We all love a winter that’s filled with hot cocoa, comfy cashmere clothes, warm fleece blankets, ice-skating at the park, and maybe a sauna session. However, just as we bundle up before venturing out into the cold, our skin needs some protection, too. 

Winter months and the drop in temperatures have us blasting the indoor heaters in our cars and homes which can literally suck the moisture right out of your skin, causing dryness, flakes, and tight cracked skin—possibly leading to irritation and fine lines. When your skin and air around you are dry, the lipid barrier which protects our skin is at risk of being compromised. 

Combating harsh winter skin goes much further than slathering on a thick goopy moisturizer to maintain healthy, hydrated, and plumped skin. Here are my essential tips and hacks to winter-proof your skin.

Put A Humidifier Next To Your Bed and Desk

Our skin can lose more than a quarter of its moisture during the winter months and become super dehydrated and lackluster. Goodbye, glow factor. 

When my skin started to become super dry and dehydrated over the winter, I knew it was time to invest in a humidifier. After only one night of use, my skin felt much bouncier and plumper. The benefits of a humidifier are major, including promoting a healthy skin barrier, protecting you from bacteria, supercharging your skincare, alleviating symptoms of colds and allergies, and more good news, promoting better sleeping too. It’s a win-win and a no-brainer when it comes to a winter skin glow-up.

Drink Your Water

Hydrate as soon as you wake up. After I wake up, I turn my humidifier on my nightstand off and head straight to the kitchen to pour myself a big ol’ glass of water. You want to aim for twelve ounces of room temperature spring water and add lemon if you feel fancy but this is a key factor when it comes to rehydrating from the water you lose overnight during sleep. 

Without enough water intake, our skin can become drier, duller, and fine lines are more prominent. When you drink water first thing in the morning, especially before your coffee or tea, this will aid in flushing out toxins as well as help skin become more plump, radiant, and improve its overall elasticity level. 

Keep a reusable water bottle around to sip from throughout the day, and try these mineral drops to add an extra boost of hydration!

Give Yourself A Face Massage

Not only does a face massage feel good, but it helps bring oxygen and more blood flow to your face which increases collagen production, helps product absorb more effectively into the skin, and promotes a healthy and natural glow to your overall complexion. This will leave your skin feeling more radiant and less dry than before. Start upwards in circular motions with your favorite oil and don’t forget about your neck and décolletage area. 

For some extra circulation and a decrease in puffiness, try a gua sha tool

Take A Shot Of Olive Oil

It may sound strange, however, taking a shot of olive oil is such a great hack for maintaining healthy skin and hair. Olive oil is highly rich in vitamins and antioxidants, therefore drinking a shot of pure olive oil every day is an excellent way to replenish damaged and dry skin from the inside out. 

Organic extra virgin olive oil that is pure and cold-pressed is a great way to consume healthy fats and it’s also an anti-inflammatory known to help fight free radical damage and cellular aging. Not only is it great for the skin, but it may help with cardiovascular health and blood circulation as well. Try it for yourself first thing in the morning on an empty stomach and watch how it helps improve the radiance of your skin! 

Red Light Therapy 

I’m sure by now you’ve heard all the buzz around red light therapy. LED light therapy is an innovative technology discovered by NASA that may reduce inflammation, promote healing, boost collagen production, and treat skin conditions, including acne. During the cold months of winter, red light therapy can be used effectively to promote radiance by eliminating dull winter skin, helping correct hyperpigmentation, and boosting your serotonin and dopamine levels at the same time to help you get out of any winter blues.

Exfoliate Your Skin

Exfoliating is an invigorating step to aid in our winter skin glow-up as it sweeps away dead skin and allows any product you apply afterward to sink in and moisturize effectively. A buildup of dead skin cells can dull and clog your skin’s overall radiance, leading to blemishes and skin congestion. 

For your face you will want to use a gentle exfoliator once a week, avoiding any harsh scrubs. This will keep your skin clear of any buildup and aid in deeper penetration of skincare products. It’s ideal to follow up with a nourishing and hydrating face mask afterward to leave skin feeling smooth, radiant, and softer. 

You don’t want to forget about your body so make sure to get yourself a dry brush to use in the morning or before getting into the shower. 

The dry brush will boost circulation, exfoliate all the dead skin cells away, and may even aid in detoxing. Use firm yet gentle, small, and upward strokes in a circular motion. It’s an incredibly easy step to add to your routine for a boost of circulation and glow and to help your skin maintain healthy hydration levels.

Avoid Hot Showers

This may be a tough one for some people (including myself), however, in the winter hot showers can strip away our natural oils and damage the skin’s barrier. Hot showers can cause extra redness and increase the appearance of broken blood vessels. Make the choice to opt for a short, mildly warm shower instead of a steaming hot shower to protect your skin’s lipid layer and hydration levels. 

After you get out of the shower, opt to pat your body with a soft cotton towel rather than rubbing dry. 

Apply oillotion, or body cream while skin is still damp to secure maximum absorption onto your skin.

Consume Antioxidants

Beauty and healthy skin start from the inside. In order to combat the lack of summer sunshine, we should be eating our antioxidants to help fight free radical damage, get some vitamin D, protect our immune system, and ensure healthy glowing skin. 

Apart from our skin routines, consuming antioxidant-rich foods will nourish your skin from the inside out. Some good choices are mushroomsdark chocolate, and broccoli. For even more supple and glowing skin opt for a fresh smoothie or juice in the morning that contains vitamin A to boost overall immunity and promote skin health.

Protect Your Lips

You don’t want to forget to protect your lips during autumn and winter. Lips crack and dry easily as they are one of the most sensitive areas of the skin. 

You should regularly exfoliate your lips and hydrate them with a balm, lip oil, or effective ointment consistently to keep them soft, luscious, and plump. You can exfoliate your lips using a gentle lip scrub or even a toothbrush. 

Before bedtime, coat your lips with a nourishing lip mask so your lips don’t have a chance to dry out overnight. Avoid licking your lips as it will exacerbate dryness. A hot tip is to apply an eye cream above your upper lip area, as both areas are super delicate, to keep that area smooth and moisturized. 

Schedule a Facial

I believe we can all do good for our skin by scheduling a facial a few times a year and winter is a fantastic time to schedule a facial treatment. Regular facials will shed off dead skin cells and help to keep your skin looking plump, clear, and hydrated. Switching up your skincare routine and choosing the right products is a lot easier with help from a professional. 

You Still Need SPF

Sunscreen is a necessity all year round, not just in the spring and summer months. The sun is still out in the winter during the day and harmful UV rays can penetrate right through glass and windows even if you are inside. If you enjoy winter sports such as skiing, UV rays reflect off of snow so be sure to carry your SPF with you to reapply. To prevent dull, unwanted spots and fine lines, wearing SPF even when the temps outside drop is absolutely essential for skin health and protection. 

Avoid Fragrance In Skin Products

Fragrance can be used as an umbrella term for ingredients that may be irritating to our skin. If our skin is already dry and dull from winter then these ingredients can cause even more damage to our skin health. Stock up on products with feel-good and soothing ingredients. Adaptogens, probiotics, ceramides, and the right active ingredients can increase skin’s fatty acid content and will help defend against dry, lackluster skin.

Fortunately for us all there is still time to get down to business and implement these small and easy daily habits to ensure our winter complexion is nothing short of hydrated, soft, and glowing all season long.