The Most Common Winter Skincare Mistakes and How to Fix Them

Image: Could I Have That

Whether we want it or not, winter is here. From chapped lips to dry skin, the chilly months are a pain for many reasons, which is why it’s important to keep the cold weather in mind during your winter skincare routine.

Here, we’ve rounded up the most common winter skincare mistakes and the easy solutions to keep skin in check. From wearing sunscreen on snow days to skipping the scorching shower, see the top cold weather no-nos to avoid below.

DITCHING SPF

Image: Josie Maran

Just because there’s no sun in the sky, doesn’t mean the UVA (ultraviolet A) rays aren’t there. In fact, even on the cloudiest days, up to 80% of UVA rays can penetrate through the clouds. UVA rays penetrate into the deepest level of skin, resulting in premature aging and wrinkles. If you’re around snow this winter, it’s even more important that you wear SPF: While up to 25% of UV radiation is reflected off sand, up to 80% is reflected off snow!

SOLUTION: Keep SPF in your morning skincare routine!  Every morning, regardless of the time of year or what I’m doing that day, I always apply moisturizer with SPF. Right now I’m trying out Josie Maran Argan Daily Moisturizer ($32) which has SPF 47.

NOT SWITCHING TO A WINTER MOISTURIZER

The weather changes, you clothing changes, why shouldn’t your moisturizer? With less moisture in the air, our skin’s natural moisture evaporates quicker and leaves our skin dry. While not everyone is going from sunshine to snow, even mild changes have an impact on our skin. Even turning the heater on in your house removes moisture from the air!

SOLUTION: In the winter months, you need a heavier moisturizer to compensate for the drier, moisture-lacking air. Belif’s Aqua Bomb hydrating moisturizer is one of our favorites.

OVER EXFOLIATING

Image: Ulta

Unfortunately, dry skin and the winter go hand in hand. Oftentimes exfoliators are relied on too heavily to nix dry winter skin in hopes of getting that fabulous soft summer skin. But over-doing it is dangerous! Exfoliating too much increases your risk of UV damage, speeds up aging, and ruins your lipid barrier so skin can’t retain moisture by itself. In fact, exfoliating too much will actually make your skin more dry and irritated.

SOLUTION: The easiest is to keep with your exfoliator just limit it to twodays a week. If you feel you need more, try a gentle exfoliator like Dermalogica’s Daily Microfoliant ($55).

TAKING HOT SHOWERS

While they may be relaxing, hot showers in the winter are actually harmful to your skin. They strip your skin of its natural moisture and once you step out of the shower, your skin actually becomes drier.

SOLUTION: Dr. Rajani Katta, professor of dermatology at Baylor College of Medicine, suggests 10- to 15-minute long winter showers with lukewarm water followed by applying a moisturizer cream while your skin is still damp.

How do you combat winter skin? Let us know in the comments below!