Struggling with dry, wintry skin that feels chapped, irritated, or just plain flaky? Having trouble getting your cosmetics to settle down over it? You aren’t alone. Thousands of people suffer from symptoms like these every single year, and the cause usually comes down to the season.
Winter weather (even in California!) can really do a number on your skin; windy, blustery, cool weather strips it of moisture and natural oils. This can both alter the appearance and texture of your skin while also making it harder to work with.
We can’t tell you how to magically switch to spring (if only), but we can tell you how to adapt to winter skin changes. Try one of these super-hydrating face masks to get your skincare back on track.
One of the most common ingredients in Korean skin care products is collagen, and with good reason: your body requires it to function correctly. Like protein is a building block for self-repair, collagen is a building block to skin repair, helping maintain elasticity, firmness, and volume.
Your body produces collagen every single day. When you’re young, the amount produced is quite high; however, this has a tendency to slow as you age. Some scientists believe this is why people tend to be more prone to fine lines, wrinkles, and yes, dryness, too, after 30 (versus beforehand).
Dry, wintery weather can also increase your skin’s need for collagen, which could leave you with a deficit. While it might not be exactly the same, face masks containing this important substance will help to re-infuse it back into your skin topically, enabling better texture and enhancing self-repair.
TRY: Peter Thomas Roth 24K Gold Mask Pure Luxury Lift & Firm Mask for luxurious firming and toning effects that brighten and soften skin.
Hyaluronic acid is another important substance your own body produces – and about half of it settles into your skin. It has a direct effect on hydration balance, natural oil production, texture, self-repair, and even your ability to produce collagen effectively, which makes it immensely important in skincare.
Unfortunately, just as collagen production slows down as you age, so, too, does the production of hyaluronic acid. Researchers believe this fact plays a key role in aging, loss of volume, and fine lines or crepe skin.
Hyaluronic acid face masks work in winter because they encourage your skin to retain moisture and natural oils. This, in turn, plumps, softens, and creates a more even texture while providing better support for collagen production, too. It can also be taken orally for a dualistic effect – just be sure to check with your medispa first.
TRY: Institut Esthederm Intensive Hyaluronic Mask for effective and proven rehydration results.
OATMEAL FACE MASKS
No, we don’t mean for breakfast – although there’s good evidence that just might help your ability to stay well and have great skin, too! Instead, we’re talking about colloidal oatmeal face masks instead.
Products containing colloidal oatmeal benefit skin in three key ways: they prevent moisture loss, improve your skin’s natural moisture barrier, and soothe irritation. This triple effect will instantly relieve itching, reduce any flaky redness, and even, in some cases, soften cracked or scaly skin, too.
Best of all? Oatmeal is an incredible option for people who have rosacea, psoriasis eczema, or even just extremely sensitive skin. Most products containing colloidal oatmeal are hypoallergenic (but not all, so be sure to check the label), which means they’re gentle enough to use regularly without triggering serious reactions.
Try: First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Instant Oatmeal Mask for incredible results in as little as 10 minutes.
Ceramides are natural lipids (fats) found within the skin. They, too, are naturally produced by the human body (are you seeing a trend, here?), where they play a direct role in maintaining skin structure and your natural moisture barrier.
When too few ceramides are present (either due to low production or environmental stressors like the wind), skin becomes dry, chapped, red and irritated. It may appear visibly dehydrated, scaly, or you may feel you look older, tired, or just plain “off.”
To make matters even worse, low ceramide production can also interfere with local immune function within the skin. Tiny microtears, which we all experience every so often as we wash and apply cosmetics, have a greater chance to lead to infection.
For best results, look for face masks containing ceramide AP, EOP, NG, NP, or NS on the label. Or, try a moisturizing formula with phytosphingosine and sphingosine; both are precursors that support your body’s ability to produce its own ceramides.
TRY: Rhea’s MURUMURU Hydro-Soothing Mask. It brightens and re-infuses moisture for better appearance and texture.
VITAMINS A, C, AND E
Your mother was right when she told you eating healthy would help you grow up big and strong. This is mostly because healthy foods contain plenty of important vitamins and nutrients – like A, C, and E. All three of these vitamins carry steep benefits for dry, parched, or irritated winter skin.
You can, of course, supplement with them orally. But in the case of skincare, masks may actually be the better approach because they infuse directly into tissues where they are needed most. This ensures your skin gets just as much of the good stuff as the rest of your body over time.
Vitamin A, sometimes referred to as retinol, honestly helps with so many different elements of skincare that we probably can’t list them in a single article. It brightens, plumps, improves ceramide and collagen production, increases local stores of hyaluronic acid, improves localized immune function, tones, and improves cellular regeneration for faster healing.
Vitamin C is a detoxifier, helping your body remove harmful substances like toxic PCBs and free radicals. It brightens, clears, treats blemishes, reduces redness, improves skin’s natural ability to defend against the environment, and even speeds cellular regeneration from the ground up.
Vitamin E directly moisturizes and improves your ability to maintain proper levels of hydration, but that’s just the beginning. It, too, is like a building block, helping your skin repair itself and ward off potential harms. Used in a mask, it can also be extremely soothing – perfect for irritated, itchy dry skin.
TRY: Dermalogica AGE Smart MultiVitamin Power Recovery Masque to infuse much-needed nutrients and reduce signs of aging.
AVOCADO FACE MASKS
Whether you mash it up and slather it on (mix with a bit of honey for ease of application and extra benefits), avocado is actually one heck of a powerhouse for combatting dry winter skin. It contains alpha hydroxy acid (AHA) in the form of lactic acid. This deeply-hydrating substance reinfuses your skin with lost moisture.
AHA is so powerful that it is often used in injectable fillers. But even applied via topical mask, it has the potential to plump, add volume, and firm your skin – all of which are key when skin becomes dehydrated.
Avocado is also rich in proteins, which help skin repair and build new skin cells after injury or irritating environmental influences. So, adding a little bit of this healthy food to your diet alongside a mask might produce additional benefits, too.
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