How to Treat Dry Winter Skin

I've gotten really into skincare over the last year or so. Maybe it's getting older--I don't know. What I started to notice over the last couple of years is that the skin on my face gets really dry about this time each year. It's uncomfortable and it makes me feel self-conscious because it's kind of flaky and scaly. I feel like everyone I come into contact with notices it, even if they don't.

I used to be able to get away with just pure coconut oil as a moisturizer (oh, the advantages of youth) But that stopped working a couple of years ago. So, I've researched a ton and tried several different approaches to preventing that and keeping my skin soft and moisturized even when Mother Nature is trying her best to destroy it. Here's what I've found works best for me. Where I could, I included both drugstore and high-end options. This is not a sponsored post and none of the companies listed below have paid me to talk about them. It's just the stuff I've tried and liked.



Cleanse and Exfoliate. I exfoliate with a gentle exfoliator two or three times a week. My favorite is Philosophy's The Microdelivery Exfoliating Face Wash. I try to grab it when it's on sale because it's kind of expensive. But it's really gentle and it lasts a long time. Some of the drugstore ones are made of really harsh granules and I feel like they're scratching little holes in my face. If you've found a drugstore one that's good, let me know. Exfoliating just gets rid of any dead skin hanging around on my face and makes my moisturizer sink in better. I also use a good hydrating cleanser morning and night. The more expensive one I like is Philosophy's Purity Cleanser. But I also like CeraVe's Hydrating Cleanser and Neutrogena's Naturals Cleanser from the drugstore. Those are great too.

A Good Moisturizer. I put this on after I put on my serum in the morning and evening. The serum is really not for moisturizing, so I'm not going to talk about it here. But if you use a serum, that should go on before your moisturizer because the moisturizer is creating a barrier between your skin and anything that comes in contact with it. My favorite drugstore moisturizer is Garnier's Moisture Bomb. And then I love Ole Henriksen's Nurture Me Moisturizing Crème when my budget allows. A kind of middle of the road one, budget-wise, is First Aid Beauty's Ultra Repair Cream. I got it from Ulta last year, two for $20. And one tub lasted me 6 months. Worked really well too. 




Facial Oil. I just recently started using facial oils, especially on the areas that get really dry. For me, that's my forehead and right next to my nose. I've tried only a few so far. The ones I like currently are: just pure Argan Oil (mine is from Moroccan Oil brand) and Ole Henriksen's Pure Truth Youth Activating Oil. (A warning about the latter--it does have an orange tint which doesn't dry translucent. So, I only use it at night for that reason.) Anyway, I got the Argan Oil as a gift. It's really expensive, so I don't know whether I'll buy it myself when this runs out. The good news is that this bottle will probably last a long time since I only use a drop or two at a time. I've heard that Trader Joe's has a facial oil and I've heard good things about Physician's Formula's facial oils as well as The Ordinary's line of products. All of those brands are WAY less expensive than the ones I'm using now. I haven't tried them yet though, so if you have, let me know. I'd love to find a cheaper option when the time comes for me to re-purchase.

Drink Water & Eat Good Food. I know that what I eat and drink has an effect on how my skin looks and feels. When I'm not getting enough water or when I'm eating lots of sugar and nutritionally deficient food, it shows. No matter what I slather on top of it, if I'm dehydrated then it's going to be an uphill battle to keep things looking good. I have also found that the more vegetables I'm getting into my system, the better everything looks and feels. So, I think it does really start from the inside out.

Anyone else struggle with dry skin? What works well for you? I'm always looking for recommendations, so feel free to leave them below.