It's that time of year... for dry skin. Ugh, no fun! BUT after many years of dealing with combination skin that turns into scales and flakes in the winter (so embarrassing!) so this discomfort is close to home.
Dry skin in the winter has a lot to do with the changing temperatures (no surprise there!)... but here's how it works. When the temps drop, the moisture in the air does as well. Think of it a bit like homeostasis, the air actually starts to pull moisture from, well, you! However, a good routine to replenish that moisture can help even the driest of skin!
Below, I'm going to outline some nutrition, product recommendations, & lifestyle changes for you. I also made a quick video chatting about some of the products and my personal favorites. Enjoy! NOTE: this video is from December 2017... this post has been updated with even more great products & resources since that time :)
Hydration: Making sure you are drinking enough water will help your skin stay clear (flush out the bad guys!) and hydrated.
Fat-soluble Vitamins A,D,E,K: Healthy fats and fat-soluble vitamins are critical to overall health, and can help with the skin's natural oil barrier keeping skin supple and vibrant. Think grass-fed meats & dairy products, dark leafy greens, eggs, wild-caught salmon and more (also applies to the next point!)
Omega-3s + Essential Fatty Acids: EPA and DHA are omega-3s which can help replenish dry skin from within. It's best to get these from natural sources, like fatty fish (think salmon). If necessary, you may add as a supplement.
Stable Blood Sugar: Blood sugar roller coaster can cause damage to your health, in fact, I may argue that dry skin is the least of your worries. Regardless, it contributes to dry skin because sugar will need to be flushed out of your system and will carry water with it resulting in dehydration. It's also linked to acne which is common with dry skin.
Product Recommendations for Face
Let me first start by talking about the importance of exfoliation for dry skin. I did not understand, for the longest time, that exfoliation was an important part of a dry skin routine. I thought it would cause further irritation, but this is not the case!
There ARE different types of exfoliation: physical and chemical... and despite the names, chemical exfoliation is likely better for dry, sensitive skin because you can use gentle chemicals to do the hard-work (vs scrubbing your face away with sandpaper... ouch, please don't do that!) The Peel mentioned below is my favorite way to exfoliate, paired with the Nourishing Cream Exfoliator (about 2x a week!)
Overnight Resurfacing Peel: This gentle, chemical, at-home, cost-effective (how many adjectives can I squeeze in here?!) peel is fantastic for dry skin, as long as you use and moisturize appropriately! It's made of 15 botanically derived acids (9 exfoliating and 6 resurfacing). It does the work while you sleep! I recommend using it 2x a week for dry skin and loading up on a great cream based moisturizer after allowing the peel to sink into the skin for 5-10 minutes (I use the Rejuvenating Night Cream - its dreamy!)
Cleansing Balm (all-in-one, multi-use product): In my opinion, the cleansing balm is Beautycounter's most versatile product. "How do I use it? Let me count the ways..." It has a higher sticker price, but it lasts forever (a little goes a looooong way) and you can use it as a:
oil cleansing method
hydrating overnight mask
I say this product is made of unicorn tears... I'm fairly convinced they forgot to add that to the label ;)
And check out this stat: "100% of women showed a significant increase in skin hydration after eight hours, with an average increase of 25%. (Results based on independent, 24-hour, 25-subject, single-blind clinical and consumer perception study.)"
Countermatch Adaptive Lotion (or the full Countermatch Line - see my full review here): The Countermatch Adaptive Lotion was a live-saver for me immediately postpartum, and continuing now into the cooler weather. It uses the life-giving properties of plants to help adapt hydration and oxygen levels of the skin for 24 hours. I truly think the Countermatch line is our best overall selection for dry skin, but starting with this lotion is a great starting place.
No.2 Plumping Oil (or the Beautycounter+* oil best for your skin): The No.2 Plumping Oil is designed for restoring and firming moisture-depleted skin. This oil was previously our "hydrating oil" and lovely to use as a complement to lotion/moisturizer or some women find they like to use it in place of a lotion.
Important note here: face oils can be extremely healing and nourishing for our skin because our skin has a lipid (aka fat) barrier. Using long-chain oils in your skincare actually encourages your skin to hold on to moisture from water (and I DO NOT mean coconut oil, sorry ladies! It's a medium-chain fat, which means it ain't going to help nourish your skin as well!). Kinda fascinating considering I came from a coconut oil-only routine for a long time (no wonder my face was flaking apart!)
Nourishing Day Cream (or the full Nourishing Line): The Nourishing Day Cream is a customer-favorite because of performance and price. This day cream helps to soften skin and lock in moisture. I'm a big fan of the Nourishing Cream Exfoliator as my cleanser in the shower in the dryer months (vs my charcoal bar in the summer). Though the nourishing collection is best for those who do not have a major skin complaints, they do perform well for those with slightly dry skin... but I encourage Countermatch line as a first line of defense.
Lip Conditioner or Primally Pure's Lip Balms: Beautycounter's lip conditioners are a new-found love of mine. I admittingly wrote them off thinking "what could be so special?" but after receiving one for a hosting a social, I fell in love! It softens and soothes my lips, which makes lip gloss & colors go on smoother. Another brand that I really love lip balms from is Primally Pure (the peppermint is my favorite!).
Also note: The Countertime Rejuvenating Collection from Beautycounter is our "aging gracefully" or anti-aging line and will be even MORE hydrating than Countermatch or Nourishing... so if you discover you still have very dry skin after trying those lines, it may be time to break-out the big guns! I use the Rejuvenating Night and Eye Creams in my routine!
Product Recommendations for Body
Countermatch Adaptive Body Moisturizer: This moisturizer is my go-to... my skin actually drinks it up in these dry months! It's light and absorbs so well!
Citrus Mimosa Hand Cream: This is a lovely, not-too-heavy hand cream. I gifted this to the nurses that helped with Charlotte's delivery since I know doctors/nurses have to constantly wash their hands (contributing to that dry feeling).
Body Butter (Citrus Mimosa): So many women have told me this is surprisingly one of their favorite products. It's perfect for a non-heavy, non-greasy body lotion. Shea butter and mongongo oil hydrate and nourish skin, while organic sunflower oil, aloe, and chamomile soothe and smooth.
Hydrating Body Lotion: This is a less expensive body lotion option that is comparable to our hand cream. I love how quickly this is absorbed and it's lightweight nature.
Body Oil or Baby Oil: I'm a big fan of oils, especially since I got pregnant. I used oils to hydrate to help prevent (as much as I could) stretch marks. I didn't end up with any, though I of course can't promise this was the reason, I was happy with the result!
Dry Brushing: Again with that idea of exfoliation, dry brushing is a great practice to add into your skincare routine. Here's a great resource to learn about dry brushing.
Water Temperatures: It's a good idea to think about your hygiene routine with dry skin. If you are taking long, steaming hot showers, you may stripping your skin of it's natural oils. Instead, try lukewarm or shorter showers.
Humidifiers: We are huge fans of humidifiers and essential oils in our household. Adding moisture back to the air you are breathing, especially while sleeping, is a fantastic way to keep skin supple and hydrated!
Want specific recommendations FOR YOU? Fill out my FREE beauty & skincare consultation form :)
Want to shop Beautycounter? Check out katesbeautycounter.com