I didn’t start taking my skincare seriously until I was like 26/27. Maybe even a little later than that. But now that I’m in my 30s, I cannot believe how much attention my skin is needing in the winter. I’ve always had some dry patches here and there, but over the last month my skin has been PAINFULLY dry. I was actually so nervous about it because it was so new to me – so I booked a dermatologist appointment. She was very much like “your skin is just super dry”. I wish there was some magic thing to help, but I’m still going through this journey. I decided to share what I’ve been doing and how I’m seeing some results to keeping my skin hydrated.
Tips On Keeping Your Skin Hydrated In The Winter
I really had to think about things other than just a “great skincare routine” when it came to keeping my skin hydrated. I think I was really caught up in this because my skin was dull. It was SO itchy and started reacting to almost every product I put on. Oh AND I started noticing more fine lines. After doing some research, here’s what I’ve been doing to keep my skin hydrated.
Drink More Water
Hydration and water go hand in hand. And that seems to be the thing I forget the most. Our skin NEEDS water to give it strength, elasticity, and that healthy appearance we all strive for. Drinking water doesn’t necessarily hydrate your skin BUT obviously it’s important. It helps the body’s overall processes to support general health. Duh. We all learned this in school at some point, right? To be honest, I don’t drink a lot of water. And I know that’s horrible. I’ve tried everything – I LOVE water, but I just find myself too lazy to drink it. But now that I’m getting older, I definitely notice it – whether it’s duller skin or a massive headache. So yeah, I need to be better about this – I did pick this water bottle with a filter so that I can ALWAYS access water, even if it’s tap.
Get A Humidifier
Obviously in the winter, you can’t really escape the cold. And it’s generally just so dry in the winter. I started researching, and found that humidifiers can help. I didn’t even think of this when it came to my skin. I just assumed my apartment wasn’t dry? Anyway, I bought these two little humidifiers on Amazon – one for my desk when I’m WFH and one for my nightstand.
Skip The Scalding Hot Shower
I’m the girl that takes a 150 degree shower. It just feels so damn good. And then I get out and my skin is splotchy and itchy. And obviously dry as hell. So I’m learning to skip the absolute burning part of my nighttime routine, and keeping my showers to a lukewarm temperature. I also have been starting to apply a body serum/moisturizer (I love this one from Iota Body) immediately after showering.
Look At Your Diet
I didn’t want to have to go this far into my research, but just throwing moisturizer on wasn’t cutting it. Foods like nuts, seeds, avocados, and oily fish can have a great effect on the overall hydration of your skin. *Adds omega supplement to cart* Foods with vitamins A, C, and D help maintain a healthy skin barrier to lock in moisture. Obviously processed & sugary things DO. NOT. HELP.
Know Your Products
Did you know there’s a difference between moisturizing and hydrating?! Because I didn’t. Moisturizing is when you’re using products to seal in moisture of your skin cells. Think hyaluronic acid, ceramides, shea butter, and petroleum jelly. These ingredients help repair your skin’s barrier and prevent water loss. But when it comes to keeping your skin hydrated, you need to go beneath your skin’s barrier. Hydration is what “plumps” your skin cells up.
A few weeks ago, I woke up and my skin was SO tight, itchy, and blotchy. It almost felt like I had a sunburn on my face. I knew this wasn’t a good sign, so I immediately went to do my skincare routine. And my skin IMMEDIATELY started reacting to every product. There was no smooth or healthy glow. When I googled if dry skin causes increased redness, I found out it does. So by keeping your skin hydrated, you’ll make any inflammation go down (unless you have something else going on, of course!!).
After I made a dermatologist appointment, I learned that there are definitely products I’ve been using that are causing dehydration in my skin. As much moisturizer as I’ve used, overusing ingredients like AHAs and retinols/retinoids are always going to cause that dehydration. I’ve completely stopped using them over the last few weeks, but now I’m starting to learn how to find that perfect balance because I do really love the wonders that some acids and retinols do for my skin.
Hyaluronic acid is the big ingredient that we all know about. A good hyaluronic acid has amazing hydrating capabilities (I think I saw a stat that it can hold up to ONE THOUSAND TIMES its own weight in water????). While my derm recommended this, she also mentioned glycerin (described it as a “natural” moisturizer), ceramides and niacinamide. So now I’m on the hunt for products with these ingredients to help keep my skin hydrated. And the last product I’ve been using is Squalane – I mix a couple of drops in with my moisturizer and learned that it helps LOCK moisture into your skin rather than letting it evaporate on top of the skin.
Here’s what I’ve been using to keep my skin hydrated post-dermatologist appointment:
- Gentle cleanse with this from Youth To The People
- Tower28 SOS Mist
- CeraVe Alcohol-Free Toner
- Snail Mucin Essence (while toner/mist are still damp)
- Barrier Support Serum
- La Roche Posay Double Repair Moisturizer
- Add 2-3 drops of face oil or Squalane