Everything you need to know about winter skincare

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Dry skin during wintertime is all too common, and while it may seem like a lost cause, a few changes to your skincare regime can make a huge difference. (Filip Mishevski/Flickr Creative Commons)

The cold, dry air that comes with winter can wreak havoc on your skin. If you’re experiencing red, flakey, cracked or even painful skin this time of year you’re definitely not alone. Dry skin during wintertime is all too common, and while it may seem like a lost cause, a few changes to your skincare regime can make a huge difference.

According to Dr. Debra Jaliman, dermatologist and assistant clinical professor of dermatology at Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City, the outer layers of our skin become brittle and dry because the body tries to hold in heat by narrowing blood vessels. It can happen to people of all skin types, and to keep dryness at bay it’s important to give your skin a little TLC. Following these simple tips will definitely do the trick!

Moisturize, moisturize, moisturize

This one is a given, but it really is the key to avoiding dry skin. To keep your skin as hydrated as possible be sure to apply a cream or lotion directly after washing your hands or showering, because water strips your skin of its natural oils. In the wintertime, look for lotions that contain ceramides, which are lipids that help form the skin’s barrier and retain moisture. Basically, they are essential in preventing dry and cracked skin. Try CeraVe Daily Moisturizing Lotion or Aveeno Skin Relief Intense Moisture Repair Cream , which both contain ceramides. You can also use a moisturizing body wash such as Nivea Creme Soft Foaming Silk Mousse Body Wash, which contains almond oil.

Use a gentle cleanser

Cleansers can be really drying and abrasive on skin during the colder months, so switching to a gentle cleanser or a cleanser designed for sensitive skin can help you retain some moisture. Avoid cleansers with glycolic or salicylic acid if your skin has been feeling extra dry lately. Instead, try cleansers such as Yes To Cucumbers Gentle Milk Cleanser, which contain soy proteins and green tea extract will soften and clean your skin at the same time.

Don’t forget about sunscreen

Without warm weather reminding us of the sun’s power, it can be easy to forget to wear sunscreen in the winter. Snow and ice reflect the sun’s powerful rays and can cause a lot of damage to your skin, so protecting it with sunscreen is crucial. Look for face moisturizers such as Aveeno Positively Radiant Daily Moisturizer that contain SPF of at least 15.

Make your own face mask

If you’re in the mood to pamper yourself, a DIY face mask can provide your skin with a lot of nourishment without the added chemicals and abrasive ingredients that store-bought masks may have. There are a ton of ingredients you probably already have at home which can help reduce dryness, such as honey, coconut oil, banana, aloe vera, yogurt and avocado. Choose any combination you please, mix the ingredients into a cream or paste-like consistency, apply to your skin and voila! Your skin should be feeling smoother and more hydrated with minimal effort.

Try an antioxidant serum

Antioxidants are great for skin because they can protect you from the harmful pollutants in the air. They also contain many vitamins and fatty acids that are perfect for dry skin in the winter. They are best to apply in the morning, after you cleanse your face but before youapply moisturizer. They can be pricey, but two cheaper options that still actually work are Hylamide Booster with Vitamin C and Klairs Freshly Juiced Vitamin Drop Serum.


Melissa Scrivani is the associate life editor for The Daily Campus. She can be reached via email at melissa.scrivani@uconn.edu.

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