It’s officially fall, and while we’re still enjoying summer-like weather over here on the east coast, I know it won’t last long. Soon, the weather will get colder and drier, and along with it – my skin.
Over the past 5 years or so, my skin has become especially dry (and my increasing love for coffee certainly didn’t help the situation!). My struggles have gotten so bad that I’ve had to do quite a bit of research to find some extra tips for keeping my skin smooth, soft, and flake-free, on top of a lot of experimenting on my own. Here are 6 tips, tricks, and easy lifestyle changes that have worked the best for me – try one or more if you have dry skin struggles too!
Increase your daily water intake
Drinking water is a no-brainer. When the weather gets colder and dryer, the air draws water from our bodies in an attempt to equalize, so re-hydrating your body is especially important. But that doesn’t mean you need to drink glasses upon glasses of water a day. Eating foods with a high water content – like apples, celery, iceberg lettuce, and cucumbers – works too. In fact, they can actually hydrate our bodies more efficiently than drinking water, since they move more slowly through our digestive system and give our bodies more time to absorb the good old H2O.
Eat more healthy fats
Healthy fats and omega 3 fatty acids make up your skin’s natural oil barrier. This barrier is your skin’s natural defense against dry conditions – it keeps moisture locked in and skin hydrated. To keep it in tip-top shape, it’s important to eat foods high in healthy fats and omega-3’s, which includes fish (salmon, mackerel, oysters, etc) as well as flaxseeds, chia seeds, and walnuts. I try to eat these types of foods as often as possible in the fall and winter, but sometimes when my diet falls short, I’ll take fish oil supplements. They’re a great alternative way to get those omega-3s, and I’ll typically notice a difference in my skin after just a few weeks of taking them.
Use hydrating face masks
You probably use masks for detoxifying and exfoliating every now and then (which for some reason, are always the most fun to use, am I right?). But when fall and winter rolls around, that’s when it’s time to double up on those not-so-exciting yet still equally important hydrating face masks. I recommend using them at least once a week in the fall and winter, and up to 3x a week if you have very dry skin. I have a whole slew of moisturizing masks in my bathroom, from all different brands, but my favorites by far are those simple, homemade, all-natural masks – Manuka honey being my number one pick (that’s right – it’s just one ingredient!). It provides intense hydration and really locks in moisture (plus it’s tasty too!).
Take shorter, cooler showers
Although they may be especially relaxing, avoid long, hot showers. All they do is strip your skin of essential oils – ones that lock in moisture. I know this may sound hard, and you’re probably thinking heck no, I’m never going to give them up! But even just a few degrees cooler, and a few minutes shorter, can make a difference when it comes to keeping our skin hydrated.
Moisturize right after showering
The best time to moisturize is right after you get out of the bath or shower. When your skin is still damp and pores are open, that’s when it’s most receptive to moisturizers and their hydrating, moisture-locking ingredients. One moisturizer that’s especially hydrating for those of us who struggle with very dry, rough skin in the colder, drier months is AquaphorⓇ Ointment Body Spray. It gives you the intense hydrating power of an ointment, packaged in an easy-to-apply spray form (the bottle even works upside to reach your back!). The continuous spray goes on evenly and instantly soothes and moisturizes dry, rough skin. Plus it’s clinically proven hypoallergenic, paraben free, and fragrance free, so it’s great for all skin types, even sensitive skin.
Do weekly (or daily) bath soaks
To soften skin and give it a little hydration boost during the week, draw a bath (remember – lukewarm water, not hot) and add in all-natural moisturizing ingredients – my favorites are coconut oil (the virgin, unrefined, cold pressed kind) and colloidal oatmeal. Coconut oil can be added straight out of the tube/jar into your water. I recommend about 1/4 cup and soak for 10-15 minutes. (Be careful not to slip when you get out of the bath, and thoroughly rinse out the tub when you’re done to get rid of the residue). Massage in any coconut oil that may be left on your skin after your bath. For oats, you’ll want to turn them into a very fine powder first, so take out your blender or food processor, add about 2-3 cups of organic old fashioned oatmeal, and grind them up. Then add them to your tub and soak for a good 10-15 minutes. Once you get out of the tub, finish up with a moisturizer, like AquaphorⓇ’s Ointment Body Spray.
SHOP THE POST
Do you struggle with dry, rough skin in the fall and winter? What are some of your favorite methods for keeping skin hydrated?
I was selected for this opportunity as a member of CLEVER and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.