Embracing the holiday season in Atlanta can be magical, with festive lights, cozy gatherings and the occasional dusting of snow. Yet, as the temperatures drop, we experience low humidity, leaving many of us grappling with the discomfort of dry winter skin.
There’s no need to settle for dry, flaky skin this year. We’re diving into the signs of pesky cold weather skin and our tips to avoid it this winter!
What are the signs of dry winter skin?
Not all dry skin — known medically as xerosis — looks and acts the same, so it’s important to know what to look for.
Here are a few common symptoms and skin concerns associated with dryness:
Even healthy skin can feel dry in the winter, so identifying changes quickly can help you minimize the damage and better nourish your skin.
Tip #1: Turn down the hot water
It’s tempting to turn up the heat on your shower when the weather cools off, but as good as that may feel temporarily, it can also lead to dry, uncomfortable skin.
When you use hot water to wash your skin, the higher water temperature can lead to a quicker breakdown of the crucial moisture barrier. It essentially melts away the protective fatty acids and natural oils that hold it together.
With less ability to protect itself, the skin becomes more susceptible to outside influences and moisture loss, leading to dryness, discomfort and a loss of natural radiance. Keeping your water lukewarm and avoiding hot showers is a great way to keep your skin safe and hydrated, even in the middle of an Atlanta winter.
It’s also a good idea to pat (not rub!) your skin dry after cleansing with a microfiber towel. Avoid any harsh soaps or detergents when washing your facial towels for the best outcome.
Tip #2: Step up your moisturizer game
There's no one-size-fits-all approach to moisturizer — the type that works best for your skin will change as you go through different phases of life.
For example, it may be worth switching to a more heavy-duty moisturizer like our Recovery Lotion in the colder months. These moisturizers provide more significant hydration to the skin and help it feel moisturized for longer.
However, heavier, more occlusive emollients and moisturizers aren't ideal for all skin types or all seasons. Switching back to a lighter moisturizer when the weather warms up is generally best to avoid clogged pores and breakouts.
Looking for a moisturizer with natural, supportive ingredients like ceramides and hyaluronic acid is also beneficial. These products are already a natural part of the composition of the skin, so they're usually tolerated by all skin types without side effects — even sensitive skin. Avoiding artificial dyes or fragrances can also help, so look for skin care products with dye- and fragrance-free labels.
Tip #3: Invest in a quality humidifier
Moisturizer isn’t the only way to create and maintain beautiful, hydrated-looking skin this winter. To truly fight dry winter skin, you need a multi-faceted approach. Investing in a quality humidifier is just another way you can provide your skin with the hydration it craves.
Unfortunately, as necessary as it is to turn on your indoor heat in the winter months, heaters also dry out the air even more. This results in the air inside your home having a much lower humidity level than recommended for optimal skin health. Studies show at least 30% humidity is best to support skin hydration.
Humidifiers can also positively impact your health and wellness, especially during the winter — a time of year known for being tough on our upper respiratory systems. Humidifiers can keep respiratory secretions thinner and maintain your body’s overall sense of hydration. When you combine humidifiers with drinking plenty of water, you give your body what it needs to function and look its best.
Tip #4: Don’t stop at over-the-counter skin care
As effective as the right over-the-counter cleanser, serums and moisturizer can be, they may not be enough to counteract dry winter skin. Specific skin care treatments, like microneedling (especially with platelet-rich plasma, also known as PRP), can help keep your skin looking healthy and radiant even in the Atlanta winter.
If you’re unsure how to keep your skin looking and feeling its best, schedule a consultation with one of our advanced practice providers. They'll help walk you through your options and develop a treatment plan that addresses your skin’s unique needs year-round.
Tip #5: Change the way you exfoliate
Exfoliating is key for keeping your pores clear of dead skin cells and other debris. However, in drier conditions, like when your heat is running more frequently, it may help to change up your exfoliation routine.
Try to reduce the number of times per week you use exfoliating products or switch to a more gentle product, especially if the dry air already makes your skin more sensitive.
You’ll also need to focus on keeping your skin hydrated after exfoliating even more in winter. As good as exfoliation is, it also requires added moisture to support the skin in the days following. Not giving your skin that moisture can cause it to dry out even further, so make sure you follow up with a supportive moisturizer to avoid that pitfall.
Though you may feel you rarely see the sun during winter, it’s also important to continue wearing sunscreen with SPF 30 after exfoliation to protect your skin from the sun.
The bottom line...
Moisture is the key to happy, healthy, youthful-looking skin. When cold temperatures hit Atlanta, adjusting your skin care routine is important to prevent dry winter skin.
You can use these tips to maintain glowing skin this holiday season. Remember, if you’re experiencing drier skin than normal, check in with your skin care provider!
For more tips and personalized recommendations for keeping your skin healthy all year round, visit us at our skin care clinic in Atlanta. We can't wait to help you feel good in your skin!
Want long- and short-term benefits from your next appointment? Stack Skinvive with another treatment!
Skinviveis now available at all Skin Pharm clinics! This skin-boosting treatment improves hydration, smooths texture and boosts collagen for a lasting glow. After about four weeks, you’ll notice a more radiant complexion and enjoy results for up to six months!