The short answer? Yes.
Dry skin, redness, tightness, irritation, and breakouts are common when the winter weather descends upon us. Once we understand the causes of dry skin in the winter, though, we can take steps to keep skin happier until the April flowers bring May showers.
ONE: HOW DOES WEATHER IMPACT SKIN HEALTH?
Sudden changes in temperature are very confusing to the skin. Nobody likes consistency like your skin does, which you know all too well if you’ve ever had to use hotel soap because you forgot your Osmia bar at home. This is true for temperature, too. Our skin lives at a temperature of about 93-95 degrees, and stepping out into single-digit weather is a rude and unwelcome shock for your skin.
SOLUTION: COVER UP!
You probably think about wearing a coat, and hopefully you’ve got mittens and a hat to keep yourself cozy. But we don’t often think of covering up our faces. If you’re going to be outside when it’s brutally cold, wrap a warm scarf around your face to keep the shock factor more manageable. And if you’re doing something physical like skiing or running in the cold, wear a balaclava or a buff to protect your face.
TWO: HOW DOES HUMIDITY IMPACT DRY SKIN?
There is less water in the air. This makes sense, right? When it’s 97 degrees outside, more water turns to vapor, which makes the air more humid. When it’s freezing, water turns to ice, which only makes the sidewalk more slippery.
Consider a humidifier in your home, especially in your bedroom. If you have a humid environment while you sleep, your skin (and lungs) will be much happier!
THREE: DOES THE HUMIDITY PROBLEM FOLLOW ME INSIDE?
Indoor heat is dry. There are household heat humidification systems available, but they can be very cost-prohibitive.
SOLUTION: SERIOUSLY - HUMIDIFY YOUR HOME
And a silk pillowcase can help absorb less moisture and oil from your skin as you sleep—in case you’re feeling fancy.
FOUR: CAN HOT SHOWERS DRY OUT YOUR SKIN?
Long, hot showers feel good—maybe a little too good. Hot water dries out the skin by extracting more of its natural oils, leaving your skin dry and parched. When skin gets dry, it doesn’t do its job as well, allowing more water to escape and more irritants to get past the outer layer of skin cells. This can trigger redness, inflammation, and even breakouts, as the skin tries to crank up sebum production to compensate for the lost oils.
SOLUTION: STICK TO WARM SHOWERS
No more hot showers. Great, now you hate me. Okay, how about nice warm showers most of the time, and a hot one when you need a special treat.
FIVE: DOES CAFFEINE DEHYDRATE YOUR SKIN?
We drink more coffee and tea when it’s cold outside. You know, because coffee and tea are hot and we are down-to-the-core freezing. The trouble happens when you lose track of how much caffeine you’re drinking: caffeine is a diuretic, which leaves you dehydrated, and dehydration shows up in your skin!
SOLUTION: CUT BACK ON THE CAFFEINE
One or two caffeinated beverages a day is no problem, but sip on hot water or herbal tea after that. Hot water softens the digestive tract, making it easier for you to absorb the other liquids you drink throughout the day. Hibiscus tea is a great choice, too—it has loads of Vitamin C, which your skin needs for collagen synthesis.
DO YOU HAVE ANY YEAR-ROUND SKIN SAVING TIPS?
- Consider a fatty acid supplement like evening primrose oil. It’s especially supportive to the skin as it’s very high in gamma-linoleic acid, which can help dry, flaky skin conditions like eczema and dermatitis.
- Get rid of sodium lauryl/laureth sulfate in everything—your laundry detergent, your shampoo, your toothpaste. It’s in most products that foam, and is a skin irritant for a large percentage of the population.
- Eliminate synthetic fragrance in laundry, dish, and personal care products. Synthetic fragrances (that means anything but essential oils, often listed as “fragrance” or “parfum”) cause skin irritation for many people.
- Wash your face thoroughly every night. You should hit that silk pillowcase with clean skin every night, even if you just splash with water in the mornings.
Stress management is a real part of any good skincare routine. For many of us, our skin is one of the first places where stress can take its toll, from breakouts to dark circles to dermatitis. If your skin starts misbehaving, ask yourself what’s changed, and whether you need to take a little extra time to address it.
WHAT ARE THE BEST OSMIA PRODUCTS FOR WINTER SKIN?