Posted on January 27, 2023
As the bitter winter winds pick up outside, your wardrobe isn’t the only thing that should change with the colder weather. Seasonal changes can affect your skin, and the cold air can lead to dry, dehydrated skin. Extreme changes between warm indoor air and frigid temperatures outside can also trigger flare-ups in existing conditions like eczema, rosacea, and psoriasis. Keeping your skin vibrant is still possible during the winter, but it takes a few minor adjustments to your usual natural skincare regimen.
To prevent dehydrated skin, moisturizing is key to any winter care routine, so apply a nourishing moisturizer twice a day. For a quick and simple option on-the-go, an aloe vera spray is about the easiest way to generate moisture, while also infusing your skin with nutrients. It’s also an excellent option for those who have cracked heels and feet.
To help retain the moisture, a rich almond oil is one of the best natural skincare products for winter because it traps the natural water from your skin. Almond oil contains fatty acids and is loaded with antioxidants, vitamins A and E which can help with acne and reduce scars and visible signs of aging.
This natural oil is available in both sweet (a fixed oil that does not evaporate) and bitter (an essential oil), but sweet almond oil is the better option for the skin because bitter is primarily used for its fragrance. Seven Minerals’ Sweet Almond Oil is both cold-pressed and unrefined, meaning it was processed without heat or chemicals and retains all its antioxidants and nutrients.
The heated air generated from furnaces during the winter months is very dry, so using a humidifier indoors will significantly improve the moisture in your skin. It’s also important to drink lots of water – just because it’s not hot out doesn’t mean your body doesn’t need it. The ideal level of humidity in a home should be between 30 and 50 percent, so if you’re experiencing dry skin, adjust the humidity levels accordingly.
Alcohol-based cleansers, which strip the skin of natural oils, or cleansers with synthetic fragrances can dry out your skin and should be avoided (especially for those with sensitivities). Instead, opt for a gentle, natural cleanser like castile soap, which contains glycerin, a byproduct that absorbs water from the air and helps moisturize the skin. In addition, retinoids for anti-aging can irritate certain skin types — particularly in the winter.
Winter is the most important time of year to exfoliate in order to remove dead skin cells and clear the way for a moisturizer to go to work, however, it’s a fine balance and excess exfoliation can dry out the skin. During the winter, two to three times per week is the magic number for most skin types to be gently exfoliated. Be cautious about sharp scrubs made from nuts or apricot seeds as they can damage the skin barrier, and instead use softer options like jojoba beads, bentonite clay, or oatmeal.
Winter is also a great time to try slugging, a beauty care method that utilizes both humectants and occlusives to treat dry skin. This popular hydration technique is ideal for those experiencing dry skin in the winter and other options like lotions just aren’t cutting it.
Slugging is often performed on the face or the hands and involves a two-part process of applying a natural humectant like aloe vera gel to draw moisture from the air, and then sealing it in with an occlusive. The products are left on overnight and then thoroughly washed away with a warm cloth. If you’re trying slugging on your face, avoid pore-clogging oils like coconut or soybean oil, and instead use non-comedogenic natural oils like neem oil, sweet almond oil, or grapeseed oil.
It’s a double-edged sword: after shoveling the driveway or running errands in the cold, a hot shower or a nice long soak in the bathtub while the snow is falling outside sounds ever-so-inviting. However, over bathing can lead to dry skin because it removes the natural oils, and showering in high temperatures can damage the keratin, preventing the outer layer of skin from retaining moisture. We realize that opting for a lukewarm shower is a test of willpower on a chilly day, but your skin will thank you. And don’t forget to exfoliate and moisturize!
There are different types of face masks, but you can’t go wrong with aloe vera as the main ingredient to leave skin with a healthy glow. That’s because natural aloe vera hydrates the skin, reduces inflammation, prevents bacteria from building up, and boosts collagen. You can make an easy, DIY hydrating face mask using aloe vera gel and a variety of different ingredients including honey, yogurt, and turmeric. Unlike slugging, a hydrating mask is typically left on for 15 to 20 minutes (versus overnight).
When choosing an aloe vera as your base, be sure to use an alcohol-free aloe vera such as Seven Minerals’ 99 percent organic aloe vera gel to avoid any dryness from alcohol-based ingredients. For comfort, an aloe vera that contains natural thickeners (instead of additives like xanthan gum) will add a refreshing, cooling sensation to the face mask and does not leave a sticky residue.
Preventing dry skin in the winter is manageable with a few easy changes, but everyone’s skin has different needs. Finding the right balance for your winter skincare regimen may take time but implementing a few of these winter skin care tips can get you started.
September 18, 2023