How to keep your skin feeling and looking its best when it’s freaking cold outside
Winter is hell on skin: Between the freezing temps outside and blasting heat indoors, you’re likely noticing that you’re more prone to dryness, chapping, and even breakouts. But a solid skincare routine can help keep your skin hydrated without adding oil, leaving you with smooth, happy skin all winter long. Here are our five best tips for making it through the cold months feeling good about your skin:
Cut down on hot showers
We get it. Hot showers feel fantastic, especially if you just put in a snowy workout outside and are coming in feeling like an ice cube. But hot water actually strips skin of necessary oils, leaving it feeling tight and dry. Opt for warm/lukewarm water instead—or, if you must take a hot shower, at least skip the hot water on your face and aim the spray on your body where your skin is less fragile.
It’s never more critical to moisturize regularly than it is in the winter. Morning and night, your skin is in desperate need of hydration, thanks to the cold weather outside mixed with the dry heat that comes from indoor heating. That’s why our Everyday Hydrating Face Moisturizer is ideal: It won’t clog your pores, and while it’s full of nourishing ingredients it’s also light and quick absorbing and can be used in the morning, evening and even a third time after the gym if you’re feeling dry.
Add a humidifier
If you’re really noticing dry, chapped and cracked skin, it might be time to get serious about hydration by also adding a humidifier into your room at night to help contend with dry skin. "Low humidity levels degrade the skin's natural moisture barrier, which can lead to flaking, cracking, and peeling," dermatologist Dendy Engelman told Allure magazine. "Abrasive factors such as indoor heating, strong winds, and hot showers can disrupt the [skin's] lipid layer, which serves as a barrier [of] protection against bacteria, pollution and other harmful environmental assaults."
Keep your face covered
A physical barrier covering your face while you’re outside can go a long way towards preventing chapped, dry lips and cheeks. Use a buff or some other face covering if you’re walking, running or riding a bike outside in windy weather and freezing temperatures. And even in winter, remember to use sunscreen if you’ll be outside for extended periods. It might get dark earlier, but sun damage is still possible during daylight!
You may find that winter weather brings out the worst in your skin in both directions: Dryness and breakouts are both common. It can be tempting to treat both issues with force rather than gentleness, opting for harsh exfoliators or ultra-heavy moisturizers. (Raise your hand if you’ve ever used a heavy-duty body lotion on your face out of desperation!) But skin doesn’t improve overnight, and it doesn’t improve with force. Instead, focus on the tips we’ve covered, and keep a consistent morning and evening routine of cleansing, toning and moisturizing your skin.
If you have oily or acne prone skin, you might assume that you don’t need to use moisturizer. However, moisturizer is an essential part of any skin routine, whether you’re oily, dry or sensitive. In fact, skipping moisturizer due to oily skin may actually be working against you, making your skin more oily!
Oily skin wants to be hydrated
That’s right: It sounds counter-intuitive, but oily skin that’s constantly being dried out by acne-fighting creams and harsh cleansers will begin to overproduce sebum (AKA oil) to rehydrate the skin. A certain amount of sebum is important, but overproduction of this oil is what causes skin to look greasy. The more sebum your body needs to produce to make up for a lack of skin hydration, the greasier your skin will look and feel if you’re prone to oily skin. Using a lightweight moisturizer and serum will keep oil production under control, making your skin appear glowy, not greasy.
Acne and oily skin aren’t treated the same way
You might think you’re treating your acne by using products that are all designed for oily skin, but your acne may not actually be caused by oily skin. There are other reasons you could be breaking out. If you spend a lot of time in the gym using headgear (boxing is a standard culprit for this) or wear a helmet while riding a bike often, you may be breaking out because of your less-than-squeaky-clean headgear. Or you may simply be more prone to acne, which can happen with both oily and dry skin. Look at your overall skin: Is it shiny by the end of the day? That’s a good sign you have oily skin. But even if you have oily skin along with your acne, don’t use acne products all over your face. Use them just on the spots of acne! For the rest of your face, a gentle cleanser, toner and moisturizer is all you need.
Check your moisturizer and skincare ingredients
While oily skin does require moisturizer, not all moisturizers will be ideal for oily skin. Moisturizers that contain oil can clog pores even further, so look for moisturizers that don’t contain oils. These are often referred to as non-comedogenic. The American Boxer’s Everyday Hydrating Face Moisturizer, for instance, is formulated to provide mild hydration that’s suitable for all skin types. It uses squalane, a natural compound that mimics your body’s natural oils. That helps avoid pores feeling clogged. Antioxidant and anti-inflammatory compounds also are included in the formula to soothe stressed out skin, and natural lemon peel extract is naturally acne-fighting. Supplement with a serum like The American Boxer’s Anti-Aging Serum, which is packed with hyaluronic acid, which also gently moisturizes without clogging pores.
Make moisturizer part of your routine
As with any routine, a good skincare routine works best when done on a regular basis. Your skin will get used to being cleansed, toned and moisturized in the morning and in the evening, and you’ll notice a difference in your skin if you stick to that standard routine. Try not to skip a day! Think about what happens at the gym: Do a bench press once, and you won’t get stronger. Do it regularly, and you’ll see results.
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