Setting Spray. Hold the bottle 8-10 inches away from your face and spray it in an X and T motion.
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 as well. So, go ahead and pamper them with the L’Oréal Paris Pure-Sugar Nourish & Soften Face Scrub, then follow up with a hydrating lip balm.
And now you’re all set to brave the wintry weather and look beautiful while doing it. Looking for other winter beauty tips? Check out our article, 10 Cold Weather Beauty Hacks to Add to Your Winter Skin Care Routine.