The winter season may be beautiful and festive, but it can be super hard on the skin. Humidity in the air can drop, cold winds and heating can all contribute to dry, flaky skin during the winter season. But it doesn’t have to be the case! We look at 10 powerful dry skin winter remedies so you can keep a glowing complexion all year round.
Check out our top 10 most powerful dry skin winter remedies…
Avoid harsh soaps
Soap is dry skin’s worst enemy. Yet life without it would be pretty smelly! To avoid or treat dry patches on your face or body, choose 100% natural soaps that do not disrupt the natural pH level of the skin. The natural pH level of the skin ranges from around 4.7-5.75 which is considered slightly acidic as the protective barrier. Water has a pH level of 7 which is considered neutral. Anything above this is considered alkaline.
If the skin rises to an alkaline range, the skin loses water and dries out. This weakens the natural protective barrier leaving it sensitive to the climate and environment. It will also leave your skin feeling dry, flaky and itchy.
To avoid this, try soaps with gentle ingredients that will help soothe and repair the skin, restoring its natural defences. Fragrance-free is best, but if you love good smelling soap, go for those that contain nourishing natural essential oils instead of synthetic fragrances.
Fill up on vital nutrients for skin health
Eating specific foods doesn’t much sound like one of the most powerful dry skin winter remedies, but it works! Our skin cells have a cycle of rejuvenation, fueled by the nutrients we eat. Our diet often shows in our skin, both good and bad. So to treat dry flaky skin from the inside, we must turn to micronutrients. Dry skin can also be caused by a deficiency in micronutrients such as vitamin A, C, D and E, selenium or zinc. Which foods can we find the best micronutrients for the skin?
Food rich in antioxidants are particularly beneficial for skin repair such as:
- Green tea
- Olive leaf
- Bell peppers
Food rich in omega fatty acids are also good for combatting dry skin. You can find omega fatty acids in foods such as salmon, herring and mackerel, walnuts, almonds, flaxseeds, chia seeds, canola oil and soy bean oil.
Topical olive leaf extract (not the same as olive oil)
The power of the olive tree has been recognized in health and beauty for thousands of years. Olive oil does have excellent benefits, but we’re talking about olive leaf extract in topical form. Olive leaf extract contains extra goodness that would usually be lost in the processing of olive oil, such as the powerful compound known as oleuropein. What makes olive leaf extract one of the best dry skin winter remedies?
Topical olive leaf extract is an effective agent against dry skin in several ways. Firstly, it contains rich moisturizing properties that are able to penetrate the skin cells and provide nourishment. The oleuropein also works as a powerful microbial which means it helps protect your skin against invading bacteria, viruses and fungi.
Olive leaf extract is also abundant in antioxidants. Applying it topically to the skin helps to neutralize free radicals which cause damage and premature aging to the skin. This makes topical olive leaf extract a top choice for eliminating dry skin.
Choose all-natural products (important!)
You may have heard this many times before, but why is it so important for skin health? Our skin absorbs around 65% of whatever we put onto it. Then our natural detox system gets to work to filter out the artificial fragrances, colors or preservatives. That’s a lot of work!
Furthermore, our skin is our largest organ and also happens to be teaming with various types of bacteria, viruses and fungi. These organisms make up our skin microbiota which play a vital role in our skin health. For example, the beneficial bacteria on the skin help to protect from the invasion of harmful bacteria. If we are using products with chemicals that don’t agree with our skin type or it disrupts the normal bacteria on the skin, it can show up in rashes or dry patches. With the skin broken, this means bad bacteria can enter more easily and cause skin infections.
All-natural products on the other hand are more bioavailable to the human body. That means once it is absorbed into the skin, the body knows what to do with it. It recognizes the molecules and can make use of them, no need to get work filtering anything out. All-natural products are also less likely to disrupt any of the natural bacteria found on the skin.
Go easy on the exfoliator
Exfoliation helps gets rid of dry skin though, right? Yes, but in winter season, when the skin can be even more dry and sensitive, the last thing you want to do is leave your skin red raw and exposed to the cold temperatures. When exfoliating in winter, limit it to 1-2 times per week max and apply a natural, rich moisture barrier within a few minutes afterwards. This will help lock in moisture as your skin cells refresh.
