Spring is here, but your dry skin may still be lingering! I've gotten a lot of questions lately about dry, dull skin, which is super common this time of year.
Dryness can show up as:
- a tight feeling after you wash your face
- breakouts that are small raised bumps or small whiteheads (sorry...I know, it's a terrible word)
- general or localized redness
So why is our skin dryer in the winter? As it gets colder, the air becomes dryer. With every breath and minute that you are exposed to this dry air, you are losing moisture. Dry skin means aging skin…and no one wants that! So we have to do as much as we can to combat this. In addition to the items listed below, consider using a humidifier in your room at night. It’s precious moments that you could be hydrating your skin! I have this one and have been really happy with it.
Improving your skin’s moisture barrier will help it look younger, plumper, resist cuts and scrapes, and reduce blemishes. What the heck is a moisture barrier?
When our cells are dehydrated, they shrink. This means that you will have more space between your cells where outside offenders (pollution, bacteria, physical assault) can penetrate. The smooth canvas your cells make is called your moisture barrier, and dehydration from low water intake, dehydrating foods, and products that are not hydrating enough cause your moisture barrier to be compromised.
Don't worry, there are some easy things you can do to help hydrate your skin! Find out more below:
1) Diet- I know, I know. It's not necessarily what you think. The main thing with food is to eat more fresh foods- veggies, fruits, and meat. Most processed foods have had all the water taken out of them to make them more shelf stable. This means they are actually dehydrating by nature; you body requires more water to digest them. Fresh fruits, veggies and meats have more water (as well as electrolytes) by nature's design- pretty cool!
2) Hydration- Hydration needs vary based on your weight, diet (see above), activity level, even climate. In the winter, it's often much dryer, so we need more water as we are spending the day dehydrating just by living! Most likely, you need more water.
Set a modest goal and work up from there. I use a water bottle that I know I should aim to drink two of each day (it’s a big bottle). Feel like you need to pee all day long? Add a small pinch of Himalayan salt to your water (I like this one). It helps give the water more electrolytes and your body will more effectively absorb the water into it’s cells rather than just flushing you out!
3) Exfoliation- When skin cells build up on the skin, our skincare products are not able to be absorbed into our skin as effectively. Also, bacteria can get trapped under those layers of skin cells causing blemishes. We typically think of a physical exfoliation when we hear exfoliation. Anyone guilty of using St. Ive's back in the day? 🙋
There is a better way! While I sometimes like a physical exfoliation in a face wash, I really like a chemical exfoliation. Beautycounter's Overnight Resurfacing Peel is my go-to for this. It combines resurfacing and soothing fruit acids to help get rid of dead skin cells, and your products will actually be absorbed into your skin! If you have normal skin, you can use it 3-4x per week. Sensitive skin? Only use 1-2x per week.
4) Oils- If you've never used facial oils before, you may be wary of them. Let’s go back to a little biology lesson…and keep in mind, I haven’t taken biology since high school. The outside of all of our cells are composed of a lipid (fat) bilayer. These fat molecules affect how strong or weak a cell is.
If we eat lots of processed seed oils, which are polyunsaturated (think liquid at room temperature and easily damaged), the outside of our cells will be less strong and more prone to being damaged. In addition to eating more saturated fats (from healthy pasture raised animals), adding oils back on to our skin can help to improve the outside of our skin cells! Face oils are composed of specific oils that have been found to be beneficial to our skin.
If you are looking for a DIY option, tallow is one of the best absorbed animal fats. Note: Coconut oil is NOT a great option because the chains are not the right length to properly hydrate our skin.
For face oils, I love Herbivore’s Blue Tansy face oil for blemishes and redness, and Beautycounter’s 3 facial oils. I use No. 3 most often- it works well for balancing oil production, acne prone skin, and other hormone related issues like melasma. The No. 2 oil is best for plumping aging or very dry skin. And the No. 1 oil uses Vitamin C oils for brightening! Especially in winter or when I’ve been in the sun often, I double up on the oils and use them in the morning and night.
5) Hyaluronic Acid- This acid is naturally produced by the body and helps to keep cells lubricated. It binds to water and plumps up our cells. However, aging, exposure to pollution, too much sun, and smoke can reduce how much Hyaluronic Acid our skin has. Choosing products that contain this potent acid can help reduce wrinkles, make skin smoother, and increase hydration!
Beautycounter’s Countermatch Intense Moisture Serum delivers deep moisture to replenish dry cells. Our Tint Skin and Dew Skin foundations also contain it to help maintain your hydration throughout the day.
6) Moisturizer- A good moisturizer that provides the right amount of moisture for your skin type will help you maintain moisture throughout the day and overnight. How do you decide?
Dry/Sensitive/Normal Skin- I love Countermatch Adaptive Moisture Lotion for this type. You may also find that the oils work well to give you enough moisture. And some even prefer to use the night creams both day and night until their skin becomes more moisturized.
Aging/Some Acne-prone Skin- Rejuvenating Day Cream
Oily Skin- If you skin is truly oily (like makeup melting off your face), the Countercontrol Matte Effect Gel Cream is wonderful for this! Protection while controlling oil production.
Need help with specific product recommendations for your skin? Send me a note!