When the temperature starts to dip and snow begins to fall, it’s normal for your skin to feel dry or tight. That’s because cold winter air (and the lack of humidity that typically accompanies it) can dehydrate and irritate the skin barrier, which makes it harder for your skin to maintain its natural balance. Pair that with indoor heating and everyone’s cold-weather inclination to take super-hot showers, and it’s a perfect storm for dry, flaky skin..
While some of these factors are out of our control (namely, the weather), there are things you can do to keep your skin hydrated throughout the season. It all starts with taking care of your skin and using products formulated with moisturizing, nourishing ingredients that help keep the skin barrier balanced and healthy. Ahead, we’ve compiled some of our best cold-weather advice so you can enjoy soft, hydrated skin all season long. Read on for our top tips for caring for dry skin this winter.
Lather Up With a Mild Body Wash
In general, you probably shower every day or every other day. Even if you keep your showers short, that adds up to a lot of time lathering up. Make the most of it by starting your bodycare routine off with a mild body wash that won’t strip your skin of its natural oils. Those with normal skin can reach for any gentle body cleanser, while those with dry skin should use a formula made to combat dryness.
For Normal or Oily Skin
Suds up with a gentle body wash, such as Bath & Shower Liquid Body Cleanser. This mild foaming cleanser is formulated with hydrating ingredients, including aloe vera and amino acid-derived humectants, to remove dirt and oil while helping maintain skin’s natural moisture. Best of all, this effective cleanser is available in four refreshing scents for a truly relaxing shower routine. Choose from bright grapefruit, herbaceous coriander, soothing lavender, or a “pour homme” fragrance for men.
For Dry Skin
If you have dry or irritated skin, we recommend Creme de Corps Smoothing Oil-To-Foam Cleanser. This luxurious cleansing oil contains a blend of botanical oils, including grapeseed and castor oil, to cleanse skin and leave it feeling moisturized and nourished. The lightweight oil foams to a gentle lather for an effective, comfortable clean. Reach for it each time you shower to cleanse your body, or whenever you want to pamper yourself with a more indulgent cleanser.
Turn Down The Heat
We know it can be tempting to relax in a steaming-hot shower, especially when it’s super cold outside. Unfortunately, hot water isn’t great for your skin. Research shows that long, hot showers can ultimately dehydrate the skin and lead to unpleasant side effects, like redness and irritation. If your skin is on the dry side, try to shower with warm (not hot) water, and keep your shower routine to 10 minutes or less.
Reach For a Hydrating Body Moisturizer
You probably already know to reach for a moisturizer when you’re dealing with dry, flaky skin. But equally important is knowing what type of formula to reach for. If you have extremely dry skin, a lightweight lotion might not be enough to soothe your irritation and hydrate your skin. Alternatively, if your skin tends to be more oily, an ultra-rich cream might feel a bit too heavy. Read on to discover what lotion you should use for your skin type.
If you have oily skin, it might not feel like you need to moisturize your body every day, but you do. Keeping your skin well-hydrated is crucial for maintaining a healthy skin barrier. We recommend you reach for a lightweight body lotion with non-greasy hydrators, such as Superbly Restorative Argan Body Lotion. This top-rated body moisturizer stars fair trade argan oil, a plant oil celebrated for its antioxidant properties. Research also shows that argan oil can help even skin tone and texture and may be beneficial for fighting acne.I
When you’re dealing with dryness, we recommend reaching for a rich moisturizer with soothing ingredients, like our classic Creme de Corps body lotion. This lotion for dry skin contains cocoa butter, olive-derived squalane, and beta-carotene to soothe dry, itchy skin and help improve texture. It’s been a Kiehl’s favorite for more than 40 years due to its ability to leave skin soft, smooth, and moisturized without feeling heavy or greasy.
If neither of the above applies to you, we’d classify your skin as a “normal” type. This just means that you’re not prone to dealing with any major concerns, like dryness or overproduction of sebum. To keep your skin balanced and hydrated, reach for Deluxe Hand & Body Lotion. This lightweight body moisturizer (a Kiehl’s essential since the 1960s) features aloe vera and oatmeal to gently hydrate and soften. Apply it to damp skin after showering to lock in moisture and keep your skin feeling its best.
Nourish Dry Hands
Because your hands are exposed to the elements far more frequently than the rest of your body (besides your face, anyway), they require extra care to stay healthy and hydrated. Combat dry hands with a thick, nourishing treatment, like Ultimate Strength Hand Salve. This moisturizing hand cream contains a blend of rich botanical oils, including avocado oil and sesame seed oil, to soothe and condition dry, cracked skin. The unique formula creates a “glove-like” barrier on the hands to lock in moisture and protect skin against moisture loss. The result: soft, smooth, and comfortable hands.
Follow Healthy Skin Habits
One of the best ways you can ensure your skin stays soft, smooth, and healthy-looking is by following healthy skin habits. This includes maintaining a regular skincare routine, drinking plenty of water to ward off dehydration, and avoiding harsh environmental stressors, like pollution and extreme temperatures. Perhaps most importantly, wear a broad-spectrum sunscreen every day to protect your skin from the damaging effects of UV rays.
Repair Severe Dryness
If you have extremely dry skin (or dry skin patches), and your regular moisturizer isn’t quite hydrating enough, try Intensive Treatment & Moisturizer For Dry & Callused Areas. This thick salve contains a rich blend of avocado oil, shea butter, and cocoa butter to soothe and soften parched or callused skin. You can apply it as needed to repair extreme dryness, or DIY an overnight mask for your hands and feet: Simply apply a thick layer of this heavy-duty treatment and cover them with cotton gloves and socks to lock in moisture for softer skin by morning.
Don’t Forget Your Lips
The skin on your lips is super thin, which makes it especially susceptible to dryness. Help keep cracked, chapped lips at bay with a moisturizing lip balm, like Butterstick Lip Treatment SPF 30. This rich formula contains coconut oil and beeswax to nourish and smooth dry, chapped lips with 12-hour hydration. It’s available in five semi-sheer shades for a pop of color, plus one crowd-pleasing untinted variety.
I.Villareal, Myra O et al. “Activation of MITF by Argan Oil Leads to the Inhibition of the Tyrosinase and Dopachrome Tautomerase Expressions in B16 Murine Melanoma Cells.” Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine: eCAM vol. 2013 (2013): 340107. doi:10.1155/2013/340107