Winter Skin Care Routine for Dry SkinEmaan Shahid
Your skin needs extra care with dropping temperatures and reduced moisture levels. An effective winter skincare routine for dry skin will save your skin barrier from drying out.
Winter is a festive time. Most people tend to celebrate. At the same time, others tend to get cosy and connect with the family.
Whether you have dry, combination, or oily skin, it is vital to change your skincare routine according to the changing weather.
Causes of Dry Skin During The Winter Season
Here are some of the common causes of dry skin in the winter season:
When temperature changes, there is a change in moisture content in our atmosphere. Wood-burning stoves, Central heating systems, fireplaces and heaters reduce dry out your skin’s natural moisture. When you move from warmer indoors to colder outdoors, your skin cells dehydrate and die, leading to skin damage. 
If you live in cold, windy areas with reduced humidity levels, your skin is more prone to dryness. Pollution and smog also contribute towards skin dryness. Ozone depletes your skin’s Vitamin E. Smog increases the chances of skin infections and eczema. 
Contrary to popular belief, excessive water exposure leads to skin dryness. Bathing multiple times a day removes your body’s natural oils and breaks the skin barrier leading to skin issues.
Ageing means reduced skin collagen and skin oil production. Thus, your skin loses its healthy appearance and needs extra protection.
What are the Symptoms of Dry Skin?
Here are some of the common symptoms of skin dryness in winter:
- Your skin feels tighter than usual
- Your skin feels rough to the touch
- You are experiencing skin itchiness and redness
- Your skin is getting flaky and ashy looking
- Fine lines and cracks appearing on your skin
- Deep cracks around your skin peripheries that may bleed
Protect Your Skin from the Environment
Your skin is more prone to damage outdoors as compared to when you are indoors. UV Rays, pollution, dust, and allergens are the most common culprits behind skin ageing, skin irritation, and increased degrees of skin problems.
According to a study, UV Rays cause oxidative damage and break down collagen faster. This leads to rapid skin ageing. Oxidative stress breaks down the skin barrier and depletes natural moisture levels. 
Here is how you can shield your skin from environmental stress:
Wear a Face Mask
A face mask covers a significant surface area of your face and helps reduce direct UV rays’ impact on your skin. However, if you have Mask-Acne problems, it is recommended to use softer, skin-friendly face masks.
Apply SPF 30 or Above
Buy a good sunblock containing a minimal SPF 30 content or more. SPF shields your skin barrier against weather damage and reduces the chances of skin pigmentation.
Exfoliate Your Skin Once a Week
Your skin is prone to collecting dead skin cells over time. The temperature difference between colder outdoors and heated indoors dehydrates your skin cells. Eventually, your skin cells die faster in winter. Thus, a gentle exercise buffs your skin and removes dead skin cells every week.
New skin cells regenerate and repair your skin barrier for healthier-looking skin. Make sure not to exfoliate your skin excessively during winter. Just exfoliate once or twice a week.
Invest in a Sugar Scrub or exfoliant
Gently rub the scrub all over your skin. Take some amount of lukewarm water in between rubbing. The water enhances the effectiveness of rubbing action and ensures that you remove all dead skin cells.
Buy a Body Wash with Exfoliant Properties:
Your body needs as much care as your face, hands, and feet. A body washes containing natural sea salt, kelp, and fruit extracts is an excellent choice to thoroughly clean and exfoliate your skin.
Lock in Skin Moisture with Serums
Face serums are more effective than regular moisturisers. These serums contain more concentrated quantities of targeted skin-repairing agents. Moreover, they are easy to apply and absorb into the lower skin layers.
Invest in a high-quality skin serum containing hyaluronic acid, glycolic acid, mandelic acid, kojic acid, or lactic acid. These five acids are dermatologically approved acids and are suitable for your skin.
So, if you are wondering which serum is good for winter, this will help:
Hyaluronic Acid Face Serum
It is the most potent ingredient in most skin care products. The super moisturiser naturally hydrates your skin and locks in moisture for longer. The hyaluronic acid serum will do the trick if your skin turns dull and flaky.
Glycolic Acid Face Serum
Glycolic acid is suitable for reducing fine lines and wrinkles, and it also reduces hyperpigmentation and helps your skin against breakouts. A quality glycolic acid serum will help reduce skin spots, control skin sebum, reverse skin tan, and remove dead skin.
Lactic Acid Face Serum
This is an all-rounder serum containing skin moisturising and exfoliating properties. The milk-derived lactic acid gently removes dead skin cells, clears fine lines, and removes hyperpigmentation. Moreover, the serum improves overall skin texture.
Avoid Hot Showers
We know it sounds tempting to turn up the water temperature and enjoy a hot shower in winter. However, too hot water damages your skin.
Hot showers lead to skin itchiness and accelerate skin dryness and rashes. Thus, try to shower with lukewarm water. Moreover, reduce your time in hot bathtubs and come out before your skin turns wrinkly.
Dieting for Better Winter Skin Care
After investing time and money in quality skin care products, remember to change your eating habits! As it is said that the healthier you are inside, the prettier you look on the outside.
Increase your water intake
Winter tends to make us forget about our daily water intake. Keep a small water bottle with you and take a sip every 10-15 minutes. Minimise your caffeine intake.
Eat a fatty fish diet
A fatty fish diet helps you take in necessary Omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin E, and zinc. Your skin needs all these nutrients for treating skin inflammation and improving natural skin moisture content.
Switch to a Nutrient Rich Diet
Eat walnuts, olive oil, almonds, bell pepper, sweet potatoes, and avocados. Almonds provide you with a boost of selenium, vitamin E, proteins, and essential fats. Sweet potatoes contain beta-carotene, which acts as a natural sunblock. Bell peppers are a rich source of beta-carotene and Vitamin C. 
Remember to Moisturise!
Though most of us hardly ever skin moisturised during winter, many forget to moisturise the most crucial skin areas.
Apply a generous layer of non-comedogenic moisturiser on every inch of your skin. Invest in a quality body lotion containing oatmeal, aloe, and soothing chamomile extracts.
The exposed skin on areas like your face, ears, neck, hands, feet, wrists, and even ankles needs special care. Use a moisturising cream, lotion, or oil on your just-washed, still-damp skin to lock in moisture.
It is recommended to use moisturisers containing ceramides for better skin moisturisation in the winter season. Keeping your skin moisturised not only freshens your spirit but also gives you a head-start for better skin care in winter. Use a quality lip balm if your lips are drying more than usual.
Summing it Up
Winter season is harsh for the skin and leads to dryness, irritation, rashes, and even more breakouts than usual. Thus, taking special care of your skin in winter is necessary to prolong your skin’s natural health. Start small by exfoliating and moisturising your skin. Then you can move your way up to your ideal skin gradually!
Winter Skin Care Routine – Frequently Asked Questions
Petroleum jelly and mineral oils are the cheapest and easiest solutions for dry skin in winter.
A moisturizer containing ceramides is a good choice for winter. Choose a moisturizer which also contains SPF 30 or above.
Any face wash with gentle exfoliating properties is good for use in winter. Try to use mild face wash and ditch harsh soaps.
 Dry Skin Symptoms – MayoClinic
 Skin and Air Pollution – Kent.co
 Oxidative Stress – ScienceDirect
 Daily Sunscreen and Beta Carotene – PubMed
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