The harsh winter air, cold temperatures, and low humidity levels during the winter months can strip your skin of its natural moisture. This can result in dry, flaky, and oftentimes painful skin. Usually, switching up your skincare routine to fit the changing season can be helpful, but choosing the wrong products can also have the opposite effect.
Dry Skin in the Winter: What Are the Causes?
Our skin’s outermost layer — the epidermis — is covered with a thin protective barrier called the stratum corneum. The lipids and skin cells in this barrier trap moisture, act as a protective layer and keep away toxic substances.
During winter, the lower moisture content in the atmosphere and harsher temperatures often affect the skin’s barrier. The lipid production is reduced, and the skin is stripped of its natural oils, aggravating dry skin conditions.
Winter Dryness Myths: Don't Fall for These Misconceptions
Overcast skies mean there is no need for sunscreens:
The truth is that overcast skies don’t automatically reduce UV exposure. Applying sunscreen can prevent further damage to the skin barrier from the sun’s harsh rays, thus helping control dryness.
Steamy showers are good for circulation and the skin:
Hot water can dilate blood vessels and result in water loss through the skin or epidermis. While it’s impossible to avoid hot showers entirely during the winter months, it’s a good idea to keep them short, avoid harsh cleansers, and moisturize your skin after you’re done. Products with clinically tested humectants such as Hyaluronic acid can work well to prevent moisture loss from your skin.
Exfoliation aggravates dry skin:
Exfoliation can boost skin circulation and get rid of dead skin cells that prevent skincare products from penetrating into the deeper layers of your skin.
Moisturization isn't unnecessary for oily skin
Even though dry and sensitive skin types are the most affected, cold and dry weather affects all skin types, and without added protection, the skin barrier can get compromised. Stick to a lightweight moisturizer that protects your skin and prevents excessive oil production.
Thick creams are good moisturizers
Concentrated or emollient doesn’t necessarily equal good hydration for the skin. Too many lipids in your skin care products can trap dead skin and debris and block pores. To ensure proper hydration, you need clinically tested products for combating dry skin, like the Hymagic ™ 4D technology that uses a blend of four types of sodium hyaluronates and hyaluronic acid to boost skin hydration by 155% within one hour.
4 steps to combating winter dry skin
The best way involves a combination of lifestyle changes and using the right products:
Stick to using mild cleansers:
Since the skin barrier is already compromised during the colder months, using harsh cleansers adds to the problems and strips your skin of any natural oils it may produce. Avoid harsh sulfates and surfactants altogether.
Choose products that hydrate and not just moisturize:
You need ingredients that help in attracting and retaining skin moisture. The Hymagic ™ 4D technology is backed by science to provide persistent, intense hydration to the skin using a combination of four potent ingredients — sodium hyaluronate (4 variants), hyaluronic acid, pentavitin and pro-vitamin B5. These work together to retain and seal moisture into the skin.
Get a humidifier:
A great way to increase the moisture content in the air around you, this gadget can help your skin retain moisture for longer. Instead of this, you can also keep a bowl of water on your radiator or heater, and it has a similar effect.
Limiting heat exposure:
During summer and rainy months, the heat in the atmosphere increases the moisture content as the water expands due to heat. But in winter months, because the moisture content in the air is already low, when you are exposed to the heater or a fireplace, the temperature rises but the moisture content goes down due to evaporation, further exacerbating the dryness.
Dry skin is not an inevitable consequence of the winter months. Using the right skincare products, that have been clinically proven to help with dryness — such as hyaluronic acid and Hymagic ™ 4D — and being conscious about your lifestyle can help you prevent this uncomfortable issue.