Derms Want You to Double Down on These 3 Ingredients for Dry Winter Skin

Photo; Getty Images/Credit: HRAUN
The minute November weather hits, dry skin becomes as annoyingly pertinent a part of the conversation as "holiday budgeting" and "no mom, I will not be bringing any sort of a boyfriend home for Thanksgiving." And so, when the time comes to holiday shop and mentally prepare to spend five days straight with your family, it's also time to give your skin-care routine an overhaul.

"As the weather gets colder, you can expect your skin to get more dry, flaky, and itchy," says board-certified dermatologist Kavita Mariwalla, MD, FAAD, who's on the board at SkinFix. This tends to happen because there's less humidity in the air, which means you're not getting as much moisture from the environment as you do during the warmer months. This dryness can also make your skin look dull and show off fine lines more clearly, and if it's not treated the right way, you'll likely wind up feeling uncomfortable, red, and irritated. (Not to mention cold, on top of all that.)

And so, it's extra important to stack your routine with dry skin-fighting ingredients that will help it deal with these issues. "As far as ingredients go, I love to keep things simple. I prefer to use ingredients that are compatible with your skin," says Dr. Mariwalla, who's a major fan of Skinfix Barrier+ Triple Lipid-Hyaluronate Serum ($50) this time of year. The easiest way to think about it? By way of a three-step calming, hydrating, and repairing process that will give your skin exactly what it needs in combatting that winter weather.

To calm: niacinamide

Photo: La Roche Posay

La Roche-Posay Toleriane Hydrating Gentle Face Cleanser, $15

Think of niacinamide as a lullaby for your skin—aka something that will instantly calm it down after it's been ravaged by the cold and wind. It's a form of vitamin B3 that helps to calm inflammation, brighten complexion, and support collagen production. Board-certified dermatologist Dhaval Bhanusali, MD, is a big proponent of using a niacinamide-based cleanser when it's cold outside, and is personally a fan of this foaming wash from Neostrata.

To hydrate: hyaluronic acid

Photo: Skinmedica

Skinmedica HA5 Rejuvenating Hydrator, $120

Hyaluronic acid gets a lot of well-deserved credit for its hydrating abilities. It can hold 1,000 times its weight in water, which is why dermatologists love it—especially this time of year. When you layer it on underneath a moisturizer, it helps the cream permeate more deeply by sort of... sucking it in to the skin, which will leave it nice and plump and moist. Dr. Bhanusali suggests re-applying your HA throughout the day for an added dose of hydration.


To repair: ceramides

Photo: Skinceuticals

Skinceuticals Triple Lipid Restore 2:4:2, $128

Ceramides occur naturally in your skin as some of the building blocks of the barrier. So when that barrier is compromised by the environmental factors that come along with the winter weather change, it's important to replenish them by way of topical products. The ceramides help to lock in moisture and shield skin from pollutants, which is why you'll commonly see it heralded on the label of most winter skin moisturizers. If you're looking for one to add to your routine without breaking the bank, derms are in love with this $15 product you can get at the drugstore.

You can also look for a moisturizer with this ultra-nourishing (and affordable) ingredient, and be sure to top it all off with a moisturizing sunscreen.

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