I really cannot believe how hot it is here still. No winter in site for me. But for the past 7 years I’ve experienced some moderate to harsh winters and it took a major toll on my skin.
I have dry skin with eczema basically every day of the year. Winter takes the dryness to a whole new level. My legs start to look like that of a lizard and I get red patches around my eyes. It has been a struggle, but I think I finally got a handle on it last year.
For those who are new, I spent last winter living in Indianapolis. I didn’t know winter could last as long as it did. I’m pretty sure the freezing temperatures started on Halloween and lasted until Easter. A Midwesterner I am not. But the brutality helped me figure out what works for my skin and I thought I’d share with you. Whether you have dry skin year round or just suffer during the winter months these tips will help you out.
I realize this seems really obvious, but you cannot forget it. Grab your favorite VSCO Hydro Flask and carry it with you everywhere. You can’t fix dehydration with moisturizer.
Yes, I understand that not everyone loves drinking water as much as I do. But you can do it. If you’re a soda drinker, try switching to a carbonated, flavored water. Or try my mom’s trick: she adds a few drops of Crystal Light or Powerade flavoring to get a few more ounces in per day. Really anything helps.
Winter Skin Shower Switch Ups
I have a few things I changed up in the shower this winter that totally saved my skin. First is to let go of the scalding hot water. This was a recommendation from my dermatologist as a kid. It’s bad for any kind of skin and terrible for eczema.
Second is to exfoliate after washing my body at least once per week. I used to believe that exfoliating would destroy my sensitive skin and leave me raw. I was so so wrong. Using a natural exfoliating scrub allows my skin to get the most of out my moisturizer. Not to mention how soft my skin is on my problem areas. My mom makes a scrub out of coconut oil, raw sugar, lemon essential oil, lavender essential oil, and frankincense. It smells divine and I know there’s nothing that can mess with my skin. You can also use salt instead of sugar for a more gentle scrub, but if you have a cut of any kind it will hurt. If you don’t have time to make your own (I certainly don’t anymore) this is my favorite one from the drug store.
Third is to double moisturize after getting out of the shower. Maybe not the most popular idea if you tend to shower in the morning, but if you’re headed to bed who cares if you’re a bit greasy. I put my first layer of lotion on as soon as I step out of the shower. I’m still warm and damp. This is the best time for your skin to absorb all the goodness. After about 30 minutes, though, I start to feel a bit dry again. So a second coat really does the trick if I’m having any dry patches.
My favorite every day body lotion is CeraVe Daily Moisturizing Lotion. If you suffer from eczema or dry skin I highly recommend their whole line of products. In the winter I will also sometimes switch to the CeraVe Daily Moisturizing Cream which is a bit thicker and better for the total lack of humidity.
My last addition is mixing in some Vitamin E Oil with my moisturizer for around my knees and elbows. It helps prevent that dry, scaly, ashy looking skin that I always get in those areas. I love the Vitamin E from Trader Joe’s because it’s natural and inexpensive! If you’re looking for something 100% organic, this smaller option from WalMart works great as well!
Time for Eye Cream
My eyes are always the most bothersome when it comes to my skin. Not only are they hypersensitive but if they get irritated there’s no way to hide it. Once the skin around my eyes is dry and red it can takes weeks for them to heal. So I started searching for an eye cream that would block out any winter damage.
I use Clinique’s Moisture Surge Intense fortifying hydrator every night during the winter. Really any day when the humidity drops under 80%. I tend to save it for my eyes, but also dab it on any dry patches I may have and around the outside of my lips. My skin is so soft the next morning and just looks healthier. I will say it is rather thick so I wouldn’t put it on under my makeup. Otherwise it is my favorite skin care product. Please don’t ever change the formula.
And as a cost saving tip: Clinique usually includes a travel size portion in their Free Gift with Purchase! Currently available at Nordstrom while supplies last!!
I hope my winter skin struggles can help you get through whatever winter you’re expecting. But while you moisturize, I’ll be grabbing a Thanksgiving tan.