There are several ways to exfoliate including dry brush exfoliation, as well as products containing exfoliating particles. Some exfoliating products contain synthetic microbeads that may be harmful to the environment when we wash them down the sink. They can also leave the skin feeling irritated.
The most natural way to exfoliate is with a dry brush exfoliator before a shower. When out of the shower apply a natural moisturizer all over. Use a body brush starting from your toes in long upwards sweeping movements. For the delicate skin on your face, use a gentle facial cleansing brush or sponge to remove all the old skin cells without damaging the next layer.
Used cream-based makeup instead of powders
Not exactly one of the typical dry skin winter remedies, but if you use makeup, one way to beat dry skin on the face is to swap any powder-based makeup to cream-based varieties. This will help to stop any powders from further drying the skin and clogging pores whilst giving you the look you want.
Always apply makeup to a clean, moisturized face, being careful to keep any sponges or brushes clean to avoid disrupting the skin microbiome. Where possible, go for natural brands, so you know you won’t irritate your skin further.
During the cold seasons, when our skin is generally producing less sweat, cream-based makeup such as BB creams or cream blush can give you back a glowing complexion without drying the skin further.
Raise the humidity
In winter season, the humidity inside the home or office is usually much lower than other times of the year. This can be a big contributor to dry skin breakouts as the low humidity draws out moisture from the top layer of skin.
Central heating units and car heating also contribute to dry flaky skin. In winter, it seems our skin is either being blasted by warm dry air, or cold dry air most of the time. What is the solution?
The easiest way to solve low humidity causing dry skin is to invest in a portable humidifier. This will help bring back some of the moisture into the air and into your skin.
Soften your water
It’s a myth that hard water or soft water is better or worse for cleaning objects or surfaces. However, it is true that soft water is better than hard water when it comes to skin dryness. Hard water can often cause dry skin, but you may notice the effects more during winter while your skin may be more susceptible.
The difference between hard and soft water is merely mineral content. Drinking, hard water is perfectly healthy as our body makes use of the minerals, but for your skin it can be a different story. Hard water has been known to strip the natural oils from the skin and cause a build up of residue.
Before you go out to buy a water softener system, there are several ways you can soften your water naturally at home. One way is to simply boil the water and let it cool before using it to wash your face and soothe dry parts of the body.
Now we have talk about water on the outside, of course we have to talk about water on the inside. How much water you need every day varies from person to person depending on your lifestyle, body type, the seasons and your diet. The average person needs the equivalent of around 8 glasses of water per day.
During winter, you may not feel as tempted by a big glass of cold water, but there are other ways to keep hydrated during this season. For example, some of your water intake can be from warming herbal or fruit teas. You can also make infused water with delicious seasonal ingredients to make it taste more appetizing. Try infusing your water with orange, cinnamon and ginger for a festive flavored drink, or cucumber, strawberry and thyme for a refreshing twist.
A nice water bottle or water infusion bottle (free from plastics) will help encourage you to stay on track with your hydration goals. See how quickly you notice the effects in your skin!
Limit swimming and long baths or showers
Swimming in the pool and taking long hot baths or showers may feel sensational any time of the year, but in winter it can take its toll on our skin. The chlorine in the pool wreaks havoc on our natural balance of oils as the chemicals strip them away. Taking long baths and showers in hard water and with various soaps has a similar effect on the skin.
If you are suffering from uncomfortable dry skin, or you notice your wrinkles are showing more than ever, or your complexion is dull, spending lengths of time in these types of water may be the culprit.
But there is no need to give up your swims or hot baths, all your skin needs is a little TLC afterwards. Ensure all the chlorine or soap products are thoroughly rinsed off every crevice of the skin before adding moisture back in with a penetrating topical skin treatment on the dry areas.
Use soft clothing and bed linen
This is another one that doesn’t exactly seem like a classic dry skin winter remedy, but clothes and bed linen have a big effect on our skin – after all, it spends a lot of time touching both!
Some materials that are rougher than others can cause friction and make the skin seem flakier than it would be otherwise. Furthermore, synthetic materials such as polyester, and nylon are often made with thousands of chemicals that can be harmful to our skin.
Our skin is a living organ and the materials we touch it with each day have an impact. Since we spend most of the day in clothes, then most of the night against the bed linen, it’s a wise investment for our skin if we are mindful of the materials we use.
Which one of these dry skin winter remedies works best for you?
Let us know in the comments!