Winter time- especially in New York- can be rough on your skin. Dry air and cold wind can both give your skin a beating, and leave it cracked, flakey, and peeling. That’s why it can be helpful to change up your normal grooming routine a bit, in order to help your body retain moisture, so you get back to the smooth, healthy skin you’re used to. We have one big tip for your winter skincare routine that can sound kind of weird. But, we promise, it really works: Shower less.
Before you tune us out, let’s be clear that we’re not suggesting you skip a wash for weeks on end. No, that would definitely be gross. What we’re saying is rather than a daily shower, try switching to every other day. In the wintertime, your body isn't trying to cool itself down, so your body is sweating a whole lot less. This means you don't have to wash away a daily sweat buildup on days when you aren’t going to the gym and working up a sweat. And showering less allows your body to hold unto the oils that are important to keep it moisturized and hydrated.
Our skin has an outer layer called the horny layer- we know, it’s a strange choice of name. This layer is made of hardened dead skin cells and fatty compounds called lipids. It acts as a barrier for skin's second layer of healthy living cells, and helps our skin to retain moisture.
When you take a lot of hot, soapy showers, you strip your horny later. Soap and shampoo are surfactants, which means they bind water and oil, which are naturally repellant. This binding allows water to wash away any dirt, lint, and dead skin cells that have built up, but, unfortunately, in order to get at that buildup, it also washes away all the healthy oils and lipids that have been protecting your second layer of skin. Add this process to the wind and dry climate already sucking moisture away from your body, and you end up with dry, flaky, cracking skin.
Maybe you feel slightly nervous about how you'll look and smell if you skip that shower? Fear not! You've already got deodorant covered (right?), so you're going to be fine on the BO front. Now, add a dry shampoo to your routine if you haven't already. A good one will add texture and body to hair that's a little limp on the days you aren't giving it a sudsy wash in the shower.
Try skipping the daily shower for a few weeks and we'll bet you'll see a noticeable difference. Even better? That extra ten minutes you get to save in the morning to sleep in. We know how much harder these dark winter days make it to get out of bed. If only we had a tip for how to fix that one.