Is your skin stressed out? Dehydrated by frosty winds and indoor heaters? Say bye-bye to scaly skin with these thirst-quenching skin hydrators.
During the winter months, dry skin can be a real conundrum. Cold, dry air outdoors and heated air indoors can strip your skin of its natural oils, leading to dryness and irritation. Hot showers and baths can further zap moisture from your skin, making the problem even worse.
Helping to prevent dry skin throughout the cooler months requires a multifaceted approach. First and most importantly is protecting and strengthening your skin’s barrier function.
Fortifying skin barrier function
The skin’s barrier function (or malfunction) plays a crucial role in maintaining healthy, hydrated skin. The outermost layer of the skin, known as the stratum corneum, acts as a barrier to prevent water loss and protect against environmental stressors. When the skin’s barrier function is compromised, it can lead to dryness, sensitivity, and a whole host of other skin problems.
During the cooler months, use skincare products that contain ingredients including hyaluronic acid, glycerin and ceramides, which help to lock in moisture and strengthen the skin’s barrier function.
Just as you would layer your outer garments to keep warm, try layering your your products to help lock moisture into your skin and give an extra boost of hydration. Always apply serums first, then follow with your moisturiser.
When applying creams and serums, massaging your skin in a light circular motion will also help to improve blood circulation to your skin and promote better penetration of active ingredients.
Signs your skin barrier is damaged
The skin barrier is a thin, protective layer on the surface of your skin that helps to keep moisture in and harmful substances out.
It is made up of lipids, or fats, that form a waterproof barrier that prevents water from evaporating from your skin and keeps it hydrated.
When your skin barrier is healthy, it helps to protect your skin from environmental stressors such as pollution, UV radiation, and harsh weather conditions. It also helps to prevent the loss of moisture from your skin. However, when your skin barrier is damaged, it can no longer function properly, which
can lead to increased sensitivity to irritants and allergens.
Signs your skin barrier is damaged include:
- Dry and flaky skin
- Redness and irritation
- Increased sensitivity
- Breakouts and acne
- Premature fine lines and wrinkles
- Uneven skin texture and tone.
You can help strengthen your skin’s barrier function by opting for gentle skincare products over harsh chemicals and abrasive scrubs, avoiding showering or bathing in hot water, and protecting your skin from the sun and other environmental stressors.
Protection from the elements
It’s essential to incorporate sunscreen into your daily skincare all year round (UV rays are still a very real threat no matter the season). Add sunscreen as the last step in your skincare regimen. And don’t forget your lips – use a lip balm with sunscreen protection and apply it frequently.
While it’s incredibly tempting to take a long hot shower or bath, they can strip your skin of its natural oils. Instead, opt for lukewarm water and limit your shower or bath time to no more than 10 minutes. Apply your moisturiser immediately after showering or bathing, when your skin is still damp, to help lock in moisture.
It’s also important to be mindful of the products you’re using on your skin during the winter months. Avoid harsh soaps and exfoliants, which can strip your skin of its natural oils and exacerbate dryness. Instead, opt for products that are specifically formulated for dry or sensitive skin.
It’s just as important to hydrate your body from the inside as it is from the outside. Staying on top of your 8-glass a day water consumption will visibly improve the appearance of your skin, making it less susceptible to dryness and improving its health by flushing toxins from the body.
