Top 3 Winter Skin Repair Tips

Top 3 Winter Skin Repair Tips


Winter Skin Care Tips

Winter is here and your skin may feel tight, dry, itchy or rough.  Let's delve into why skin is a little trickier to keep properly hydrated at this time of year and what you can do about it.

Why skin feels dry in winter

There are a number of factors that contribute to dry skin in winter.  See how many of these are a factor in your skin dryness.

Impaired barrier

This means the surface of your skin is having trouble keeping in moisture because it's damaged or otherwise inadequate. 

Skin is under constant onslaught from going between frigid outdoor air and indoor forced hot air. 

Hot showers, even though they feel good in winter, strip skin of moisture leaving it unprepared to protect you properly. 

Speaking if stripped skin, continuing on with your usual exfoliators in winter makes the problem worse.  Look at your skin care products; it's not just products labeled "exfoliator" or "scrub" or "peel" that exfoliate your skin.  So many cleansers, serums, makeups and moisturizers are formulated with chemical exfoliating agents like glycolic acid, retinol, salicylic acid and even vitamin C, that you are exfoliating a lot more than you think.


Tip: assist your barrier function.  This means;

  • lowering water temperature for face washing, showers and baths. 
  • eliminating or at least reducing exfoliation in cold weather 
  • adding richer protection as one of your last steps.  For some, a moisturizer will suffice; for others, oils and balms are better.  If well formulated, these will not clog pores but help retain needed moisture.


Slowed movement of body fluids

Many people's days are sedentary because of desk work and computer use.  But in winter, there's a tendency to be less active since its cold. 

How many times did I face the morning alarm and say "no thanks" to that brisk winter walk since I was snuggled up in my blankets? 

But movement, even gentle movement, can help stimulate hydration by causing body fluids to flow better. 

One of the fluids is sebum.  This is your skin's natural protection against dry air.  It is a substance many think they have to remove, but this is a mistake.  If you're having trouble balancing sebum production, then movement helps with this, too.

The other fluids are internal - blood and lymph.  Blood flow helps you feel warmer, and lymph flow keeps tissues pliable and healthier by moving microbes, waste and other debris along the pathways to be eventually removed from your body.  Regular and efficient removal of debris, waste and toxins turn dull skin to glowing.



Tip:  move your body.  Anything you like is fine.  It doesn't have to be vigorous, just move and move often. 

  • Start with a morning workout to really get your skin glowing and energy up for the day.  Then make sure walk a few blocks, take the stairs, take a brief walk around the office every hour.; whatever it takes to move.
  • One of my favorites in winter is Rebounding.  This is a mini trampoline that fits in most homes and you jump, jog, bounce, even use weights for a good circulatory workout that burns fat and is very easy on joints.  Get the one with the handle if balance isn't your strong suit.


Changing eating habits can dry skin

In winter, we are drawn to heavier, fattier foods and drink more warm liquids which usually means coffee.  If your diet is full of caged animal fats, processed "heat and serve" foods and caffeine, this is not helpful for dry skin.


Tip: pack your diet full of adequate water and healthy fats

  • Drink water - your body needs more liquids on very cold and very hot days.  In general, you will need half your body weight in ounces of non-sugar, non-caffeinated drinks.  Try herbal teas, cage free/antibiotic free bone broth or even a warm cup of water with lemon.  You'll know you're having enough liquid when your urine looks pale consistently.
  • Winter is a great time for stews and soups.  Calling all cooks!  I have soup for lunch from Fall through early Spring; I always make extra and freeze so there is a soul warming cup of soup or stew just a short defrost away.
  • Add good fats like salmon, anchovies, seeds, nuts, avocados and eggs to provide calming hydration to skin; especially helpful for those with super thin and dry skin or those with eczema or dermatitis.

There are more tips for sure, but I wanted to highlight the ones people don't generally think about.  Skin health is a whole body affair, so by all means continue on with hydrating facial masks, gua sha facial massage and richer moisturizers, but consider some of these to help you this Winter.

Which of these tips do you think you can implement today?  Which may take a little planning?  Do you have other tips to share, like a home made mask or some facial ritual that has worked well over the years for you?  Share them in the comments below.

Joanna Tringali

Holistic Esthetician and Facial Massage Therapist



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