Unless you’re lucky enough to live somewhere that isn’t a frozen tundra or dry as a desert in wintertime, your skin probably needs some extra TLC this time of year ❄️ Whether it’s your face, lips, hands, or body…this post will help you stay well moisturized, from head to toe! I’ll be sharing my best tips for how to keep your skin hydrated and happy so you can have that dewy summer glow, even when it’s the dead of winter!
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6 Key Tips for Preventing Dry Skin
Over the years I have learned so much about skincare, so I can’t wait to pass my “wisdom” onto you! Living in Wisconsin, winters can be pretttttttty brutal. Low humidity, frigid air, cold temps, and wind chill are all a recipe for angry skin. But thankfully, since implementing these tips, I don’t really have issues with dry skin anymore ☃️
And even if you suffer from parched, tight, or itchy skin year-round, not just in winter, I think these tips can still assist! Later in this post, I’ll also share some organic products for the face, body, hands, and lips that can keep dry skin at bay. Here we goooooo!
Tip 1: Avoid Super Hot Water on Your Skin
When it’s below zero outside, the only thing I want to do is take a long, HOT shower to warm up. It’s so hard, but resist the urge, because it can totally dry out your skin! Hot water actually damages the epidermis (outer layer of skin) and begins to melt sebum (skin’s natural fats and oils), which is an important layer for keeping skin soft and nourished.
Instead, use lukewarm water when washing your hands or face, and opt for a warm shower instead of piping hot 🥵 Your skin will thank you!
Tip 2: Apply Skincare Products in the *Correct* Order
This is a MEGA important tip! You could buy ALL the moisturizers and creams and fancy lotions, but if you’re not applying them in the correct order, you’re essentially wasting your money and not getting the full potential from your products.
Basically, healthy skin needs BOTH water and oil. Either one alone won’t do. Without enough oils, the skin becomes parched, and without enough moisture, it will become dehydrated. Water should penetrate the skin while oils should sit on the surface.
Having this in mind, we need to ensure that our skincare provides both.
Check out this post for an in-depth explanation and to see what a routine looks like in practice: How to Effectively Layer Skincare & Maximize the Benefits of Your Products
Pro tip: Apply your moisturizer or body lotion while your skin is still slightly damp to seal in that hydration!
Related post: “Best Natural Moisturizers: The Top 4 Face Creams for Supple Skin”
Tip 3: Don’t Be Afraid of Oils!
There is a common misconception that oils will clog your pores, make you look like a greaseball, or cause breakouts. While there ARE highly comedogenic oils out there, if you use oils suitable for skincare, they are extremely beneficial.
Think about it: our skin naturally has oils on it! So when we do things like take a shower or wash our face, we need to replenish that moisture and keep the skin in balance. Whether you deal with dry skin on your face, body, or hands…you could benefit from adding oils into your routine!
You see, just using water-based lotions and moisturizers is just not as effective as something that’s oil-based. Anything that’s water-based will basically evaporate off your skin as the day goes on. Oils are occlusive, meaning they both lock in hydration (preventing trans-epidermal water loss [TEWL]) and provide a protective barrier to keep your skin moisturized throughout the day. All while mimicking skin’s natural chemistry. They are AMAZING! 🙌
Here are some of my personal top picks for facial oils:
Tip 4: Watch Out for Harsh Soaps & Cleansers that Strip Skin
When you think of thoroughly cleansed skin, does that “squeaky clean” feeling come to mind? You know, when your skin is kind of tight and not a drop of oil in sight?
…Scratch that!! I want to help you redefine your definition of cleansed skin. After cleansing, your skin should still feel balanced and NOT overly dry, tight, or itchy.
Many conventional facial cleansers, soaps, or body washes contain ingredients such as Sodium Laureth Sulfate or Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS, SLES). These are foaming agents that can irritate and strip the skin’s natural barrier, leaving it susceptible to dryness 🧼
Get the freebie: Top 25 Ingredients to Avoid in Cosmetics [Free Printable Pocket Guide]
Instead, choose something that’s safe and gentle. Below are some fabulous suggestions for products that cleanse well but still keep the skin barrier intact.
