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It’s the most wonderful time of the year… except when it comes to taking care of your skin. If you suffer from dry skin, you know how tricky the winter months can be. While most people are busy planning their holiday vacations or bundling up for the cold, you’re most concerned with keeping your greatest asset smooth and supple. This is exactly why we’re chanting ‘dry skin, begone!’ Here’s how to keep your skin healthy through the winter so that you can appreciate the season for all the beauty it brings.

Why does skin dry out in the winter?

While the harshness outside might bring a rosy glow to your cheeks and nose, the freezing temperatures and low humidity can also leave your skin dried out, flakey or itchy. This being said, the worst culprit when it comes to seasonal dry skin isn’t the temperature outdoors; it’s inside your own home. Cold weather outside results in you turning the heat on inside, which ultimately dries out your skin regardless of the way in which you heat your home.

Winter Dry Skin Remedies

Dry skin isn't something you can prevent, exactly, but with a few smart tips in mind, you'll notice it's looking brighter during those long, dark days.

  • Switch to an oil-based or gel moisturizer: While a water-based moisturizer is perfect and lightweight for the spring and summer months, it might not be enough to get your skin through the winter. Instead, switch to an oil-based moisturizer like Clinique Dramatically Different Moisturizing Gel.

  • Wash with warm water: It might feel nice to wash with hot water and steam your pores after a day in the cold, but this can actually lead to a breakdown of your natural oils, which will only make your dryness worse. Instead, stick with comfortably warm water.

  • Moisturize more frequently: While you may be used to moisturizing twice a day, once in the morning and once before bed, it’s completely normal—and recommended—to moisturize more frequently during the winter months. Consider adding a mid-day moisturizer to your routine.

  • Dab instead of rub: If you haven’t started this yet, now is the perfect time! As it turns out, rubbing moisturizer into the skin actually results in the majority of your cream penetrating into your fingertips, not your face. Instead of rubbing, dab your moisturizer onto your face.

  • Exfoliate lightly: Exfoliate your skin, but do so sparingly and gently. Exfoliating can help combat dry skin during the winter as it removes the layer of dead skin from the surface, allowing your moisturizer to penetrate deeper into the skin. Over-exfoliating, however, can lead to more dryness and irritation. Try exfoliating once a week during the winter and consider using a professional at-home tool like the Clarisonic.

Winter Lifestyle Tips

Besides sprucing up your skincare regime, try these practical life tips that'll have you skip the scales.

  • Hook up the humidifier: Hooking up a humidifier in your home will help combat the warm, dry air that’s causing your winter dryness and possible flakiness.

  • Drink more water: Moisturize from the inside out by ensuring you are adequately hydrated. Remember that all that warm coffee and tea is dehydrating you, so grab a glass of water too!

Now that you have all the tips to combat the dry skin problems the colder months tend to bring, it's time to stop worrying and start enjoying the snowflakes and crisp mornings with a newfound sense of appreciation.

Photos: vlavetal / Shutterstock, fischers / Shutterstock

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Mykonos, Greece

Mykonos, Greece