A change in season means it’s time for an update in skin care. During cold weather months our skin takes a beating due to lower humidity levels and chilly temperatures. Outdoor air typically holds less water and is noticeably drier. When we are indoors the air can also feel parched due to heating, which strips skin of moisture. Cold weather months can greatly compromise skin health triggering dryness or eczema. Thankfully there are helpful tips that can save your skin during winter months and keep it looking its best.
I have a slight advantage when it comes to figuring out ways to keep skin moisturized. For my whole life the skin on my body has been sensitive and on the drier side. The skin on my face is also on the sensitive side. Throughout the years my goal has been to develop strategies to keep my skin moisturized and free of irritation. This is the exact same mindset to have when handling your skin during harsh, cold weather months. Here are my tried and true tips for supple, moisturized skin that will have you glowing, even when the temps drop. .
BODY WASH INSTEAD OF BAR SOAP
Since our skin is the largest organ on our body, keeping it healthy is key. Lets start with the body. What you use to cleanse your skin is very important. Bar soaps tend to dry it out, stripping the natural oils and disrupting the microbiome. When the temperatures drop, try switching to moisturizing body washes. Look for ones labelled “sensitive skin” and “fragrance free”. These contain fewer drying ingredients and more moisturizing ones like hyaluronic acid, ceramides, oils, shea butter and oats. My favorite body wash is Shea Moisture Baby Wash. It feels amazing on my skin, never dries it out and smells great. I also use this on my kids who have sensitive skin and they love it, too. Body washes geared towards babies are much gentler on skin and don’t use harsh fragrances.
DITCH LOTIONS FOR BODY CREAMS
Creams do a much better job than lotions and here’s why. Lotions tend to be thinner and more watery, so they often just evaporate from the skin’s surface after application. They are simply not thick and moisturizing enough to last. My all-time favorite body cream is shea butter. To be more specific, 100% Unrefined African Shea Butter. Be sure the kind you get is labeled unrefined as it loses it’s natural properties in the refinement process. Shea butter is magical. It boosts skin moisture. It works as an emollient that softens and hydrates skin. Shea butter contains several types of fatty acids, including lineoleic, oleic, palmitic and stearic acids which improve the skin’s natural barrier. Shea butter also protects skin from damage from the environment. My favorite brands are Crown Me Chic, a small business I found on Tiktok, a brand I get on Amazon called Essential Depot and the shea butter from my local African market which is imported straight from Ghana.
Here’s how to apply shea butter for maximum benefits and all day moisture. After taking a shower, gently blot your skin making sure it’s still damp. Apply an oil first to lock in the moisture. My two favorites are Bolden’s Shea Oil and Proudly’s Nourishing Oil. Both of these oils are amazingly moisturizing and have light natural scents. After applying the oil, wait a few minutes for it to sink in and then top it off with shea butter. The combination of the oil and shea butter locks in tons of moisture and leaves skin soft all day.
SUPER MOISTURIZING SKIN CARE
Even though I have traditionally oily skin on my face, it does get drier during the winter months (especially now that I am in my 30s). This year I stumbled across Dermae’s Hydrating Gentle Cleanser. It’s now my everyday fave. This awesome cleanser contains hyaluronic acid and chamomile so it moisturizes and calms the skin. I use it twice a day and have noticed that my skin feels soft and so nourished afterwards. Immediately after cleansing, while my face is still damp, I apply Farmacy Beauty’s Filling Good Hyaluronic Plumping Serum. Applying this serum on wet skin helps trap in moisture. After this step I use Farmacy Beauty’s Honey Halo Ultra-Hydrating Ceramide Moisturizer. This serum and mosituzer are industry’s faves and its easy to see why. I’ve noticed an increased softness in my skin and it feels bouncier, glowy and overall healthier. After moisturizing, I go in with Supergoop’s Unseen Sunscreen in SPF 40. Winter sun is harmful to skin so using a sunscreen with SPF of 30 or higher helps to protect against UV exposure, premature aging and skin cancer.
At night, I swap out the sunscreen and end my skin care routine with a hydrating face oil. My fave right now is Farmacy Beauty’s Honey Grail’s Ultra Hydrating Face Oil to lock in moisture while I sleep. Two to three times a week I use a mask to further promote hydration. Farmacy Beauty’s Honey Potion Plus face mask keeps my skin supple well into the next day and smells amazing. As someone with sensitive skin, I really like Farmacy Beauty’s hydrating and soothing ingredients.
DON’T FORGET LIP CARE
Our lips have thin sensitive skin and can take a real beating during cold weather months. To keep my lips smooth, soft and nourished, I use Burt’s Bees Moisturizing Lip Balm. I’ve tried tons of lip balms and this brand is deeply hydrated and I find that I don’t have to reapply as much throughout the day. I also like Farmacy Beauty’s Honey Butter Beeswax Lip Balm.
We wash our hands often throughout the day so it’s incredibly important to have a moisturizing regiment in place. I’ve found that thick balms or salves do a much better job than hand lotions during the winter. My all time favorite is Honest’s Organic All-Purpose Balm. It is deeply nourishing and long lasting. My other two faves are Proudly’s All Over Balm, which has Mango Butter and Jojoba Oil, and Farmacy Beauty’s Honey Savior All-In-One Skin Repair Salve. After you’re done washing your hands, pat them gently dry and then apply the balm or salve. Your hands will thank you. I keep one (or two) of these in my purse for on the go moisturizing and it’s been a lifesaver. Pro tip: these balms are also great to apply on kid’s faces right before school.
-Joy Adaeze (@joy_adaeze)