Natural Hand Soaps & Body Washes:
- Aleavia Body Cleanse: A prebiotic treat for your microbiome, with a light lather and ten simple ingredients. The green tea and honeysuckle scent is wonderful! Code ORGANICALLYBECCA works for a discount at Love Peace Organic.
- Kosmatology Foaming Hand Soaps: These have been my go-to hand soaps for years! They were made by a pharmacist mom for her daughter’s eczema-prone skin. There are tons of choices for scents and you can even get a reusable glass bottle. Code ORGANICALLYBECCA works for a discount.
- Organic Bath Co. Body Washes: Infused with skin-loving ingredients, these have a slick feel and also work nicely as a shaving gel.
- Plaine Products Refillable Hand Soaps & Body Washes: Zero waste! Plaine makes both hand and body washes. You can even get unscented if you prefer. Code ORGANICALLYBECCA works for a discount.
Face Washing with the Oil Cleansing Method (OCM):
Remember our chat about oils?! You can also use them to cleanse your face and remove makeup! The basic principle is that like dissolves like and it doesn’t affect the moisture levels on your skin as much as traditional cleansing. I won’t bore you with details since I have an entire blog post about the method, how to do it, as well as my favorite organic oil cleansers that rinse away with water:
Tip 5: Exfoliation is Your BFF
A crucial step in any skincare routine! Exfoliation is helpful for sloughing away dead skin cells to reveal smooth and bright skin underneath. Since dry skin patches tend to accumulate, exfoliating is a MUST!
There are many different techniques and ways to exfoliate. Mechanical (or physical) exfoliation is an abrasive material that removes cells from the skin (small grains, scrubs, brushes, washcloths, etc.). Chemical exfoliants dissolve keratin protein or break apart the bonds (desmosomes) between the skin cells to aid in cell turnover (acids, peels, enzymes, etc.).
Remember, you CAN have too much of a good thing. Try to exfoliate about once a week, or whenever you start to notice pilling with your skincare or makeup not applying smoothly. My skin is always nice and dewy after a good exfoliation sesh!
For dry skin, chemical exfoliation might be a better route since it’s not physically breaking down the outer layer of skin as roughly. Particularly if you already have large or inflamed dry patches. Here are a couple of natural chemical exfoliators I recommend:
- Maya Chia Refresh Mint Resurfacing Moisture Mask: A minty gel treatment that dissolves away dead skin cells with four types of acids. It’s the most beautiful bright blue color and is incredibly refreshing!
- Moss Mornings Sleep Peels: Biodegradable pads that you wipe on after cleansing at night and leave on as an overnight treatment. They have a blend of exfoliating acids (lactic, glycolic, salicylic) that work while you sleep, as well as hyaluronic acid for hydration.
- The Sunday Standard Fruit Enzyme & Vitamin C Resurfacing Mask: This is a powder that you can mix with water, toner, honey (I suggest this), or yogurt! It’s vibrant green and contains AHAs from pineapple extract that dissolves away excess cells and will make your skin baby soft. You can use code ORGANICALLYBECCA for a discount on your first order.
What About Exfoliating Your Body?
Wondering how the heck you exfoliate your body?! Say hello to DRY BRUSHING! It’s a quick practice that only requires a few minutes before showering. Learn more about the benefits of dry body brushing and the correct technique in this blog post!
Tip 6: Stay Hydrated from Within
This is probably the simplest tip…just drink your (filtered) water! 💦 I don’t know about you, but my skin definitely shows when I’m dehydrated. It’s less plump and my fine lines are more pronounced. So yes, topical skincare is obviously important, but don’t forget that glowing skin starts from within!
Another easy addition would be to take collagen daily. A review of 11 different studies found that supplementing with collagen every day for 4-24 weeks increased skin hydration and treated xerosis (the science-y term for dry skin)! I take the brand Perfect Supplements which is a grass-fed, pasture-raised, flavorless powder that dissolves into liquids. You can throw a scoop into a smoothie or blend some up with your morning coffee.
