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If you have dry skin as winter approaches, you might find that your moisturizer isn't working as well as it was in the spring and summer. It can seem like a struggle to find the perfect, hard-working face cream that will sooth your rough, tight, and possibly even flaking complexion. That's where we come in. In addition to having tried pretty much every cream on the market, we also got a little help from a few trusted dermatologists and clinical aestheticians who know a thing or two about treating dry, dehydrated skin.
Why, exactly, does skin get drier in the winter months? "Colder temperatures and wind make the skin more sensitized and cause capillaries to expand," said Pamela Marshall, clinical aesthetician at Mortar and Milk in London. "We are also using radiators and heaters more often, which dehydrate skin, leaving it more prone to spots, sensitivity, and a slower healing capacity."
Catherine Borysiewicz, consultant dermatologist at the Cadogan Clinic in London, explains that the consistency of the product during the cooler months is key. "For very dry skin during winter, use a thicker cream or ointment. For normal skin types, a light cream, lotion, or gel is usually sufficient," she said. (A note: When using these products, always apply them in the direction of hair growth, as rubbing them the other way will plug hair follicles, and may lead to spots.)
In addition to switching up your moisturizer, we like to make sure we're also using a hyaluronic acid serum, which "draws moisture to the skin," says Borysiewicz, while Marshall likes to include l-ascorbic acid into her routine to reduce oxidative stress (the skin-ravaging combination of oxygen with free radicals). Oh, and she also stresses the importance of continuing to wear SPF come rain, shine, or snow.
If you want to invest in a richer moisturizer — even if you don't consider your skin to be that dry — consider one of these expert-recommended face creams. It might just do the trick.