By: Sarah Kester
If cold weather is wreaking havoc on your skin, you’re not alone. Between commuting in subzero temperatures to working in dry conditions, it can constantly feel like you’re lathering up from head to toe. Here's why: The skin is a brick-like layered structure of cells, which is usually able to hold in some moisture within. When the outside environment is cold and dry, this ability to hold moisture is significantly reduced. Therefore, the skin becomes dry," says Aesthetic Dermatologist, Dr. Sonam Yadav. Getting ahead of dry skin goes, well, skin deep, so we tapped several experts in their fields to get the best advice to combat the issue. Scroll below for the tips that'll get you on your way to your dewiest glow yet.
You don’t have to step into the dermatologist’s office to get the final say. There are a few things you can look for right at home. “If you wake up feeling like your face is tight and stretched, or feel this way a few minutes after cleansing with a face wash, you probably have dry skin,” explains Dr. Yadav.“You may see more lines or wrinkles, uneven texture or whitish cast than usual, which could also be indicating the skin is dry. Dry skin feels uncomfortable and taut.”
Dr. Sheila Krishna MD, a board-certified dermatologist and advisor for Smart Style Today, agrees. “Dry skin will appear cracked and may have a fine-scale and will feel rough.” Now that you know, next up — how to fix it!
Say hello to your new friend that’ll help you “save face” during the winter months — a humidifier. “Attaching a humidifier to your furnace or using a portable humidifier at home and work will help keep your skin moisture content to an acceptable level,” says Dr. Alain Michon, MD, the Medical Director at Ottawa Skin Clinic. Don't have one? There are other options. “Use mild soaps with added hydrating ingredients like glycerin, allantoin or an emollient will help clean while providing hydration to your skin,” Dr. Michon adds.
If you love your long hot showers or baths, this next part might hurt: “Long bathing time and increased water temperature will remove natural occurring and hydrating oils from your skin,” says Dr. Michon. Ditch the hot water and leave the dial on warm instead — it’ll help your skin in the long run.
Applying moisturizer to dry skin isn’t just a no-brainer, it should be your first defense. “Using a moisturizer a few times a day will help with your hydration status by trapping water into the skin,” explains Dr. Michon. It’s cost-effective, easy to do and will help combat dry skin.
Here's another tip for the best results: “Apply a moisturizer right after bathing or showering in order to hold as much water into the skin as possible,” says Dr. Michon. Post-shower is the ideal time to lotion up: “The skin is slightly damp and the pores are open,” he continues.
When it comes to moisturizers, choose ones that spread easily and absorb quickly into the skin, recommends Dr. Krisha. Her picks? Vaseline, Aquaphor and Cerave, among other products. “All of these brands provide good moisture that can help to protect and prevent dry skin,” she says.
As for those with sensitive skin, a few things should be kept in mind. “It’s important to avoid products that contain fragrance or preservatives as these can irritate already dry and sensitive skin,” says Dr. Krishna. She suggests Vanicream since it’s an excellent brand that “offers products that are free of most preservatives and allergens.”
Lastly, she advises picking skin products with hydrating ingredients like Hyaluronic Acid (HA) is key: “HA acts like a sponge for water, which makes skin plumper and smoother. It has the ability to hold water in skin.” Noted!
Our last tip, which comes courtesy of Dr. Yadav, is to be diligent about drinking lots of fluids and eating foods with high water content. This means eating ALL the fruits and veggies!
Of course, a multi-purpose product never hurts either. Quench your thirst *and* help support healthy skin** by using Vital Proteins products, like our best-selling hydrolyzed Collagen Peptides. It’s a great product to start with if you’re new to collagen!
**These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.