With colder weather and lower humidity upon us, the fall and winter months can take a huge toll on the skin. Dry skin looks dull, dehydrated, and has more visible fine lines and wrinkles.
Drinking at least 64 ounces of water per day is the basic rule of thumb for avoiding dehydration. In the fall and winter, you might need to bump up your water intake even more due to lower humidity levels in the air (and using forced air heat).
Now for the good stuff! Here are 3 easy and effective ways to keep your skin hydrated during fall and winter.
Top Skin Care Ingredients for Hydrating Dry Skin
#1 Ceramides: Your skin has a protective lipid (fatty) layer, which includes ceramides and 8 other lipids. These fats act as a barrier to the outside world, protecting your skin from harsh environmental elements. They also serve as an interior barrier to hold moisture inside of the skin.
Ceramides are lost through dry weather conditions, face washing, aging, and a number of other causes. To replace your skin’s lipid barrier, use a moisturizer twice daily that contains ceramides. CeraVe is a good drug store brand that contains ceramides.
#2 Hyaluronic acid (HA): This powerhouse skin hydrator is naturally occurring in many cells throughout the body including the skin. Hyaluronic acid is a type of sugar molecule that draws water into the cells around it (1000x its weight in water!), thus producing a hydrating effect.
Some collagen supplements (taken orally) contain small amounts of HA, which may help hydrate your cells from the inside. However, the most common way to use HA is on top of the skin. Many serums and moisturizers contain HA, which is an effective way of hydrating the skin.
According to Harvard Medical School, using HA in skincare products is most effective when choosing products with small, medium, and large HA molecules.
These are some names for HA molecules of varying sizes:
- Sodium Hyaluronate
- Caprylyl Glycol
- Pentylene Glycol
- Sodium Hyaluronate Crosspolymer
The Ordinary makes an effective HA 2% + B5 serum that contains a variety of HA molecules for maximum hydration. Use it with your daily moisturizer for best results.
Doctor’s Tip: The very best way to hydrate the skin with HA is to use fillers in wrinkles and deep creases of the face. HA fillers can also be used in the lips to boost hydration, giving lips a dewy, hydrated appearance.
#3: Best Nutrients for Hydrating Dry Skin
Dry skin can be a warning sign that a deeper nutrient deficiency is occurring. If your dry skin occurs year round, see your doctor for a blood test to check if something more serious is going on (such as thyroid dysfunction or another issue).
Your diet should include a variety of foods to make sure you’re getting enough of the following micronutrients that are related to skin moisture:
- Vitamins A, C, E, & D
- Zinc (a mineral; oysters and beans are good sources)
- Selenium (yellowfin tuna is a good source)
- Omega-3 fatty acids (avocados and salmon are good sources)
If you live in a place where the winter months are long, see your doctor to check on your vitamin D levels. Low levels of vitamin D can contribute to dry skin, depressed mood, sleep issues, and other health concerns.
Doctor Recommended Skincare and Anti-Aging – Dr. Aeria Chang
My name is Dr. Aeria Chang, and since 2008 I’ve been practicing aesthetic medicine in San Diego. Beatitude Aesthetic Medicine offers advanced laser treatments, RF microneedling, ultrasound, skin tightening, hyperpigmentation treatment, acne solutions, BOTOX, dermal fillers, chemical peels, and so much more.
Call our office today at (619) 280-1609 to schedule your consultation and treatment. And be sure to ask about our monthly specials!