Let’s talk about winter skin. No matter your skin type, winter dries your skin out. Cold temps and dry air from heaters work together to strip your skin of much-needed moisture. Both your face and body are affected by this situation. I know you have heard me ranting about how dry skin is damaged skin, and how it can lead to a whole host of other skin problems if left unchecked. It’s true. Proper hydration of the stratum corneum (the outermost layer of the epidermis) allows skin to retain its elasticity, thus protecting it from damage. Hydration also allows water-soluble enzymes to do their job of helping your skin to shed dead skin cells, as well as supporting barrier function in skin. Skin does its best to protect itself by producing Natural Moisturizing Factors (NMFs) to hydrate the stratum corneum, and also by producing sebum as an occlusive to trap moisture in the skin. NMFs are comprised of an array of different components, such as amino acids, hyaluronic acid, lactate, urea, and a host of other compounds. Besides hydrating skin, NMFs also support your skin’s barrier function.

In order to keep your skin happy during the winter, you probably need a good moisturizer. Another favorite rant of mine involves people trying to moisturize their skin using only oil. It is USELESS to try to hydrate skin with only oil. I repeat: USELESS. Oils are emollients, and they serve to fill in the spaces between cells, thus, smoothing the skin. A good moisturizer contains more than just oils, however. A good moisturizer has three types of ingredients: emollients; humectants, and occlusives. Humectants are ingredients that attract water, such as hyaluronic acid, ceramides, and glycerin; occlusives cover the skin’s surface and prevent water loss. Please do not slather yourself in oil hoping to get rid of your dry skin. It won’t work.

I’m gonna go through winter skin tips for various skin types, so you’ll know how to fight back!

OILY/COMBINATION: If you’re noticing dryness/flakes, adjust your routine to exclude constant use of harsh cleansers and stripping anti-acne products. Use a lotion-based anti-inflammatory cleanser, and reduce the number of days you exfoliate. If you aren’t using a moisturizer, you might want to start. However, PLEASE do not go buy some hardcore moisturizer for dry skin. You don’t have dry skin, you have oily skin that needs moisturizing. Products for dry skin tend to be way too heavy for folks with oily or combo skin, and that can lead to breakouts. Look for moisturizers with fast-absorbing oil profiles. Good oils to look for include jojoba, grapeseed, evening primrose, and hemp seed oils. These will not exacerbate your oily skin, but will provide needed emollients. Bonus if that oil profile comes with a water phase containing hyaluronic acid, sorbitol, etc. Of my products, I recommend adding Barrier Repair serum to your regimen.

SENSITIVE/ROSACEA: Folks with sensitive skin and/or rosacea, you have a hell of a time in winter. Your skin is already sensitized, and cold weather pisses it off real bad. Add in the impaired barrier function due to dryness, and it’s super happy fun times. (jk) I suggest using all anti-inflammatory products in order to reduce your skin’s angriness, and adding in a heavier anti-inflammatory moisturizer for winter. From my products, I’d suggest a regimen of Skin Zen face wash, any toner, and Barrier Repair serum with Skin Zen night cream on top if needed. Also, try to protect your inflamed areas if you’re gonna be outside. I use a layer of my Optimus Primer as a barrier to the elements in the winter, and it works great.

DRY: Welcome to hell, fellow dry skin-having folks! Winter is our mortal enemy. The first thing to do is stop showering every day. Use the mildest cleanser possible, and look for moisturizers that have rich, heavy oil profiles. Shea butter, avocado oil, pomegranate seed oil, squalane, and kukui nut oil are some examples. Humectants are your friend, so look for hyaluronic acid, lactate, etc. For your face, you need to cleanse every day, but it should be with a product that has a VERY mild cleansing agent, and LOTS of moisturizing ingredients, so that it doesn’t strip your skin. My New 20 face wash fits this bill nicely, as does my Skin Zen cleanser. Look for moisturizers with the same characteristics and use it daily. Barrier Repair serum is wonderful as a base layer, and you can use New 20 night cream (anti-aging), Skin Zen night cream (anti-inflammatory), or Hydro-Bomb night cream (uber moisture) on top. Again, I recommend a protective layer of Optimus Primer if you’re going to be outside for a prolonged period.

I know I’ve only listed my products in my suggestions, and it’s because I don’t follow other brands’ products, so I am unfamiliar with what’s out there. I am happy to read ingredient lists for other products and let you know if they will help stave off dryness. Just msg me or post in the comments. Let’s stay moisturized out there! #themoreyouknow

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