Winter is here and it is claiming victims – particularly our skin. Colder temperatures are only part of the problem: long, hot showers, overheated offices and harsh soaps are also to blame. Read on to figure out how to give each step of your skincare regimen a winter tune-up.
I love the feeling of a squeaky-clean face. A good foaming face wash is so satisfying but I stay away from these types of cleansers in the colder months as they tend to leave my face feeling tight within minutes of rinsing – not good. Instead of your usual foam-based cleansers, try using a cream-based cleanser which is much less drying and just as effective in terms of cleansing.
Dry skin is really dead skin cells, so the real key is to exfoliate to keep your skin looking fresh. It may sound counterintuitive but regular, gentle exfoliation is the name of the game in the winter if you are looking for less irritation and more glow. This will actually help your lotions and creams to work better. You can choose to chemical exfoliant like a gentle glycolic acid or enzyme peel, or a product with smooth grains that will physically buff off dead skin cells.
Serums are a crucial step in my skin care routine, particularly in the winter. A lightweight moisturizer basically evaporates within minutes, and sometimes thick, heavy creams can feel like they’re suffocating your face. The solution – a serum that will truly sink in and eradicate dryness, rather than just sit on top of your skin. Yes, it’s an additional step in your skin-care regimen, but because serums are often thinner and more concentrated than moisturizers, they’ll repair your lipid barrier more effectively than a moisturizer alone.
Additionally, because we spend more time indoors in the winter, we are exposed to more toxic things in the air, i.e indoor pollutants. This is the time to load up the skin with antioxidants such as vitamin E, vitamin C or green tea which help to combat or neutralize free radicals caused by external factors like pollution.
All in all, you want a moisturizer that is heavier than what you would use in the summer to protect the skin from the cold.
A heavier moisturizer means more oil so looks for formulas containing a higher concentration of nourishing plant oils and butters. This helps to preserve a healthy level of oil in the skin. A good heavy moisturizer will also act as an outer barrier to seal in your serums and protect against moisture loss from the harsh weather. For the day, you will still need an SPF to protect from UV rays.
As a general rule of thumb: If you usually use a runny lotion, look for something a little thicker, and if your cream has a gel-like texture, trade up for something more rich and buttery.
Cold weather tends to throw our skin off balance, creating a set of issues that require treatment beyond cleansers and moisturizers. A cream or gel-based moisturizing mask is your skin’s best friend during the winter. You can apply it as often as you like for a deep treatment and even leave it on overnight. If your skin is feeling rough or raw from dryness, you can use it as a healing ointment.
What are some of the extra steps you are taking to keep your skin healthy this winter?