Helpful Organic Products for Dry Skin
Whew, now that we covered our bases with those tips, I’m going to share some of my tried and true non-toxic products that come in handy when my skin is feeling extra thirsty. You certainly don’t need ALL of these, but I wanted to provide lots of options!
For the Face 🧖♀️
Aside from the oil cleansers, moisturizers, and serums I’ve already mentioned in this post, here are a couple more options for facial products that can remedy dry skin:
- Josh Rosebrook Hydrating Accelerator: Toners help to balance the pH of your skin and provide a hydration boost! Just spray some on your skin after cleansing and they can help increase the effectiveness of your remaining skincare routine. Josh Rosebrook’s mist smells like marshmallows and contains antioxidant-rich aloe, marula, ashwagandha, dandelion, licorice, and seabuckthorn.
- Manuka Honey: Manuka has a myriad of skincare benefits, but it’s a natural humectant (a substance that retains moisture) and keeps skin hydrated. You can use it for dry skin as a lightweight cleanser or leave it on for about an hour as a face mask. It can even be added to clay-based face masks to keep them from drying as you wear them. And that’s not all, if your lips are chapped, just slather some manuka honey on them as an overnight reparative treatment. Read more about the miraculous manuka honey in this blog post 🍯
- Osea Hyaluronic Sea Serum: Hyaluronic acid is an AMAZING humectant that is capable of binding over one thousand times its weight in water. Seriously, it’s like a water magnet. It’s best to apply hyaluronic acid serums before a heavier moisturizer. This serum contains three organic seaweeds, is safe to use daily, and is a staple in my own skincare routine (especially during fall and winter)! You can use code BECCA10 for a discount.
For Body & Hands 👋
- Detox Mode Altogether Oil: A head-to-toe oil that smells citrusy and delightful. It rubs in well and doesn’t leave you feeling greasy. By the way, you can totally just use body oils on your hands too, instead of buying separate products. You can even rub the excess oil on the ends of your hair for moisture and to counteract static!
- Kosmatology Lotion Bars: These little guys are convenient for a quick swipe on and are packed with organic oils, butters, and waxes! Kosmatology also makes a Mint Your Feet Balm which works wonders on dry, cracked feet. You can use code ORGANICALLYBECCA for a discount.
- Osea Anti-Aging Body Balm: If a body oil and a lotion had a baby, this would be it! Such a unique texture; it’s like a soft balm that isn’t as greasy as an oil, but offers way more moisture than a lotion. It makes my skin feel so supple and happy. The smell is pretty mild; it has coconut oil, lemon, grapefruit, basil, and jasmine. I also recommend Osea’s Hand Cream! You can use code BECCA10 for a discount.
- Waxelene Multi-Purpose Ointment: A better swap for Vaseline! There are countless ways to use this, such as wrecked cuticles, chapped lips, anti-chafe, or anywhere your skin needs some help! You can use code ORGANICALLYBECCA for a discount.
- Wonder Seed Hemp Hand Cream: A budget-friendly hand cream option, infused with organic hemp seed oil. Perfect for on-the-go and popping in a purse.
Related post: “Swap It Out: 5+ Natural Alternatives for Vaseline & Aquaphor“
For Lips 👄
- FitGlow Night Lip Serum: This guy is pricey but SO WORTH IT. Heaven for your lips, no joke. If you’ve tried FitGlow’s Lip Color Serums, this is the same consistency, just without the pigment. It’s loaded with plant ceramides which restore the moisture barrier while reducing water loss. Bonus, it has vegan collagen to plump lips. It might make your lips tingle a bit!
- Henné Organics Lip Mask: Wow, this lip mask is something else. It has a bounty of organic ingredients like rosehip, avocado oil, beeswax, and jojoba. It has a sweet citrus scent with black cumin and peppermint! I like to use it at night by applying a thick layer on my lips, letting it work its magic for 15-30 minutes, then wiping it off.
- Kiss Me Honey Lip Balms: A basic organic lip balm if you don’t want anything too fancy! I am obsessed with the pineapple flavor 🍍
I truly think that dry skin isn’t a necessary evil in the winter months! With proper care, you can glow *all* year-round. Do you have any other tips to add to this list? I’d love to hear in the comments ✨