Do you find that when winter hits, your skin starts becoming dry, peeling, dull…. Hello, winter skin!
Winter may feel like a lifetime away, but preventative skincare is the way forward, it takes time for skincare to take effect and building up that barrier now is the best way to see results when the weather turns. Arm your skin with the tools it needs to keep healthy and glowing.
“Drop in temperatures and low humidity have a negative effect on our skin barrier meaning it becomes weaker and it is more susceptible to environmental stressors and allergens. A compromised skin barrier drives inflammation leading to redness, dryness and irritation.
As we say goodbye to summer, we need to adjust our skincare to counteract the effects of the colder weather on our skin. Facial skin can become dry and irritated after exposure to the cold and wind. The outer layer of our skin (skin barrier) tends to reflect the same level of moisture (humidity) as its surroundings. In the winter there tends to be low levels of humidity both outdoors and indoors (due to central heating). The skin tends to lose water more easily, becoming dry, rough and cracked,” says Consultant Dermatologist, Dr Ben Esdaile Skin + Me.
Facialist and Katherine Daniels Co-Founder Kirsti Shuba says “Fail to protect and your skin will take control…and not in a good way. At the first signs of autumn, it’s time to start winterproofing your skin to keep it strong, healthy and radiant throughout the transitional seasons and fully protected to face the onslaught of the cold winter weather.”
Here’s some tips on how to arm your skin for winter!
Locking moisture into your skin is crucial during winter months – particularly when you’re prone to dryness.
One easy way to seal in that moisture is applying a rich moisturising lotion to your skin after your bath or shower while your skin is still damp.
“Cold temperatures, fluctuations in temperature (think indoor warm, outdoor cold), heating and wind all effect our precious barrier function, stripping away essential oils and moisture. The easiest thing to do is dial up your moisturiser in terms of oil content – the thicker the better. Moisturisers with butters and oils included will replenish the barrier function which in turn will keep your skin lovely and protected from the winter weather. If thick creams aren’t your thing, then a light facial oil (such as our Restoration Oil) would be ideal. It is incredibly light so ideal for oilier skin types,” says Oskia Skincare’s founder Georgie Cleeve
Look for emollient based products, ideally ones with ceramides. Ceramides are the skin’s natural fatty acids, which rebuild and protect the skin barrier. “The greasier moisturisers are better at trapping the water but can block pores and worsen acne. If using actives on your skin then you may need to apply your moisturiser at least twice a day. It is also important to protect your lips to fight against chapping,” says Consultant Dermatologist, Dr Ben Esdaile Skin + Me.
Layering your products will also help to tackle various skin concerns without overwhelming your skin.
Feed your complexion with a soothing treatment on a weekly basis (more if you like) to help bring back that glow and re-charge your skin. Overnight sleeping masks are also great to invest in.
Switch up your textures
As it cools down, switch to richer textures… richer cleansing balms, oils and moisturizing creams. These can help prevent your skin from drying out and protect from the cold winds.
“If you’re not already using a facial oil, winter is a great time to start for an extra moisture boost. The easiest thing to do is dial up your moisturiser in terms of oil content – the thicker the better. Moisturisers with butters and oils included will replenish the barrier function which in turn will keep your skin lovely and protected from the winter weather. If thick creams aren’t your thing, then a light facial oil (such as our Restoration Oil) would be ideal,” says Oskia Skincare‘s founder Georgie Cleeve
Make anti-oxidants your best friend
Eat them, drink them, put them all over your skin… Anti-oxidants will help even out your skin tone, reduce the appearance of wrinkles and help your skin to get that lust-worthy glow.
Look for antioxidant rich foods like pomegranates, citrus and dark leafy greens.
“Our skin works hard to provide a protective barrier for us, but this means it is constantly bombarded with challenges such as water, light, friction and chemicals. Research has found that the natural compounds found in plants – polyphenols – can help to boost the health of skin cells and reduce the effects of ageing. Fresh vegetables, especially if locally-grown and full of colour, are abundant in polyphenols. Choose dark leafy greens such as curly kale and chard and mix them up with coloured produce such as carrot, butternut squash and peppers,” says Caroline Hind mBANT CNHC, Registered Nutritional Therapist for Vitaminology.
Invest in a Humidifier
A humidifier helps put moisture back into the air and prevents dry skin from cracking at night. It will help allow you to remain comfortable and keep the air moist.
“Essentially, what exfoliation does is it removes the top layer of epidermis which is dead skin or dead skin cells to give you a fresher, healthier complexion from underneath,” says Dr Ahmed El Muntasar GP and Award Winning Aesthetician.
Dryness accelerates the build-up of dead skin cells, particularly on the hands and face. It’s important to exfoliate to clear those away – because they’ll block moisture from being absorbed into the skin. Twice a week should be good!
Now could be a good time for you to try out different actives in the evenings for the added benefits, but it could be a lot to do so all in one go. Try ‘skin cycling’ – this could be where on night 1, you use an exfoliant. Day 2 could be a retinol, then on day 3 and 4 you stick to more moisturising products… then repeat the cycle.
You may be tempted to run the shower a little hotter as the outside gets cooler, but hot showers can really dry out the skin, stripping away your skin’s natural oils. Try a lukewarm shower and follow up with your moisturising cream.
Protect your skin
And finally… don’t drop the SPF! Sunscreen is still something you should be using throughout winter, whenever you’re outside. You should even wear it when it’s cloudy outside. “Definitely, definitely do not forget your SPF because sun rays can still go through dark clouds,” says Dr Ahmed El Muntasar GP and Award Winning Aesthetician.