As days get shorter and temperatures drop, the coming icy grip of winter creeps up on us while we all think “take us back to summer!” Which means it’s time to start setting in motion some daily skincare habits to fortify our skin from the chilly months that are approaching. Are you feeling iffy on how to fend off the elements properly? Don’t worry, we’ve gathered all the information you need to prepare your skincare routine for winter and properly protect your skin against winter’s bite. Here’s how!
Why do you need to treat your skin differently in winter?
Every season demands something different from our dermal layers, but winter specifically can be taxing on our skin barrier defenses for a number of reasons. Colder and windier conditions strip the moisture right off of our skin. Paired with this, the lower humidity levels contribute to drying out the skin’s moisture while the dry air pulls moisture away from the skin. And then of course we contribute to it ourselves by getting cozy and cranking up the heat which dries out our skin even more. We already know that hydration plays an integral part in our skin health and appearance, and it has to work double duty during winter months.
What are some signs of winter’s side effects on skin?
We’re sure you’ve experienced plenty of winter side effects that end up either a daily nuisance or are oftentimes downright painful. Despairingly dry skin that can crack and even bleed. Tender and sore lips ready to split with the next sentence spoken. Angry and inflamed skin that feels raw to the touch. All of the above sounds dreadfully unpleasant if you ask us, and it can often be frustrating to figure out how to beat these winter side effects on our skin. Yet, we shouldn’t wait until the first unpleasant signs that our skin is struggling.
What are the steps to protect skin in winter?
Moisturise, Moisturise, Moisturise
Because winter months remove so much water from our skin, moisturising must become a priority of your skincare routine. Even though it might be a part of your morning routine already, it should be a focus throughout the day and before you go to sleep as well. Use an ultra-hydrating face cream that locks in moisture but remains breathable to avoid inflammation or breakouts. Keep a hand-cream within reach in your handbag or car to apply when coming in and out of work and home.
Don’t Take Scalding Hot Showers
Jumping into an incredibly hot shower might seem like a wonderful way to warm up on a cold morning after traversing the Antarctic-like walk to the bathroom, but it could be wreaking havoc on your skin barrier. Hot showers can strip your skin of protective oils much faster than a warm shower. Keep your showers relatively lukewarm however tempting it is to turn up the temperature. Also, pat skin dry with a soft towel and don’t rub.
Apply Sunscreen Every. Single. Day.
We know, clouds and cold and short days don’t scream sunscreen – it’s important either way. Winter months can be extra deceiving, but sunburn and too much UV exposure is absolutely possible in winter and often amplified when under cloud cover or near any reflective environment like lakes and snow. It is especially important to apply SPF if you’re hitting the slopes.
Pivot your skincare routine to combat the cold
You may have your daily skincare routine set in stone, so much so that it’s basically muscle memory to go through the motions everyday. Yet, your skincare routine should evolve for winter to accommodate. Pack fortifying lip balm to defend against the wind and harsh elements to prevent cracking and keep them pucker-perfect. Stash a deep nourishing hand cream anywhere you spend a lot of time like work and in the car. Keep a refreshing mist toner handy for a quick spritz to revitalise your skin throughout the day.
Change the Way You Exfoliate
Though it is important to exfoliate and rid the skin of expired skin cells to make way for new ones, winter exfoliation should involve less abrasive scrubs and cleansers. This is because the skin is already struggling to stay moisturised, which could leave skin inflamed and prone to painful irritation and cracking if you are exfoliating too harshly. For winter, we recommend toning down the deep exfoliating pads and beaded scrubs for a more gentle exfoliating cream cleanser that clears skin while not damaging it, and leaves it soft yet strengthened.
Integrate Overnight Skincare
When we sleep our bodies go into repair mode, and this is also a time when our body temperatures increase which can lead to moisture loss. Given our skin already struggles in cold weather with that, integrating more effective overnight skincare is key to combating the cold and dry rooms while the heat is on inside. It’s good practice to integrate a nourishing night cream that locks in moisture and boosts collagen and skin repair while you sleep.
Embrace Essential Oils
One term for winter we should all get cozy with is “occlusive”, which is a fancy way of saying a certain skincare ingredient or product creates a protective barrier. And many essential oils fall into this category, which will go a long way in boosting your skin barrier function and preventing winter weather from stripping it dry. One of the most effective occlusive essential oils for winter is rosehip oil, which has high concentration of essential fatty acids and antioxidants that boost collagen production to strengthen skin, while locking in moisture and protecting it further. Occlusive face oils, like our Restorative Skin Oil, should be applied after your face cream or moisturiser.
Even though we can’t escape the cold months that are coming, you now have the know-how to protect your skin and no longer feel those winter woes again.