Hydrating super serums
1. Skinceuticals HA Intensifier Hyaluronic Acid Serum 30ml, $156, 2. Ole Henriksen Strength Trainer Peptide Boost Moisturiser, $70, 3. Lancôme Renergie Triple Serum, $209, 4. Ella Baché Hydra Hyaluronic Cellular Serum, $101, 5. Ultraderm Essential Restore Serum 30ml, $69, 6. RoC HA Hydrate and Plump Capsules, $49.99, 7. Avène Hyaluron Activ B3 Concentrated Plumping Serum 30ml, $74.99, 8. Ella Baché Hyaluronic Intensive Treatment Booster 30ml, $99, 9. Elizabeth Arden Advanced Light Ceramide Capsules Strengthening and Refining Serum, $155, 10. PCA Skin Hyaluronic Acid Boosting Serum 30ml, $230, 11. Mary Grace, Rose Otto Face Elixir, $50, 12. Lust Minerals Hyaluronic Acid Serum, $56, 13. essano Intense Hydration Hyaluronic Acid Concentrated Serum, $29.99, 14. iS CLINICAL Hydra-Cool Serum 30ml, $154, 15. Fresh Face Skin Hydrating Booster 30ml, $54.95
Thirst-quenching masks & mists
1. PCA Skin Hyaluronic Overnight Mask 51g, $140, 2. jane iredale Calming Lavender Hydration Spray, $62 , 3. Ella Baché Daily Hydration Mist, $41, 4. Jurlique Hydrating Mask 100ml, $63, 5. Seed & Sprout “Without”, The Hydrating Mask, $59, 6. Medik8 H.E.O. Mask Step 1 and Step 2, 50ml each, $104, 7. Skin Proud Sleep Hero, $27.99, 8. Aspect Intense Hydration Sheet Mask 25ml x 5, $59.90, 9. Tyche Calming & Hydrating Mask, $43, 10. Image Skincare Vital C Hydrating Overnight Masque 57g, $109.95
SOS salves & balms
1. Aesthetics Rx H20 Lipid Balm, $99, 2. Musq Farmbalm SPF15, $24.95, 3. Skinstitut Repair Balm, $54, 4. Dr. LeWinn’s Recoverëderm Intensive Overnight Barrier Repair Balm, 50ml, $74.95, 5. Ginger&Me Protect Skin Balm, $95, 6. Lanolips Golden Dry Skin Miracle Salve, $19.95, 7. Lucas’ Papaw Ointment 25g Tube, $7.19, 8. Eminence Organic Skin Care Camellia Glow Solid Face Oil 30ml, $159
Moisture-rich creams & gels
1. IT Cosmetics Confidence in a Cream Supercharged Moisturiser, $82, 2. WiQo Nourishing and Moisturising Face Cream For Dry Skin 30ml, $138, 3. CALECIM Professional Restorative Hydration Cream 20g, $160, 4. Aspect Platinum Optimum Hydration 50ml, $165, 5. Sisley Paris Velvet Nourishing Cream 50ml, $280, 6. SkinMTX Advanced Reconditioning Cream 30ml, $119, 7. Cosmedix Skin Thirst 60ml, $70, 8. mesoestetic hydra-vital light $139, 9. Ella Baché Crème De La Crème, $120, 10. Jurlique Rare Rose Hydrate & Glow Cream 50ml, $63, 11. Dr Naomi Skin Plump Fiction Anti-Ageing Moisturiser, $139, 12. Ultraceuticals Ultra DNA3 Complex Recovery Night Cream 60ml, $150, 13. Dermal Therapy Very Dry Face Cream, $18.99, 14. Paula’s Choice Ultra-Rich Moisturiser, $49, 15. Lust Minerals Probiotic Moisturiser, $52, 16. Clinique Limited Edition Moisture Surge 100H Auto-Replenishing Hydrator, $70, 17. No7 HydraLuminous Overnight Recovery Gel, 50ml, $27.99, 18. Dr Naomi Skin Hit The Dec 3-In-1 Face, Neck & Décolletage Treatment Cream, $149, 19. Stuf Everday Hydrating Face Cream 75g, $52, 20. Ginger&Me SOS Relief Cream, $55, 21. Sunday Riley ICE Ceramide Moisturising Cream, $108
1. Airyday Clear as Day SPF50+ Dreamscreen, $46.95, 2. O Cosmedics Mineral Pro SPF, $52, 3. Coco + Eve Daily Water Gel SPF 50+, $39.90, 4. Sun Bum Premium Moisturising Sunscreen Lotion SPF 50+, $17.99, 5. Sisley Paris All Day All Year 50ml, $530, 6. We Are Feel Good Inc. Kakadu Plum Lip Balm SPF 50+, $19.95
Body moisturisers & hand creams
1. Luk Beautifood Skin Nourish, $39, 2. SkinMTX Mineral-Rich Body Moisturizer 150ml, $49, 3. Sisley Paris Restorative Hand Cream 75ml, $125, 4. Tropicology Avocado Body Oil, $79.95, 5. Nontre.co Lotus and Green Tea Hand Cream, $58, 6. Ever Eden Nourishing Stretchmark Cream, $74, 7. mesoestetic bodyshock essential cream 250ml, $89, 8. Medik8 Nourishing Body Cream 250ml, $66, 9. Marzena Post-Wax Calming Body Oil, $16, 10. Sisley Paris White Ginger Contour Oil 150ml, $230, 11. iS Clinical Body Complex 180g, $110, 12. Monat Smooth & Renew Body Lotion, $84, 13. Paula’s Choice Daily Replenishing Body Cream, $34, 14. L’Occitane Almond Milk Concentrate, 200ml, $72, 15. Pure Fiji Coconut Body Butter, 235ml, $39.95