Winter weather looks and feels quite different across the U.S. For some, winter means below the freezing point with plenty of snow, but for another lucky bunch, sunny skies and warmer temps are the norm. In the same way that switching out your summer wardrobe for fall sweaters is a yearly ritual, your skin can majorly benefit from a similar update when it comes to the skincare products you use each season. Whether you’re in the harsh temps of NYC, or basking in the LA sunshine this winter, your unique skin deserves the best protection it can get!
What does winter skin look like?
Generally speaking, as winter temps drop, so do humidity levels, meaning air becomes drier and naturally, so does our skin. How does this manifest in my skin you might be wondering? Oftentimes, these changes look like flakiness or dullness and skin can feel itchy or chapped. Plus, existing skin conditions like eczema or psoriasis can be exacerbated. In harsh winter regions, like the Midwest or the Northeast, some people may also experience redness caused by the effects of extreme winter conditions.
All of that dry air means that skin is more prone to losing water in a process called Transepidermal Water Loss, or TEWL, so skin may need extra assistance in sealing in water. Our skin relies on a healthy, functioning skin barrier to retain water with ample lipids, so when this natural barrier is out of whack, so goes hydrated skin with it.
What is the skin barrier & what does hydration have to do with it?
The skin barrier is our last natural defense between us and the outside world. It’s a fancy way of saying the outermost layer of our skin, and its function and purpose is vital to maintaining healthy hydration and overall skin health. The skin barrier keeps vital water in and potential pathogens and free radicals out. In order to lock in hydration, the stratum corneum, the skin’s outermost layer, relies on a healthy layer of protective lipids (oil) to coat each skin cell, effectively keeping water in and intruders (like drying winter air for example) out. The bottom line is that hydrated skin and a healthy skin barrier go hand in hand.
How to pick the right winter moisturizer for you
Knowing your skin type is a helpful place to start when considering what your independent needs may be. Dry, oily, or balanced? Read on.
Normal or balanced skin
This skin type falls in the middle of the skin spectrum; it doesn’t produce excess oil, but it’s not overly dry either. While balanced, this skin type is still vulnerable to winter extremities and can benefit from a protective barrier plus other nutritive ingredients to restore skin. Those with normal skin types can benefit from Life’s Abundance Facial Serum, formulated with essential fatty acid-rich oils and antioxidants to protect skin from harsh, external environmental factors like dry air or cold wind. If skin needs an added boost of moisture throughout the winter months, add a few drops to your facial moisturizer before bed to help prevent TEWL.
This skin type naturally produces excess sebum as compared to normal skin types, so water can be key when looking for a moisturizer. Opt for the Life's Abundance Facial Moisturizer. Containing 7 of the 8 essential amino acids that help skin retain water, dry winter air will meet its match. This lightweight formula easily absorbs into skin and won’t leave behind oily residue.
Dry skin types produce less sebum than normal skin types, meaning they lack lipids. Add dry winter air to the mix, and dry skin types will also lack water, leading to a state of dehydration. The best way to combat this is to consider a double-dose of moisture using both water and oil. Start with the Facial Moisturizer and add in 2-3 drops of the essential fatty acid-rich Facial Serum. Blend in the palm of your hands to create a creamy emulsion and massage into skin for an ultra-hydrating, protective barrier.
Plant actives at work
Dive into how each moisturizer works to hydrate and nourish your skin back to health.
- The Facial Serum is packed with essential fatty acid-rich ingredients to protect, moisturize and restore.
- Pomegranate oil: High in punic acid (omega-5) to help prevent moisture loss.
- Chia oil: Contains the omega-3 fatty acid alpha-linoleic acid (ALA), that’s been shown to help restore the skin's moisture barrier, especially in dry skin types!
- Prickly pear seed oil: Exceptionally high in the essential fatty acid linoleic acid (omega-6) which plays a key role in maintaining a healthy skin barrier function.
- The Facial Moisturizer offers skin a hydrating, protective base.
- Aloe leaf juice: Contains 98% water and helps skin to become more hydrated and improves elasticity.
- Hemp seed oil: One of the many amino acid-rich ingredients in this moisturizer that helps bind water to the skin.
In addition to your winter skincare arsenal to tackle dry, winter skin, here are a few lifestyle tips to help keep skin hydrated and happy this winter:
- Use a humidifier.
- Exfoliate regularly.
- Consume your water (don’t just drink it!) - think soups & bone broths.
- Avoid hot showers & baths as this can be damaging to the skin barrier.
- Drink extra H2O! Tip: If you want an extra nutritional boost, add Life’s Abundance Minerals and Antioxidants drink mix.
If you found this interesting, check out these related stories:
Dry Skin May Be Causing Breakouts
5 Common Skin Problems To Pay Attention To