Woman in coat

Winter is finally here, and with it comes cooler weather, holiday cheer, but also, for some of us — dry, itchy skin. Winterize your skincare routine and hydrate your body from the inside and out to enjoy a healthy glow throughout the season. Here are five of my favorite tips and tricks that will help stave off the winter skin blues in the dry air desert:

By Kristina Cadwell

Switch your daily lotion to cream

Lotion to creme

During winter months, I suggest switching out daily lotions for creams. While doing so, I encourage you to read labels and select products with ingredients that lock-in moisture. Ceramides, hyaluronic acid, aloe vera, avocado oil, and shea butter are all super-star ingredients that keep skin plump and hydrated in dry climates. Ceramides lock in moisture, while hyaluronic acid, a natural substance in the skin, attracts water molecules to plump and nourish. Be sure to avoid ingredients such as alcohol, sulfates, benzoyl peroxide, and perfume because they strip your natural oils and leave your skin vulnerable to harsh climates. Avoid long hot showers and apply your skin creams while the skin is still moist to lock the water molecules in.


Use a humidifier


Indoor furnaces and fireplaces pull moisture out of the air and away from your skin. If you spend a lot of time in spaces with indoor heat, consider adding a humidifier to the room to combat dry skin. Take your “beauty rest” to the next level and combine your use of a humidifier in your bedroom with an overnight hydration face mask to wake up with the ultimate glow.


Exfoliate regularly

Exfoliate skin

Exfoliation is an integral part of a healthy skincare routine. During winter, the skin’s natural cellular turnover rate slows down, and that leaves dry, dead skin on the surface. Without regular exfoliation, dead cells block product penetration and trap dirt. I recommend using a gentle plant enzyme exfoliating mask twice a week, such as pumpkin, cherry, or cranberry. Regular exfoliation is a great way to keep the surface of your skin clean and allow moisture-promoting products to reach the cells they are intended to treat. But beware of harsh exfoliating ingredients, such as glycolic acid, that can cause irritation and dryness. Limit their use to monthly or even quarterly treatments.


Internal Hydration

Hot water

Start each morning with a tall cup of warm water and enjoy warm liquids, such as tea and clear broth soups, throughout the day to increase circulation and hydrate from the inside out. Ginger tea is one of my favorite ways to encourage a strong digestive fire and is a fun alternative to plain water. Add freshly sliced organic ginger to a pot of boiling water for 15 minutes and then allow it to cool. Add honey and lime juice for a sweet and spicy beverage that is sure to keep the body warm and the skin plump. Store in the fridge for up to three days, and simply heat to the desired temperature and enjoy.


Nourish the lipid barrier

Healthy fats in diet

Regular consumption of healthy fats can support and nourish your skin’s lipid barrier. The lipid barrier is in your skin’s most outer layer and contains natural fats that help protect your body from the environment. Avocado oil, olive oil, macadamia nut oil, fish oil, and coconut oil are all wonderful ways to keep skin hydrated from within. As a bonus, many of these heart-healthy fats can reduce inflammation in the gut and support healthy circulation throughout the body. But don’t overdo it. Too much of this good thing can increase cholesterol levels and put you over your caloric goal for the day. Moderation is key. Topically adding oils is another way to nourish and support your lipid barrier.

Keep in mind that certain health conditions such as hypothyroidism, psoriasis, and diabetes can cause dry skin. Also, medications such as antihistamines, diuretics, and laxatives can dehydrate you from the inside out. Keep your doctor or mid-level practitioner informed about your skin’s condition. At Vibrant Skin Bar, we love to chat about all things concerning the health of your skin. Come and visit us at the clinic or book a virtual consultation so you can get the answers you need from a trusted source. Vibrant and healthy skin is something you should enjoy all year long. With a few simple changes in your daily routine — your winter skin blues can be a thing of the past.


Kristina Cadwell


Kristina Cadwell, M.S., PA-C, founder and CEO of Vibrant Skin Bar & Vibrant Vitality Clinic in Arcadia, is a wellness leader with more than 17 years in family practice and medical aesthetics. She also is a certified instructor in a myriad of treatments, delivering aesthetic and wellness care through comprehensive diet and healthy living practices that result in vibrant skin.


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