As winter weather sets in, your skin may start feeling rough, dry, and chapped. With the right nourishment and protection, your skin can be healthier and more hydrated this season.
Cold, dry air, harsh winds, and increased shower temperatures can strip your skin of its natural oils, leaving it dry and unprotected (1). The right skin-loving nutrients can enhance moisture and support your skin from the inside. Protecting your skin from the outside involves choosing gentle skincare products with effective ingredients. Here’s how you can manage the effects of winter on your skin…
Nourish Your Skin from the Inside
Resilient, healthy skin requires proper nutrition. What you eat and drink helps provide the foundation your skin needs to weather through the winter (2).
Type I collagen is the building block of our skin’s structure, making up around 80% of our skin’s dermal layer. Our bodies produce collagen naturally, but its production begins to decrease as we age. Collagen peptide supplementation has been shown to be beneficial for maintaining healthy, hydrated skin (3). Studies also show a benefit for improving collagen synthesis in the deep layers of the skin, helping reduce fine lines and wrinkles (4, 5).
Another source of nutrients our skin loves is a diet abundant in antioxidant-rich fruits and vegetables. Phytonutrients and antioxidant vitamins support your skin’s ability to deal with environmental stressors. For example, vitamins A and C help protect the skin from the impact of UV-related stress by neutralizing free radicals caused by ultraviolet radiation (6).
Finally, good hydration is one of the easiest and most effective ways you can support your overall health, and especially the health of your skin. There is more to optimal hydration than water alone, though. Research has shown that simply consuming a lot of water will not improve skin health and hydration (2, 7). Properly hydrating with adequate water and electrolytes is key. Electrolytes perform many essential functions in the body, like regulating fluid balance and helping the body absorb water more efficiently (8).
Protect Your Skin on the Outside
In addition to nourishing skin from within, protecting skin from external stressors is also key. The skincare products you use to start and end your day can make the difference between irritated winter skin and a healthy-looking glow. Choosing gentle skincare products with effective ingredients is key.
Cleansing your skin of impurities is an important part of every skincare routine. Yet, the wrong cleanser can leave your skin feeling uncomfortably dry. Support your skin’s natural moisture barrier by using cleansers without harsh detergents such as sodium lauryl sulfate. These detergents can strip your skin of its protective oils, minimizing its protective lipid barrier (9).
Another important step in daily skin protection is moisturizing. Your moisturizer can help build your skin’s lipid barrier and keep your skin feeling hydrated. Choosing products with ingredients such as ceramides and hyaluronic acid can help strengthen your skin’s protective barrier. Ceramides are fatty molecules found naturally in our skin. Applying ceramides topically help improve and restore the skin’s barrier function and lock in moisture (10). Hyaluronic acid is a moisture-loving substance also found naturally throughout the body. When applied topically in a moisturizer, it helps retain surface-level moisture and is an important skincare ingredient in the winter months (11).
After you’ve cleansed and moisturized with skin-supporting products, it’s important to continue protecting your skin physically. Wearing an adequate amount of loose-fitting clothing helps skin avoid any unnecessary exposure to the winter elements. Wind, sun, and dry air can easily dry out uncovered skin.
With the right nutritional support and skincare routine, you can have healthy and radiant skin all year long. Nourish it on the inside. Protect it on the outside.
- Meyer K, Pappas A, Dunn K, Cula GO, Seo I, Ruvolo E, Batchvarova N. Evaluation of Seasonal Changes in Facial Skin With and Without Acne. J Drugs Dermatol. 2015 Jun;14(6):593-601.
- Palma L, Marques LT, Bujan J, Rodrigues LM. Dietary water affects human skin hydration and biomechanics. Clin Cosmet Investig Dermatol. 2015 Aug 3;8:413-21.
- Inoue N, Sugihara F, Wang X. Ingestion of bioactive collagen hydrolysates enhance facial skin moisture and elasticity and reduce facial ageing signs in a randomised double-blind placebo-controlled clinical study. J Sci Food Agric. 2016 Sep;96(12):4077-81.
- Kim DU, Chung HC, Choi J, Sakai Y, Lee BY. Oral intake of low-molecular-weight collagen peptide improves hydration, elasticity, and wrinkling in human skin: a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study. Nutrients. 2018 Jun 26;10(7).
- Asserin J, Lati E, Shioya T, Prawitt J. The effect of oral collagen peptide supplementation on skin moisture and the dermal collagen network: evidence from an ex vivo model and randomized, placebo-controlled clinical trials. J Cosmet Dermatol. 2015 Dec;14(4):291-301.
- Sies H, Stahl W. Nutritional protection against skin damage from sunlight. Annu Rev Nutr. 2004;24:173-200.
- Akdeniz M, Tomova-Simitchieva T, Dobos G, et al. Does dietary fluid intake affect skin hydration in healthy humans? A systematic literature review. Skin Res Technol. 2018 Aug;24(3):459-465.
- Hughes MCB, Williams GM, Baker P, Green AC. Sunscreen and prevention of skin aging: a randomized trial. Ann Intern Med. 2013; 158 (11):781-790.
- Ananthapadmanabhan KP, Moore DJ, Subramanyan K, Misra M, Meyer F. Cleansing without compromise: the impact of cleansers on the skin barrier and the technology of mild cleansing. Dermatol Ther. 2004;17 Suppl 1:16-25.
- Meckfessel MH, Brandt S. The structure, function, and importance of ceramides in skin and their use as therapeutic agents in skin-care products. J Am Acad Dermatol. 2014 Jul;71(1):177-84.
- Liu K. The hype on hyaluronic acid [Internet]. 2020 [cited on 2021 Nov 18]. Available from: https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/the-hype-on-hyaluronic-acid-2020012318653