Raw skin from sniffling, cracked lips from the cold or just overall dryness from the winter can be exacerbated by a too-harsh skincare routine. When your body is battling a bug, it’s best to be gentle. With a few easy modifications, you can turn your existing skincare routine into a therapeutic, hydrating ritual.

Use Caution with Cleanser

When we stay in our pajamas and in bed all day, it’s easy to skip the morning routine. However, extra sweat and oil from fighting a fever can lead to clogged pores and blackheads galore. So don’t forget to wash your face in the morning and evening. Replacing your regular wash with a gentle cleanser is a great way to avoid extra irritation with your already tender skin. Some gentle cleanser we love are the VaniCream Gentle Cleanser, Obagi Medical Gentle Cleanser or Colleen Rothschild Cleansing Balm. 

More Steam, Please

A vanity steamer is amazing year-round, but is especially useful when feeling clogged and congested. Fill with distilled water a couple drops of eucalyptus, lavender or mint essential oils to open your sinuses and help you relax. We love the Aira Steamer by Vanity Planet. Watch for sales to get the best price!

Exfoliate, But Take it Easy

Dry skin is common throughout the winter, and even more when you’re regularly rubbing your nose. Dead or dry skin can visibly build up in these areas and also cause extra decongestion within your pores, leading to breakouts. A mild physical exfoliant will slough off the dead skin so you can better apply a hydrating moisturizer. A word of caution – be gentle when exfoliating, and opt for a mild physical exfoliant, to avoid additional irritation to the area.

Hydration is Key

As your intake slows down and your appetite diminishes, it’s easy to get dehydrated when you’re sick. Since under-the-weather weather tends to be during the cooler, dryer months, this also compounds the effects of dehydration. If you haven’t already swapped out your moisturizers, reach for a thicker, hydrating formula like the SkinMedica ____, the classic La Mer Cream or it’s dupe, the Minneapolis Skin Clinic Restorative Cream. Or consider layering a hydrating base like the Obagi Medical Hydro Drops or SkinMedica HA5 before applying your moisturizer. These products can help either attract moisture from the air or lock in your skin’s own natural moisture to avoid further water loss. 

Covet Thy Chapstick

Dry, chapped lips are a common nuisance during cold season. We love the Fresh Sugar Lip Treatment with SPF 15. It’s gentle, extremely moisturizing, and has a natural lemon fragrance. If your lips are peeling, a gentle exfoliant can work wonders, like the Sara Happ Lip Slip. 

Final Tips

Waterproof Mascara: If you have to venture out, wear waterproof mascara. Eyes tend to run as our body is working to expel the virus, and runny mascara will only hurt your cause. 

Mask Up: Now that masks have been normalized, there’s no better reason to wear one than when you’re actively battling a bug. We love the MaskC disposable masks in nude tones, because they’re cute, subtle and disposable. The last thing you want is to shed the virus in your mask and continue infecting yourself by rewearing. 

Swap Your Toothbrush: Keep a spare toothbrush on hand. At the peak of your sickness, toss out your toothbrush and replace with a new one. (Don’t replace too soon or you risk carrying the active virus onto your new brush.) This will help ensure you don’t prolong your infection. 

Zicam Spray and Airborne Chewables: Airborne Chewables are delicious (the berry kind is the best!), and when we are gearing up for a big vacay, important meeting or stressful event, we pop them like candy. Otherwise they are a great item to throw in your purse and suck on at the first sign of sickness. Zicam Spray is a little more invasive, but goes straight to the source: Your sinuses, where in all likelihood was the entry point for your newfound virus.

Moisture/Puffs with Aloe: I’m not sure why they even make non-moisturizing tissue anymore. Avoid the feeling of sandpaper and splurge for moisturizing or aloe-infused tissues to avoid extra irritation.   

with love,

Amy Abt