Save Your Skin with Cold Weather TLC

This blog was written by River Philbert (’20), communications intern for the Family and Consumer Sciences Extension program.

Portrait of white woman doing her daily skincare routine

Does your skin drastically change when the weather gets colder? Well, you’re not alone. Myself and many others battle with dry, itchy, flaky skin when the temperature drops and the weather gets colder. 

In the winter, humidity levels in the air drops making the water in your skin evaporate, and causing your skin to be extremely dry and flaky. To further the problem, indoor heating contributes to dry air in your home environment as well. When it’s cold, many of us like our homes and cars nice and toasty, but the direct heat that hits our skin also increases water loss in our skin. 

Here are four habits that you should adopt to keep your skin protected and glowing through the season. 

Man having an outdoor showerTake Shorter Showers: In the winter nothing is better than taking a long hot shower before getting ready for work. It can relax you and also clear stuffy noses, but hot showers sadly, aren’t good for your skin. Hot water takes away moisture from your skin which can cause your skin to become dry and flaky. The skin has natural oils to keep you moisturized, but high water temperatures strip the oils from the outermost layer of skin. Cooler showers can help to keep your skin moisturized and hydrated, and also promote healthy shiny hair as well. 

Change Your Moisturizer: Moisturizing is key in skincare, but it is especially crucial during the cold months. The cold and dry air causes our skin to become dry so using a good moisturizer can help to lock in your skin’s natural oils, to keep your skin hydrated. Despite the fact that it’s cold out, the sun can also be damaging to your skin in the winter so using a moisturizer with SPF can help to provide healthy, glowing skin.

Another great tip is moisturizing immediately after a shower. This is the time your skin is the most hydrated so moisturizing can lock in hydration before you towel dry.

Woman relaxing with a facial mask at the spaFacial Masks & Face Scrubs: Facial masks can help to keep your skin hydrated and give a little extra moisture during the winter. Face masks are good because they help to unclog pores and brighten skin. When masks dry on your face and harden it causes expansion in blood vessels underneath your skin, which improves your skin tone almost instantly. It is best to use a face mask about 1-3 times a week. Choose one that has Hyaluronic acid, which can be found in many products, because it helps to draw water back into the skin adding extra moisture. 

Facial scrubs are also a staple in skincare routines. Scrubs can help exfoliate dead skin cells and dirt. They also help to remove dry and flaky skin caused by the weather. Over time your skin has buildup but light exfoliating can provide clean, glowing skin. It is best to exfoliate 1-2 times a week. 

Invest in an air humidifier: It is routine for us to want to turn up our heat during the winter, but the artificial heat inside your house can make the air dry in your interior spaces. The drier the air in your home, the drier your skin will be. An air humidifier can help add moisture back into the indoor environment, which can help to fight dry skin. 

Another benefit of an humidifier is that it can make the air feel more warm than dry. This can be beneficial because you can turn down your thermostats to conserve energy. The best humidity level should be between 30-60% but it all depends on the outside temperature. 

There are also car humidifiers, which can purify the air and help keep your skin moisturized during your commutes. Another great benefit of car humidifiers is that they come with scent diffusers, so you can put essential oils to make your car smell nice. 

Through the different seasons, the needs of our skin changes, and in winter, show your skin some extra TLC. To have healthy, glowing skin during the colder months, you should adjust your skincare routine and habits to accommodate the weather. 


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