Caring for Winter Skin

When the weather turns from mild and sunny to cold and icy, it is the perfect time to adjust your skincare regime. With a subtle change, you can ensure your skin remains soft and smooth and avoid that uncomfortable feeling of tight, dry skin.

The reluctant turning on of the central heating in contrast to the intense cold of the outdoors can cause havoc with your skin, dramatically dehydrating it and leaving it vulnerable to damage. Cold air, low humidity and indoor heating increase water loss through our skin, causing it to become dry and compromising its ability to defend against environmental aggressors. It’s key to replace moisture and natural oils that have been lost, and the best way to do this is to incorporate a moisturiser into your regime. Frequently applying a nourishing cream that has the right ingredients to repair and restore your skins natural barriers is essential.

If you have particularly dry skin, incorporating a hydrating serum as well as a moisturiser will help to keep flaky skin at bay.

Do I have dry skin?
If your skin is feeling tighter than usual, this is because of the moisture loss within the skins surface. The most visible sign is skin that easily flakes off, usually around the T-zone or cheeks, that is made more visible when makeup is applied. Fine lines can look more visible, skin appears redder and the general tone of skin is ashy and sallow.

Why is my skin becoming drier?
The most likely cause is the change in the weather, though blasting heat in your home, office or car is just as detrimental. This excess of heat aggravates already sensitive skin, causing more drying and tightness. This can even show up on your hands and cuticles, which can lead to cracked nails. Other things that could be a cause are coarse, wooly clothing which can rub against skin, as well as hot baths and showers.

Switch it up.
As the temperature drops, start to focus on products that help with hydration. Try using a heavier moisturiser or face oil; if you can’t live without your lighter face cream, try adding a few drops of face oil in to give a hydration boost. Switching to a creamy or oil-based cleanser over a dry one will help to sooth irritated skin as well as lock in moisture. If you haven’t already, investing in a good quality serum is another good change as they can work a lot deeper in the skin than a moisturiser can.  Encapsulated with a much higher grade of active ingredients, a serum can really boost the skin’s natural moisture levels whilst offering anti-ageing benefits.

Sunscreen is still important.
Use a SPF 30+ all year round. Even though we have less sunshine in the winter, we still experience a significant amount of UVA during the winter months, even in a climate like the UK! This can prematurely age your skin and leave it vulnerable to further damage. If you love winter sports, UV rays reflected off the snow can cause considerable damage too, so to be sure to protect your skin regularly.

Invest in a humidifier
Maximising the moisture levels in the air in rooms you spend most time in, such as your bedroom, will help keep your skins barrier full of hydration.

What ingredients should I be looking for in skincare?
Hyaluronic Acid is the best ingredient for boosting hydration levels, as it is a substance naturally produced by the skin to retain moisture. Applied topically it will help boost moisture as well as plump your skin.
Look out for natural humectants like Glycerin, Aloe Vera and Lactic Acid, which are great at drawing moisture into your skin.