When the temperature outside starts to drop, do you feel all the moisture drain from your skin? Now is the perfect time to update your skin care routine to keep you looking healthy and radiant all winter long. Falling temperatures and brisk winds outside, together with dry heat inside, makes for an ever-changing environment that can create a seriously confused face. Combination and even oily skin can turn dry and flaky when the thermometer dips, and already dry skin needs extra care to protect and soothe it. Here are a few changes you can make to keep your skin happy.
Use a gentle cleanser that takes off all your makeup.
"Gentle" means that it doesn't burn or sting, and it doesn't leave your face feeling taut. Choose one that takes off all of your makeup and rinses off easily with lukewarm water. For this time of year, unless your face is very oily, consider using a lotion or milky cleanser rather than one that foams or lathers. Foaming agents can strip the moisture right out of your skin.
A few to consider: Cetaphil lotion, Beauty Without Cruelty Herbal Cream Facial Cleanser, BeneFit All Types Skin Wash, Remède Milky Wash, Garden Botanika Chamomile Cleansing Milk.
Choose a toner or freshener that feels soothing and doesn't dry your face.
This means no alcohol! If you have oily skin that stays oily through the winter, look for a toner with witch hazel instead for a thorough clean without the harshness. For every skin types, choose a toner that contains water-binding ingredients like glycerin, sorbitol, and sodium PCA, and soothing plant oils like calendula, chamomile, and elderflower (unless you are sensitive to plant oils).
A few to consider: Shiseido Vital Perfection Balancing Softener, Circle of Beauty Skinplicity Skin Refiner for dry skin, Beauty Without Cruelty Balancing Facial Toner, Body Shop Hydrating Freshener, Garden Botanika Elderflower or Honey & Rosewater Toning Lotions.
Heavy creams are good, just use them with care on your face.
Heavy, emollient moisturizers create a protective barrier from the cold for your hands and body, but make sure the one you choose for your face isn't too oily or greasy - it can cause breakouts on even the driest skin. Look for soothing ingredients like hyaluronic acid, aloe vera gel, propylene glycol (a water binder), sodium PCA, and allantoin, and an SPF 8-15 sunscreen for daytime use (yes, you still need sun protection in the winter).
A few to consider: BeneFit Vita Hydrating Creme, Lite Cosmetics Revive Face Moisturizer, Kiehl's Ultra Facial Moisturizer SPF 13, Oil of Olay Sensitive Skin Replenishing Cream, Lancome Bienfait Total SPF 15, Basis Face the Day SPF 15 lotion.
You still need to exfoliate, but be gentle!
Gritty facial scrubs might be fine in the summer when skin tends to be oilier and more resilient, but during the winter, an alpha or beta hydroxy product is a better choice. These chemical exfoliants gently loosen dead cells from the skin's surface rather than physically scraping them off.
A few to consider: Benefit Seven%, Neutrogena Healthy Skin, Avon All-in-One Perfecting Complex, Dermalogica Skin Renewal Booster, Oil of Olay Age Defying Daily Renewal Cream, Alpha Hydrox 8% AHA Lotion, Pond's Age Defying Complex.
The right mask can make your skin feel like new.
Choose a mask that replenishes the moisture you lose from being outside, or from too much dry heat. Hydrating masks are great for a quick rush of moisture for thirsty skin - just make sure it's not too greasy.
A few to consider: Body Shop Intense Moisture Mask, Benefit Seaweed Mud Mask, Dermalogica Skin Hydrating Masque, Clarins Revitalizing Moisture Mask.