Science-backed tips to winter-proof your skin without overhauling your skincare routine.
Winter is in full swing, and as we bask in the warmth of our homes, our skin bears the brunt of the season’s harsh elements. The drop in temperature, coupled with indoor heating, can leave our skin feeling tight and dry. While there’s no shortage of advice suggesting richer creams and additional steps to your routine, we advocate for a simpler and science-backed approach to winter skincare. Before we get into the practical tips, it’s important to understand what happens to your skin when the temperature drops.
Understanding the effects of the winter on your skin
During winter, the air holds less moisture than the warm summer air. When we add artificial warmth from heaters, our indoor environment is just as dry as the outdoors. The result? Transepidermal water loss. This means your skin loses its ability to retain moisture, which leads to a feeling of tightness, dryness, and itchiness in some cases, and cracks in some of the worst cases.
Science-Backed Tips to Protect Your Skin
1. Embrace the Humidifier
As you know, dry air depletes our skin’s natural moisture. You can counter this by introducing a humidifier into your living space. As the humidifier elevates moisture levels, you’ll notice your skin feels more plump, hydrated, and comfortable.
2. Cotton Pajamas for a Good Night’s Sleep
If you do it like the French and sleep au naturel, adding sleepwear may make your skin feel better. We recommend cotton over other synthetic fabrics like polyester as it allows your skin to breathe, preventing irritation and transepidermal water loss. This simple switch ensures that your skin is better protected and able to retain its natural moisture.
3. Gloves Over Hand Cream for Dry, Cracked Hands
Winter can be particularly harsh on our hands, requiring extra care. Treat your hands to an indulgent yet simple remedy—apply a generous layer of hand cream and cover them with cotton gloves at night. The gloves enhance the cream’s absorption so you’ll wake up with soft and smooth hands.
4. Hold Back on Your Oils and Body Butters
While oils and body butters are winter favorites, you may want to use them in moderation. Excessive use can lead to dependency, making your skin reliant on external moisturizers. Your skin gets lazy and stops producing its natural oils.
Instead of oils and body butters, we recommend choosing moisturizers and creams that are lighter in texture but formulated to provide long-term hydration—so you’re not constantly reapplying. This way, you’re supporting your skin while ensuring it maintains its natural resilience.
In summary, body butters and oils are acceptable in moderation, but avoid making them a daily necessity.
5. Vaseline in Case of Emergency
Vaseline, which has had a bad reputation in recent years, can emerge as a hero in times of crisis. Its occlusive properties can work to your advantage when your skin’s protective barrier has been compromised — Vaseline creates an effective barrier, sealing in moisture. In emergencies, especially when the skin is cracked and vulnerable, Vaseline can be a miracle worker.
As you navigate the cold winter months, remember this: healthy skin doesn’t demand an abundance of products. A simple yet science-backed approach, coupled with multi-benefit products, can give you the foundation for resilient and healthy skin. Yes, your skincare routine can remain effective without the need for a complete overhaul.