5 Ways to Keep Your Skin Hydrated This Season
Whether you live in a year-round temperate climate or you’re subjected to the wild swings the change of seasons can bring, this time of year can sap the moisture out of any skin type due to increasingly crazy schedules, an endless stream of holiday parties and hectic travel plans. Luckily, your skin doesn’t have to bear the brunt of winter’s brutality. We recently sat down with three women who work with skin—and skincare!—for a living, and they shared their favorite ways to keep skin hydrated this season. (Who says summer has cornered the market on that dewy, radiant glow?)
1. Drink water. Now drink some more. (No, really.)
It may seem like a no-brainer, but one of the best ways to keep skin hydrated this season is to keep the water flowing. While you may not have the heat of the summer sun to remind you that you need to hydrate, our bodies still need just as much water now as they always do, if not more.
“Drink water, water, and then some more water,” encourages Rachel Winard, founder of Soapwalla. “As counter-intuitive as it sounds, we’re more likely to become dehydrated during the winter months. One of the best things you can do for your skin—and overall—health is to drink enough water.” She suggests mixing it up with a favorite herbal tea or adding some citrus fruits to your diet, as they’re in peak season right now.
Even better? Do both—or use slices of citrus in your glass to create homemade “spa water.” And don’t forget to mix up your caffeine and alcohol intake with water, as well. “When you are enjoying yourself,” Rachel advises, “try employing a one to one ratio: one cup of water to each cup of eggnog you’re imbibing.”
Jeannie Jarnot, founder of Beauty Heroes, admits that for her, “staying hydrated this time of year can be extra challenging because I don’t have the hot weather to remind me to drink enough water. One way that I try to get ahead of the day with my hydration is starting it with a tall glass of hot water and a big squeeze of lemon. Getting into this habit really sets the day on course for me, plus I love having something hot early in the morning while I’m still making my coffee.”
Another tip for when you’re out and about? Jarnot says, “Instead of drinking too much tea, I recommend ordering a tea pot of hot water with lemon on the side at restaurants. It’s very soothing and you end up getting a good dose of hydration.”
For those who struggle with increasing their water intake because they prefer more flavorful drink options, Jarnot suggests adding a supplement that not only tastes delicious, but boosts hydration as you drink. “When I’m home I’ll add The Beauty Chef’s Hydration Inner Beauty Boost to a glass of water,” she shares. “This ‘water-boosting’ supplement is made with aloe vera, coconut probiotics and lemon myrtle and it tastes delicious! It definitely helps me make sure I am drinking all my water. If Hydration is in the my glass or water bottle at work, I won’t waste a drop.”
And if you’re tempted to load up that eight-ounce glass with ice cubes, consider the fact that our bodies respond better to water that’s room temperature. “Drinking ice cold water is not nearly as rehydrating as drinking room temperature water, which is easier for our systems to absorb and digest,” says Jeannie Vincent, founder of Beauty Mystic. But, she admits, “If you only like cold water, that’s still better than no water, so please do still drink it.”
2. Treat yourself to a three-step, at-home facial.
Treating yourself to a three-step, at-home self-care ritual is one of the most fun—and luxurious!—ways to keep skin hydrated this season. And, the three steps are easy to remember: 1) exfoliate, 2) moisturize and 3) moisturize.
Says Vincent, “It’s hard to effectively hydrate and moisturize if there is too much buildup of dead skin blocking the way,” which is why exfoliating it a key first step. Using an exfoliating scrub to rid skin of dead cells preps it for nourishing masks and moisturizers. Vincent explains that “exfoliating away the dead skin cells on the top layer of the skin (a.k.a. the stratum corneum) not only instantly softens, but most great body scrubs (like my favorite from Organic Bath Co.) have beautifully nourishing oils that will sink right in and go to work for you.”
We love a gentle exfoliator for your face, as well, which preps skin for steps two and three: a moisturizing mask and soothing moisturizer. “I love a deeply nourishing mask like Josh Rosebrook Advanced Hydration Mask, followed by a rich oil in the winter,” Vincent shares. “I’m currently loving Aeemelia Everyday Oil, which is a blend of baobab, argan and jojoba for the base, with minimal amounts of gorgeous essential oils of fir, rosemary and sweet orange—perfect for the season.”
Another easy way to get extra hydration (especially as arid, hot temps in offices, apartments and even stores take their toll on skin)? A soothing, hydrating toner added to your skincare routine—or simply spritzed on throughout the day. This is one tip Jarnot swears by. “My favorite universal product this time of year is Josh Rosebrook’s Hydrating Accelerator,” she says. “I use it on everything, my skin, body, hair—even my kid and my husband. I keep a bottle by my desk and mist it on my face and hair throughout the day. I also always carry a small bottle in my purse. Whenever my skin is feeling dry a few mists really make a difference in my skin and it really helps with defying dry, static-y hair.”
3. Say hello to a humidifier.
As anyone who has ever woken up with cracked dry lips, static-laden hair or a forehead that has sprouted fine lines overnight, adding moisture to your bedroom (or any other room in your home) is one of the most effective ways to keep skin hydrated this season. “Get a humidifier,” Vincent advises. “It is the number one game-changer when it comes to combating dehydrated skin in the winter.” Plus, she adds, “It’s also helpful for the pets in your home, as their little noses can dry out with all the dry heat inside. Once you do one winter with a humidifier, you will never go back.” This one investment can go a long way in helping you feel comfortable in your skin once more—and to bidding farewell to dry, flaky skin for the rest of winter.
4. Fall in love with layers.
As if the cooler temps, whipping winds or snow storms weren’t enough to inspire you to layer up, there’s another reason to do so: Layers—both with clothing and skincare—mean protection from hydration-sapping elements. “Layer!” Rachel says. “That goes for everything from clothing to moisturization. For clothing, I prefer natural materials (cotton, silk or wool if you use them) close to my skin to help keep in warmth and protect against frigid winds. And I always cover my face with a scarf when I’m outside for any length of time.”
When it comes to her face, multiple layers keep Rachel’s skin healthy and hydrated too. “For skincare, I layer as well,” she says. “After cleansing, I spritz Soapwalla’s Hydrating Toning Mist on my face, neck and décolleté to help prepare my skin for my moisturizers. Then I gently massage in four to six drops of our Restorative Face Serum, followed by some of our Concentrated Repair Balm on the areas that especially need it (undereye area, cheeks, lips).”
5. Chill out on steaming hot showers.
Though bone-chilling temperatures may tempt you into turning your shower to “hot,” Vincent cautions against the urge. Instead, try warm (or cool if you’re feeling brave!) showers to keep skin hydrated this season—and throughout the year. “Avoid steaming hot showers and over cleansing the skin; this applies to both face and body,” she says. “We over-soap ourselves as a society and it breaks down the barrier function of the skin. Avoid harsh, foaming cleansers and only use soap where you need it.” Does your thigh really need to be covered in suds everyday? Probably not, she says. “Leave some nonpathogenic bacteria behind to keep the skin’s microbiome in check,” Vincent advises.
Searching for some clean skincare options to get you through the winter? Discover these top pics from a green beauty retailer.