Cold weather affects our skin's natural moisture barrier causing more dryness and sensitivity than normal. Between our skin defending itself from the outside cold elements (chill factor and wind), the constant heat indoors, and serious dry air, we frequently deal with issues like sensitized dry, and even chapped skin. This is from the air leaching out the water content from our skin, also called "trans-epidermal water loss".
Beyond its damage to the skin, some sun is good for our overall immune system and our skin is one of the main ways our bodies synthesize vitamin D.
SUPPORT YOUR SKIN FROM WITHIN:
Because of the lack of vitamin D from the sun, I recommend eating lots of foods that are high in vitamin D like mushrooms, and omega-3s like cold water fish, caviars and smoked fish (this is why they're such an important staple in Russian and nordic diets). Omega-3s in the diet help your skin in the process of healing itself and holding in moisture (which it has a harder time to do as we age).
If you hate the taste of fish or don't have good access to it, than supplement with a liquid fish oil such as Barleans Omega-3 Lemon Cream.
If you're vegan or allergic to fish I recommend Ahi-Flower Oil.
SUPPORT YOUR SKIN FROM THE OUTSIDE:
- Use a nourishing and hydrating mask at least once a week: We love our Nourishing Transformation Sheet Mask.
- Occlude your skin: The best skincare moisturizers should contain ingredients called "humectants" that help bind water into the skin. These are ingredients like hyaluronic acid, or glycerin. But even while using the best products, the water can get evaporated out of your skin from the cold weather and heating (the trans-epidermal water loss). Because of this, it really helps to add "occlusives" at the end of your regimen to hold the benefits of your products and skin's moisture in. My favorite example is using a thin layer of a petrolatum jelly based product as the last step of your regimen at night, and if you're going outside in the day, like Vaseline or Aquaphor. Silicone based makeup primers also work nice for the daytime too especially if you wear makeup, but still won't prevent trans epidermal water loss quite as well as the petrolatum based occlusives.
- Add humidity: If you live in a very dry climate or high altitude, sleeping with a humidifier near your bed in your room will also help prevent the water in your skin and products from evaporating out. Humidifiers are super affordable now days online or at Costco/Walmart/Target type stores.
In conclusion, taking care of our skin's natural moisture barrier is key. Protect it on the outside with the petroleum jelly based products on top of our regular skincare regimen to hold the products' benefits and our natural moisture in. Eat high Omega 3 foods that boost our natural barrier from the inside and vitamin D levels, and do quick weekly treatments at home to see your best skin during the harsh and dry winter months.