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 Treating Parched, Dry Skin in Winter: What To Do & Not To Do!

Okay, so the temperature outside is about 20° (or it might be even lower) and there is very little to no humidity in the air. Your skin is thirsty. Ugh, you might as well be living in the desert, for all your skin knows. But there are things you can do to take your skin from feeling dry and dehydrated back to almost normal. Follow these tips and in no time flat your skin will be a happy camper again.

1. Wash your face less often

Yes. You heard me right. You might be cleansing too much. Sometimes over cleansing can lead to skin that feels tight and dry. It gets stripped of its natural moisture barrier and then the only thing to do is build it back up again. So try only cleansing at night with either a light foaming cleanser like the new CeraVe Hydrating Cream to Foam Cleanser ($17.48) or use a cream cleanser for dry skin. Still do a double cleanse though. Make sure if you are wearing makeup to get rid of all of that makeup so that you are not clogging up the pores (hair follicles) with it. In the morning wash your face with tepid water only. I know this sounds counterintuitive to things you have heard but lately I am doing it and have heard dermatologists recommend doing it too. It works. Especially on dry skin. But cleanse and do your regular skincare routine at night because that is when skin regenerates. The good thing about the CeraVe cleanser is that it has ceramides &  hyaluronic acid in it to keep skin hydrated all while helping to wash off any extraneous debris like makeup, dirt, oil and pollution. I absolutely love it. And it doesn't really foam much at all. 

2. Do not wash your face with hot water in the shower.

Again, this goes back to washing less often and with tepid water. The hot water will suck moisture from the natural moisture barrier. Once your skin becomes dehydrated it is harder to pull moisture back into the skin. The same can be said of body skin too. So if you suffer from dry skin, ease off on the really hot water even though it feels so good. 

3. Put on a good moisturizing mask.

This will help to put some moisture back into the skin. I recommend a good hydrating mask like Summer Fridays Jet Lag Mask ($48.00) or if you need a little bit of exfoliation too, Summer Fridays R + R Mask ($52.00). Both of these are great pick-me-ups for skin when it is lagging behind. Especially the Jet Lag Mask. I use that sometimes at night and sleep with it on. In the morning my skin is like new. I also recommend a moisturizing sheet mask. Tony Moly makes some good ones: Minions Hyaluronic Acid Sheet Mask (2 for $8.00), the I'm Real Honey (2 for $6.00) and I'm Real Watermelon (2 for $6.00). Using a good moisturizing mask will help to replenish some of the lost moisture that has escaped the top layers of skin. Skin will not feel so dry and tight anymore. Make sure to apply to clean, damp skin and leave on for at least 20 minutes. For the Jet Lag Mask it can be left on overnight. The R + R Mask is good if you have some flakiness too. 

4. Use a moisturizing toner or a cream skin.

There are few instances where I really propose using a toner so much as when skin is extra dry or extra oily, but this is one of those instances. Dr. Jart Ceramidin Moisturizing Toner ($39.00) is probably your best bet here. This one is full of ceramides, the fatty lipids that are in between the cells of the stratum corneum of the top layer of the epidermis. These are lost when the natural moisture barrier is weakened. Another option is a new type of product called Cream Toner ($33.00). La Neige makes one. I use this at times and it is very moisturizing. It is similar to an essence and toner in one. It moisturizes and tones the skin all at once. Very nice type of product. Great for dry skin. 

5. Use a hyaluronic acid serum to add hydration. 

Hyaluronic acid (HA) is not the end-all-be-all for skincare that everyone thinks it is. I found out through a cosmetic chemist that glycerin is actually a better humectant, it has a lower molecular weight and travels to the actual dermis. It is also less expensive to produce. And if you will notice it is almost always the second ingredient in most skincare products! However, hyaluronic acid still works well on the upper layers of the epidermis to keep it hydrated. There are two I like a lot. One is The Ordinary Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5 ($6.80). This one has three types of HA in it: a low, medium and high molecular weight HA that work synergistically to hydrate the upper layers of the epidermis. The other serum I like is Glow Recipe Plum Plump Hyaluronic Serum ($42.00). This serum contains 5 different types of HA, juicy plum, vegan collagen & silk protein in an oil-free serum that deeply hydrates the skin. I have tried a sample of this and liked it a lot. Have not purchased it yet though. But it works quite well. 

6. Use a heavy duty moisturizer. 

I am sure you were going to predict this part of my tutorial. This is one of the most important steps. Keeping skin moisturized is the most important step in keeping it hydrated. One you have done the hydration portion you need to moisturize with something heavy duty to lock in that hydration. Luckily any good cream will have glycerin in it to add even more hydration. And it might even have HA in it too. Here are a few good creams:
  • Dr, Jart Ceramidin Cream ($48.00-$69.00): supercharged with 5 different ceramides, bifida ferment lysate, beetroot and hyaluronic acid. Keeps skin nourished throughout days in harsh climates. 
  • CeraVe Moisturizing Cream ($14.71): contains ceramides, hyaluronic acid, glycerin and developed with MVE Technology (controlled release for all day hydration). 
  • Sunday Riley ICE Moisturizing Cream ($65.00): contains ceramides and a combination of glycerin and other ingredients to strengthen the natural moisture barrier. This is a thick, rich cream that really helps to keep TEWL at bay. Trans epidermal water loss is occurs when moisture is lost from the top layers of the epidermis. Contains coconut extract to reduce TEWL and beetroot extract addresses dehydration. 
  • First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Cream ($14.00-$42.00): even though this cream is ultra light and whipped, it is by no means a light cream. It contains colloidal oatmeal and works great for those with eczema, or dry itchy skin. It also just works great in general on dry, dehydrated skin. It also contains shea butter and ceramides plus a FAB Antioxidant Booster
7. Keep lips moisturized too. 

Make sure to keep lips from getting too parched. Use a good lip balm on them often. Preferably one you like. During the day try to use one with SPF if you can, Jack Black Lip Balm SPF25 ($8.00) is a great one. Everyone has their own preference with regard to lip balm. I like the Chapstick Total Hydration line and EcoLips. Or First Aid Beauty Lip Therapy ($12.00).

I hope this has helped you out some. Let me know if you have any questions or comments. 

Until Next Time~

Marie Papachatzis


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