We all know the itchy, flaky frustration that comes with winter—but why does skin dry out in the colder months? And what can you do to keep your face and body hydrated, smooth and comfortable as temperatures start to fall?
First, let’s start with the why: when the temperature drops, humidity drops with it, causing your skin to lose water more quickly than usual. This can leave it feeling dry, tight and possibly flaky. In more extreme cases, you may even find parts of your face and body turning tender, red and chapped. But with heaters running day and night, fleeing indoors doesn’t solve the problem, and in many cases central heating or small space heaters may make your skin even dryer than the cold whistling winds outside.
But don’t despair: there’s a way to keep your skin healthy even when it feels like the world’s conspiring to dry you out. Follow these four tips to stay soft, supple and moisturized through the winter months:
1. Take short, lukewarm showers and baths
Top tip: hot showers and baths feel amazing, especially if you’ve just come in from the cold, but they can strip your skin of its natural oils and dry you out. To prevent uncomfortable dry skin after you’ve washed up, take shorter showers or baths in lukewarm water.
Products to use: if lukewarm water still leaves you feeling dry, infuse your bathwater with moisturizing oils and butters so your skin’s less parched when you emerge from the tub. Stock up on Butterball, a classic bath bomb with a comforting vanilla perfume, speckled with cocoa butter shavings that melt into your bath water.
Or toss any of our bath oils, like our new Christmas release Plum Pudding, into your tub for a deliciously softening experience. Our bath oils are formulated with ingredients like coconut oil, almond oil, cocoa and shea butters to hydrate your skin and often have little bits of florals, plastic-free shimmer or fragrance to add extra delight.
2. Lock in moisture
Top tip: once you step out of the shower or bath, towel off gently and massage a rich lotion all over to lock in hydration.
Products to use: during these cold, dry months, a lotion with lots of glycerin is your best bet to keep skin soft and supple. Glycerin is a humectant, which means it draws moisture from the air and into the skin to keep it moisturized for longer. Try a lotion like Charity Pot, made with soothing aloe, nutritious moringa oil and moisturizing cocoa and shea butters along with a healthy dose of glycerin. This year, you can also try the naked version, loaded with even more cocoa butter than the original. And regardless of which version you choose, 100 percent of the proceeds go directly to groups that support human, animal and environmental rights.
Dream Cream is another best seller that’s great for winter: with a calming, healing blend of rose, lavender and chamomile oils, this oatmeal and olive oil concoction is many a Lushie’s ride-or-die lotion.
3. Scrub your way to softness
Top tip: your skin can absorb lotions more efficiently once you’ve gently scrubbed to remove dry skin. Aim to exfoliate about once a week, as scrubbing too often may irritate the skin and make it more prone to dry, flaky patches.
Products to use: especially in the winter, we recommend using a scrub that will replenish lost moisture while buffing the skin. Buffy Body Butter has a mix of scrubby ground rice, aduki beans and almonds blended into a deeply moisturizing cocoa and shea butter base: simply rub it on your rough bits before rinsing off and patting yourself dry for smooth, soft skin. And if you suffer from dry, chapped lips as well, we recommend our jojoba oil and castor sugar lib scrub confections like Cranberry Fizz. Simply rub these sweet scrubbers over lips, then lick off for all-day smoothness.
4. Change up your facial skincare
Top tip: the skin on your face isn’t immune to seasonal changes either. When the weather shifts, consider switching more hydrating cleansers and richer moisturizers.
Products to use: facial soaps and foaming cleansers are great for making your skin squeaky clean, but if it feels taut or dry after washing, consider switching to a creamier cleanser. Ultrabland and 9 to 5 are cream washes that leave skin hydrated and balanced after removing makeup, dirt and oil. Just massage them all over your face, then wipe off gently with a warm, wet washcloth or a toner-dampened cotton pad. For a gentle scrubby cleanse, use Bûche de Noël, which cleanses with kaolin clay and ground almonds. Fragrant mandarin and dried cranberries not only smell divine but also clarify skin as cocoa butter soothes and smooths.
Choosing the right facial moisturizer can make all the difference, especially in winter. If your skin is easily irritated, try Celestial—a simple facial lotion with a handful of ingredients like calming dove orchid extract, almond milk and cocoa butter to keep skin happy all winter long. If you’re in need of a more heavy-duty moisturizer, give Skin Drink a spin, with its vitamin E-rich sesame oil, soothing rose oil and whole avocados mashed right in! This rich cream leaves a protective layer on the skin without a greasy feeling.
For more tips on protecting and caring for dry winter skin, visit your local Lush store or call our customer care team at 1-888-733-5874.