5 Tips to Enhance Your Winter Skin Care Routine
Often neglected, your face gets the brunt of the winter conditions. When the climate is dry, Trans-Epidermal Water Loss or (TEWL), increases. When we have too little water in our skin, TEWL increases. With water loss anything can assault our skin, for example, sunburn, dry skin, irritation, and atmospheric effects.
So what can we do to reduce TEWL? To keep your skin's trans-epidermal water loss it’s important to have a mild cleanser with re-fatteners in it, as well as a face cream or moisturizer, with ceramides, cholesterol, and fatty acids.
These ingredients will help form a barrier so your skin can do a better job holding water and protecting you from the elements. I love our Rilassante Anti-Aging Moisturizer, which has just what the skin needs. Humectants like Aloe Vera, Squalane, Sacha Inchi, and Green Tea. A blend of anti-oxidants to keep the skin healthy.
If that’s not enough try adding in a hyaluronic acid serum to help bind water to the skin, it can hold up to 1000x its weight in water. My recommendation here is The Ordinary Hyaluronic Acid Serum.
Lastly, to prevent evaporation of the moisture you just applied to your skin, mix a couple drops of face oil into your moisturizer. Squalane + Rose Oil is a good option for this occlusive technique which adds an extra barrier for hydration.
2. Use cool mist to fight winter dryness
Keeping a humid environment is one of the easiest things you can do in the winter. Cool mist humidifiers will help bring moisture back into the air so that the outer layer of the skin (the epidermis) isn't drying out.
Low moisture levels could be hurting your skin health! So definitely have one in the bedroom while you’re sleeping, but it doesn’t hurt to have them all around your house. Most importantly, make sure you keep your humidifier cleaned often to keep away the bacteria that can grow in water if it is not refreshed often.
I know what you're thinking, winter is not usually the time associated with tans and burns and photosensitivity, but stay with me: Sun protection is a mandatory and should be year-round! On a beautiful day, clouds can let up to 80 to 90 percent of the sun’s rays; 10 to 20 percent if it’s not sunny. But keep in mind snow can reflect as much as 89 percent of the rays back onto your face as well! So winter is no time to slack off.
I recommend ISDIN Eyrofotona Actinica ($55) for face, which is proven to undo sun damage according to the brand’s website, and Coola Mineral Body SPF ($32), which is easy to find and works well!
4. Avoid Hot Showers
Sorry to your skin. Hot showers may feel amazing, however, they really dry the epidermis out.
Instead, turn the dial to warm and remember to use a moisturizing soap with added re-fatting oils that will add some moisture back into your skin. Don’t forget to hydrate the body with lotion or an oil immediately after to lock in moisture.
If you don’t exfoliate, the dead skin acts as a barrier, causing your lotions or oils to just sit on the surface of your dry skin. It’s good to exfoliate the skin 2 to 3 times a week.
This Stimulate Bath Mitt ($39) gets the dead cells off your body while a good facial scrub which is a physical exfoliant that gently resurfaces your facial skin. If you don’t like using a scrub on your face you can use a chemical exfoliant like an alpha hydroxy acid or fruit acids.
Your Skin Friend with Benefits
Try adding these to your skin care regimen it doesn’t have to be costly or complicated. In fact, you may already own one of the hardest working, multipurpose, DIY products on the market.
Drum roll, please… Vaseline, which is the popular brand name for petroleum jelly. The ooey gooey stuff makes for a safe and effective skin moisturizer, but there are some important things to consider before you oil up. Vaseline’s moisturizing potential comes from its occlusive properties — basically acting as a seal, keeping preexisting moisture in and hostile environmental agents out.
Studies have found that petroleum jelly doesn’t actually add moisture to the skin, but it’s significantly more effective at reducing the amount of moisture your skin loses compared to other DIY “moisturizers,” like olive and mineral oils.
If the ingredients in most moisturizers make you break out, you’ll be pleased to discover that Vaseline locks in your skin’s own natural hydration. Put it on before bedtime to maximize its softening and hydrating potential. The buffering action of Vaseline makes it an effective barrier between your boo-boos and bacteria, which allows minor cuts and scrapes to heal more quickly.
Depending on where you live, some of these tricks may be optional (not the sunscreen though). But if you notice your skin changing with the seasons, it’s smart to switch up your routine along with it. After all your wardrobe changes, so why not your skin care?
- A guide to the UV index. (2004).
- Global solar index: A practical guide. (2002).
- Mieremet A, et al. (2019). Unravelling effects of relative humidity on lipid barrier formation in human skin equivalents. DOI:
- Spada F, et al. (2018). Skin hydration is significantly increased by a cream formulated to mimic the skin’s own natural moisturizing systems. DOI: