For those of us in the northern hemisphere, it’s that time of year again. Winter is coming.
And with winter comes that cold, dry air that makes your skin feels tight and uncomfortable. As if the weather weren’t dehydrating enough, most of our household heating systems pull every bit of remaining moisture out of the air and leave skin itchy, flakey, and irritated.
Luckily, in addition to keeping your body well hydrated during this taxing season by drinking plenty of water and eating a well-balanced diet, there are also great ways to keep your skin looking and feeling as happy and luscious as ever.
We’ve got an easy 1-2-3 routine that will ensure you keep your skin hydrated through the season and throughout the year.
1. Avoid drying out your skin by using an oil-based cleanser
A lot of cleansers work by stripping everything off the skin – even the good stuff. Sure, you want to get that dirt or makeup off completely, but you don’t want to take away all the things your own skin produces as part of its natural protective barrier.
Your skin’s natural oils are there for a reason. The slight acidity in your skin’s oil actually helps to protect your skin against things like bacteria, which can cause acne or infections.
If you have oily skin, you may think that an oil-based cleanser sounds like the opposite of what you’re looking for but think again. You don’t want a cleanser that strips your skin of oil because that oil removal will prompt your body to produce oil in greater excess to try to protect the skin quickly. Then, you will wind up with backed up pores and the potential for an acne breakout.
Oil-based cleansers, on the other hand, work with your skin to produce a happy balance of oil in the skin. And, because they interact well with your natural skin oil, they are able to penetrate deeply into your pores to dislodge dirt and makeup without leaving your skin feeling tight, dry, and stripped.
2. Choose a toner that does not have alcohol in it
Toners are meant to reduce inflammation and slightly tighten pores to give your skin a beautifully smooth appearance. This means that toners must have certain astringent properties.
Oftentimes, because it is cheap and accessible, alcohol is the astringent ingredient of choice in run-of-the-mill toners. But alcohol is highly dehydrating. It mixes poorly with the natural pH of the skin. And it sacrifices your skin’s natural hydration and oil content to achieve the effect of smaller pores and a smoother touch.
So, instead of reaching for the average toner, look for a hydrating toner that is based around mild and natural astringent ingredients, such as rose water, tamarind seed, willow bark, and aspen bark. These ingredients can achieve the desired refining effects – making your skin smoother and clearer – without the drying and damaging effects of alcohol.
3. Target especially dry spots with a hydrating serum
If you need that extra dose of hydration on your skin – or on parts of your skin – especially during this dry time of year, invest in a hydrating serum.
Good hydrating serums not only take your skin’s moisture content to the next level, but they also increase circulation through your skin, promote cell renewal, and deliver healing vitamins and essential fatty acids.
This serum becomes especially important through winter months, but it can really make the difference at all times of year when it comes to keeping your skin feeling healthy and supple.
Make these steps a daily routine
You do not want to wind up treating skin that has already been damaged and dehydrated. Sure, sometimes we slip up and don’t notice our skin drying out until it has already happened (that’s when the hydrating serum becomes a real life saver).
However, if you are going to make a real difference for your skin, you need to keep a routine that prevents your skin from drying out to start with. Skin that is consistently hydrated will remain younger, healthier, more elastic, and smoother throughout your life.
Keep it simple to keep it consistent
There are a lot of great skincare lines out there offering a wealth of products to bring nourishment and hydration to your skin. But at Botanical Republic, we know that the most important part of the process is ensuring that you find your skincare routine easy, approachable, and nourishing so that you never get too tired, overwhelmed, or disheartened to stick to it.
We make our products only from the highest quality natural ingredients that mix perfectly with your skin’s natural pH. That way, you can keep your routine simple and know that you are taking care of your skin in the best way possible. Lasting and consistent skin hydration can really be as simple as the three steps we outlined in this article.
Photo Credit: Alexandra Tran