You bring sweaters out of storage, you insulate the house. So why aren’t you prepping your skin care routine for winter? Your step-by-step guide to better skin.
Alleviating the tightness and flaking that are the hallmarks of dry, dehydrated skin is not just about slathering on another layer of moisturizer. It starts from the moment you start washing your face. The key? Add all three of these categories to your regimen:
- Humectants to attract water from the environment or deeper levels of the skin, like hyaluronic acid, glycerin, and xylitol.
- Occlusives to slow transepidermal water loss (TEWL), the loss of moisture through the skin, like dimethicone and ceramides. Examples include dimethicone, ceramides, and petrolatum, the most effective occlusive, which reduces water loss by 99%, according to dermatologist Sonoa Au, M.D., of Advanced Dermatology PC.
- Emollients to smooth and soothe dry, flaky skin. Many oils fall under this category, including vitamin E, an antioxidant oil with occlusive and emollient properties that also helps soothe inflammation and redness with continual use, says cosmetic chemist Ann S. Lee, Ph.D., of Dermaesthetics.
Ready to get started? Read on for your step-by-step guide, plus a giveaway from Bioelements to help you kick off your winter regimen.
1. Swap out your foaming cleanser
Seaweed, apple pectin, and plant sugars lock in moisture for up to 12 hours in Elemental Herbology Vital Cleanse ($70, elementalherbology.com), while 10% manuka honey acts as a potent anti-inflammatory to quell breakouts. The organic essential oils in AEOS Gentle Cleansing Lotion (aeos.net) maintain skin’s moisture balance, and Beautycounter Cleansing Balm ($80, beautycounter.com) is so nourishing you could even use it as a face mask.
2. Try a toner with benefits
Fresh Peony Brightening Moisturizing Facial Toner ($60, fresh.com) evens skin tone with licorice and vitamin C, while K-beauty favorite Iope Bio Essence Intensive Conditioning (aritaum.com) utilizes 60 billion bio-enzymes to perfect skin. With green and white teas as its base, instead of water, True Botanicals Nutrient Mist Renew ($48, truebotanicals.com) goes beyond hydration with algae extracts to replenish lipids and kombucha to protect skin’s microbiome.
3. Treat with a humectant
Consider hyaluronic acid, which draws moisture into the skin from the air and holds 1,000 times its weight in water, your main weapon against winter dryness. Find this water magnet ingredient in Viva Organics Pure Hyaluronic Acid Serum ($43.95, vivahealthskincare.com); INUF B5 Hydration Serum ($117, inufskincare.com); and Paula’s Choice Resist Hyaluronic Acid Booster ($46, paulaschoice.com).
4. Layer an emulsion or oil
Like layering a cardigan under your coat, an emulsion or oil provides an added layer of hydration. Apply Sulwhasoo Timetreasure Perfecting Emulsion ($115, Neiman Marcus) before your serums to prep skin, Bioelements Remineralist Daily Moisture ($46, bioelements.com; scroll down for giveaway details!) after your serums, and vbeauté Soft Core Rejuvenating Glacial Oil ($58, vbeaute.com) after your moisturizer to seal it all in.
5. Seal it all in with a good moisturizer
Look for occlusive ingredients, which act as a waterproof barrier over skin. Dr. Jart+ Ceramidin Cream ($48, sephora.com) features time-released ceramides for all-day skin barrier protection; Skinn Hydro-Vital Cream ($35, skinn.com) harnesses the hydration power of the Resurrection Plant; and there’s a reason Lano Lips 101 Ointment Multipurpose Superbalm Strawberry ($13.50, ulta.com) is a multi-award winning bestseller — it’s like a pashmina for lips, cuticles, everywhere.
6. Mask head to toe
Got a skin issue? There’s a mask for that. Patchology PoshPeel Pedi Cure ($25, patchology.com) exfoliates dry, flaky feet, while Karuna Age-Defying+ Hand Mask ($9.50, sephora.com) will get you ring selfie-ready. And now’s a good time to join the 1-day-1-mask movement with Dr. Jart+ Masking All the Way set ($37, sephora.com), which contains seven sheet masks, including the hydrating Water Replenishment Mask.
*Want some help revamping your winter routine? Bioelements is here to help with a giveaway just for our readers.
Remineralist Daily Moisture lightweight hydrating lotion will detox and defend #skin against wrinkle causing, skin-aging pollution. Plump Start is an anti-aging and plumping concentrate that instantly improves fullness, nourishes and smoothes out fine lines.
To enter on Instagram:
- You must be 18 or older or have parent/guardian permission
- Leave a comment on our Bioelements giveaway post in the comment section saying why you would like to win
Three lucky winners will be selected at random to receive Bioelements Remineralist and Plump Start. Good luck!
-This giveaway is for U.S. citizens only
-This giveaway is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with, Instagram
-Giveaway starts today December 14, 2016 and ends December 28, 2016
Originally published in Composure Magazine.