Winter is almost here, that glorious season when snow falls, family members gather around the table for holiday meals, and friends ring in the New Year. But with the cooler temperatures and harsh winds comes an unwelcome effect: dehydrated skin. You may notice dryness, irritation, red spots, and even flaking, which will put a damper on any winter festivities.
Fortunately, you don’t have to change your entire skin care routine to properly care for your skin this winter. By making a few slight adjustments, you can keep your skin healthy and hydrated through the rest of the season! Here are a few ways to keep skin hydrated during these beautiful, but harsh, months:
1. Moisturize! Moisturize! Moisturize!
Keeping your skin hydrated is by far the most important skin care component during the winter. Most of us know that it’s important to wear a good, oil-free moisturizer on a daily basis, but if you’re experiencing extra dryness, it might be a good idea to bump up your hydration a notch. I recommend adding an alcohol-free toner and a serum to your daily skin care routine. Both the toner and the serum increase hydration, as well as lock essential nutrients into your skin cells. Simply apply them after washing your face with a gentle cleanser.
2. Remember sunscreen!
This is something we often forget, but wearing sunscreen in the winter is just as important as it is in summer. Lather on a UVA and UVB sunscreen with at least an SPF of 30 or more to protect your skin from the ultraviolet rays that still shine through the overcast sky.
3. Use night cream!
Struggling with chapped skin? A hydrating, oil-free night cream may be just the fix! While night creams are a bit too heavy to wear during the day, applying one at night before bed gives your skin the hydration and nutrients it needs. You’ll awake in the morning with your skin feeling smooth and fresh.
4. Give retinol a try!
While your skin cells turn over on an average of every six weeks, using a retinol skin care product increases that turnover to around six to seven days. This leads to younger skin cells on the surface of your skin, which absorb nutrients and stay hydrated. If you add a retinol skin care product to your routine, be sure to exfoliate regularly and, of course, use an oil-free moisturizer in the mornings and at nights.
5. Don’t forget lip balm!
While you may not have needed lip balm during the summer, with the cold wind blowing against your lips, investing in a hydrating balm will fight away that chapped feeling, leaving your lips full, plump, and smooth. Chapped lips can be everything from slightly annoying to extremely painful, so be sure to wear a good lip balm regularly to prevent either from happening.
Dr. Rod J. Rohrich is an internationally known and respected plastic and cosmetic surgeon operating in the Dallas, Texas area. He is board certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery and has led most of the key professional organizations in plastic surgery in the USA. He has received numerous honors and awards in plastic and cosmetic surgery, both nationally and internationally. In addition to his extensive surgical expertise and talent as a gifted surgeon, he is Clinical Professor and a Distinguished Teaching Professor and Founding Chair of the Department of Plastic Surgery at UT Southwestern Medical Center. He has authored hundreds of innovative academic publications in the field as well as serving as the editor of the leading plastic and reconstructive surgery journal — the Journal of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery. Dr. Rohrich has also performed philanthropic work as a civic leader of organizations such as the March of Dimes, American Cancer Association and Save the Children and has established the Rod J. Rohrich, M.D. Foundation, which supports medical students in his native North Dakota. He is also a founding member and President of AiRS, the Alliance in Reconstructive Surgery, which serves to support education and treatment for Breast Cancer Survivors, regardless of financial status. Dr. Rohrich has been featured in a number of notable publications such as Texas Monthly and on television shows including Oprah, the View and Good Morning America and is currently working to provide a reliable source of public-centered information in the fields of plastic and cosmetic surgery as well as other areas of medicine.