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The Essentials for: Keeping Skin Hydrated in the Cold Winter Months

With winter in full bloom, we are finally enjoying some lower temperatures.

And while that may mean 50*F here in Southern California (I know, I know, not so cold), it means dipping into the single digits and negatives (with wind chill) in other states.

So many of my friends have been talking about winter-induced dry skin, and I figured if we need some advice here in the Pacific South West, my readers living in super cold environments might need a little skincare love as well.

So, here are some of my absolute essential tips, products, and rituals for keeping skin hydrated despite the harsh temperatures, and some products for healing skin that is already feeling less-than-loved.

Tip 1: Indoor/Outdoor

First, if the weather outside is truly harsh (incredibly cold, snowy, and windy) make sure you limit how much time you are spending outdoors.

This is probably very easy to do, given the discomforts of being in extremely cold weather.

If you must venture out for an extended period of time, moisturize before you go, cover up in a way that is comfortable to you, and moisturize once you are indoors once again.

Now, going indoors: your indoor heating system may feel so good in contrast to the outside cold, but make sure you pay attention to what your skin is trying to tell you.

Indoor heating is also very drying, and can zap moisture from your skin.

You can remedy this by running a humidifier, or but only using your heater as-needed.

Strive for being comfortable in a hoodie and socks, not necessarily a t-shirt and shorts.

Tip 2: Exfoliate!

Let me preface this by saying: if your skin is already irritated from the cold, do not start here.

But if you want to avoid winter skin dryness, this is a great place to start.

Exfoliating helps to remove dead skin cells from your skin, revealing the fresh skin underneath.

This is not only fantastic for cellular turnover, but it will help your skin to better absorb your follow-up skin care products.

If chemical exfoliants (such as those containing glycolic acid or other AHAs) tend to be too drying in the winter time, look for products that physically exfoliate (these are the formulas that are chunky/grainy).

As always, follow the instructions for use and pay attention to how your skin reacts.

I love my Alana Mitchell Brightening & Exfoliating Pumpkin Anti-Aging Masque to get rid of built-up dead skin cells while having a bit of me time!

Tip 3: Swap It Out!

Just because you have some of your favorite summer moisturizer left over does not mean you should continue using it into winter.

While some do just fine on this routine, most of us will need something a bit more nourishing once the cold, dry weather rolls in.

If you are a summertime lover of gels, try reaching for a cream.

If you stick to just a serum in the summertime, try layering a moisturizer over top.

Do you see where I am going with this?

Every person will be different, and every individual will have their preferences. :)

So find a combination that works for you, and roll with it.

Tip 4: Target Treat at Night

I know so many people who were resistant to having specific products for daytime, and specific products for night time...until they saw how fabulous it totally was.

Indeed, the initial investment in AM and PM specific products can seem daunting, but it is really worth it in the end.

First: you are treating your skin to extra moisture and nutrients at night, which happens to be when your skin does its best healing.

Second: the cost over time will likely not be nearly as much as you think.

Yes, you are purchasing two different sets of product, but you are also using those sets only once a day, so it actually stretches out quite well!

A friendly note: a product does not need to be specified for "night time" use to be used at night.

For instance: Image Skincare's Vital C Hydrating Repair Cream is thick, luxurious, and seriously hydrating, and would be a perfect PM addition to your skin care routine (if you prefer to keep things a bit lighter during the day).

Tip 5: Give Your Lips Some Love

This step is way too easy to forget.

Our lips seem to be feeling good and hydrated, and then suddenly they are chapped, cracked, and very unhappy.

The best way to avoid chapped lips is to take preventative steps - it may only take an instant to realize your lips are chapped to the point of discomfort, but it takes a day or two to soothe them back to health.

There are so many ways to combat this, the most popular of which is lip balm!

Make it a habit to keep one on your person, and slather it on at various points throughout the day.

I have made it a part of my AM skin care routine (I moisturize my lips, just like I moisturize my skin), and I like to touch up after snacks, meals, and anytime I notice my lips seem to be dry.

Moisturizing lips glosses or lip sticks are also a fabulous option, pending that they are actually moisturizing.

I am a huge lover of La Bella Donna Baci Baci Moisturizing Lip Sheers and Youngblood Lipsticks for their ability to deliver beautiful color and lasting hydrating.

Tip 6: Be Careful with Damaged Skin!

If your skin is already dry to the point of discomfort, be careful with what you apply to your skin.

Discomfort is usually the result of irritation and/or broken skin, and many skin care ingredients will react negatively on your skin, only making matters worse.

Reach for products that are designed to heal and repair damaged skin.

One of my go-to brands for this is CV Skin Labs.

All of their products are healing and ultra nourishing for fast relief.

I am also a long time fan of iS Clinical's Pro-Heal Serum Advance+, as well as their Hydra-Cool Serum.

Final Thoughts

Your main goal is to stay ahead of the dryness.

Always cleanse and moisturize AM and PM, and don't be shy about moisturizing as needed throughout the day!

If you find yourself in a situation that is uncomfortable, seek out some advice from a skin care professional.

They will be able to point you in the direction of products that are not only safe to use on irritated skin, but will help to soothe and heal it!

Happy Winter, Beauty Mates!

What are your favorite wintertime skincare and makeup products? How do you help your skin hydrated? Let us know in the comments!

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