Just because it’s the end of March doesn’t mean you'll be seeing (or feeling) much sun any time soon. Many of us are still suffering from frigid temps around the country, and our skin isn’t super pumped about the weather, either. You’d think that after the longest winter ever, you’d already know how to avoid sensitive skin in the cold when everything dries you out, but here you are, reading this article and still suffering with dry, flaky winter skin woes.
It’s kind of ridiculous and also incredible how much the weather can affect the appearance of your skin, if you really think about it. You could have the most dewy, hydrated, spot-free skin throughout the summer but once winter hits, you’re finding flakes, redness, and major sensitivity basically attacking your face. I don’t know about you, but there have been multiple times in the harsh winters when I have to remove all the foundation I literally just applied because my face is way, way too dry and I need to reapply serums, moisturizers, and primers to prevent flakes from forming and ruining my foundation.
There are so many products that help reverse the irritation caused by cold temperatures, but Dendy Engelman, a board-certified New York-based dermatologist, says prevention is key. “Prevention is the best way to combat dry, flaky skin,” Engelman tells me in an interview for Elite Daily. “A moisturizer is meant to create a barrier for the skin, locking in moisture, as well as any products used before it.”
Engelman notes that the molecules in moisturizers are larger, so they don’t penetrate as deeply and rather, provide a shield over the top of the skin instead. Humectants, emollients, and occlusives are what you should be looking for in your products to treat and prevent sensitive skin during the winter months. “Humectants are ingredients that help the skin retain moisture (like hyaluronic acid), emollients help soften the skin (like shea butter, cocoa butter or oils) and occlusives (like glycerin) are designed to prevent water loss,” says Engelman.
Below, you’ll find the best products to avoid sensitive skin when the cold weather is drying you out:
Loaded with organic aloe vera juice, sodium hyaluronate, and various flower extracts, the Pure Haven Hyaluronic Acid Serum is clean and contains minimal ingredients for a serious moisture-boost, sans nasty chemicals.
Infused with arnica, chamomile and lavender, this calming serum will help reduce the appearance of redness and calm any inflammation or irritation on the skin.
This thick moisturizer is one of my personal faves, and will 100 percent keep your skin hydrated all day long. The formula helps restore your skin barrier and decreases reactivity, making it an ideal cream for chapped, flaky skin.
Packed with sodium hyaluronate, this overnight mask helps repair your sensitive skin while you sleep. Plus, the naturally occurring alpha hydroxy acids will help gently exfoliate your skin so you wake up with a brighter, glowier complexion.
Don’t forget to hydrate and protect your lips, too. Not only does this pick contain hyaluronic acid to moisturize your lip area, but it also “ultra filling spheres” to plump the lips and make them appear more full.
Eliminate redness while also hydrating your complexion with this Paula’s Choice calming toner. It’s a thicker, milky fluid that helps reinforce a healthy skin barrier, soothing any irritation and prepping skin for moisturizer and sunscreen.
I am currently using this product in my everyday routine and absolutely love it. It’s thick and creamy but also works well to remove makeup and any impurities leftover from the day. The best part is that it’s so hydrating that I sometimes don’t even apply a moisturizer after I’ve cleansed.