The temperature gauge is dropping, the icicles are forming, the snow is falling, and fluffy socks season is OFFICIALLY in full swing...yep I’ve called it!
Winter has formally announced its arrival, and don’t we know it! Brrrr.
Winter is a season to be loved for a variety of reasons, I mean who doesn’t love feeling like they’re in their very own Hallmark Christmas movie? There's nothing quite like the cosy evenings spent by a crackling fire, the buzz of excitement from the holiday fun, and all of the festive cheer that comes along with it.
But let’s be real, winter isn’t all snowflakes and festive fun, there is a downside! The effect that this season can have on our skin is a little less than desirable, leaving our complexions showing signs of distress, dullness, dryness, flakiness and irritation. If you’re struggling with any of these right now, you’re not alone, and there’s a reason it seems like your skin is misbehaving this way!
So what’s going on?
The cold winter conditions, harsh winds and dry indoor heated air all join forces, merging into a perfect moisture-zapping storm, which in turn wreaks havoc on our moisture barrier; leaving our skin feeling dehydrated, dry and in need of some SERIOUS TLC!
So if you’re feeling personally victimized by the winter weather, grab your blanket, and your hot tea and let’s settle in for some winter skincare survival tips that’ll have your skin not just surviving but thrrrriving this festive season!!
Our overall skin priority during the winter months is to prevent and protect it from losing its much-needed hydration and moisture; essentially we’re aiming to maintain the integrity of your moisture barrier.
This can be done in a few ways, so let’s dive right in!
1. USE A HUMIDIFIER
Cold, harsh outdoor conditions leave our skin feeling raw and sore, then we step inside and the indoor heat zaps moisture from the air and as a result, from our skin. C’mon winter, give us a break!!
Although it can be tempting to ramp up the heating during the chilly winter months to avoid a mild case of frostbite… the central heating we have in our homes unfortunately really contributes to our skin becoming tight, dehydrated and dry. Central air conditioning and heaters essentially pull out the moisture from the air around us. No wonder our skin is left feeling parched!!
So what’s the fix? One word: HUMIDIFIER!
Humidifiers essentially add much-needed moisture back into the air, restoring levels and therefore preventing our skin from feeling dehydrated and dry.
2. CONTROL YOUR TEMPERATURES
As we’ve discussed above, turning up the heating thermometer draws the moisture from our skin (and whilst it’s at it, our bank balance too!). So keeping the dial at a moderate level really helps to stop the air from becoming too dry and simultaneously allows you to save your $$$ to spend on more fun things (like hot chocolate and Christmas gifts!!)
We can also lose a lot of moisture from our skin when showering/ bathing. I know it can be hard to resist a piping hot bath when your bones are chilled from the freezing winter air, but bathing in hot temperatures can really siphon the moisture from your skin. Instead, opting for a warm bath or shower can still provide you with that much needed comforting warmth, without disturbing the integrity of your moisture barrier! (P.s this also goes for face and hand washing too!)
3. HYDRATE AND MOISTURIZE ON DAMP SKIN
Hydrate: Add some hydration back into your skin with Hyaluronic Acid. I recommend using HA all year around, but it’s especially important to be using this powerhouse ingredient during the winter months. HA is a humectant; essentially it is a moisture magnet that draws moisture to itself from the environment around us, and in turn, traps it in our skin. For it to work effectively though, it needs to be applied to moist/damp skin.
Moisturize: Generally speaking, moisturizers work better when applied to damp skin. Most moisturizers should contain a combination of hydrating (humectant) ingredients that will draw water into the skin and occlusive ingredients that seal that hydration in too, as well as working to soften the outer layer of the skin. So it stands to reason then that having damp skin will allow for more hydration to be locked in!
Pat your hands and body dry after washing/ showering as this will help retain moisture and then apply a thick layer of moisturizer within a few minutes after bathing to seal the water into the skin.
4. MOIDFY YOUR REGIMEN FOR THE SEASON
As the seasons change, so do the needs or our skin. It’s important to adjust our skincare regimen, fine tune and really listen to what our skin is asking for. Our skin is going to be more sensitive during the winter months and more prone to irritation, so keeping this in mind is important.
A couple of general recommendations/switches for the winter months are:
- Switch up your cleanser for a more moisturizing one, particularly if your usual choice contains drying ingredients like glycolic or salicylic acid. We cleanse twice a day, morning and night and if we’re using a cleanser that’s stripping and drying our skin out, we’re going to be feeling the effects pretty soon. I recommend using a really gentle cleanser such as Clean Canvas, which is rich in fatty acids to aid in renewing the skin’s natural lipid layer.
- Switch to a richer, more restorative moisturizer - this is the season that your skin really needs and can handle a little more - I recommend our most nourishing product: Moisture Therapy. It’s a lipid-restoring moisturizer that helps plump the skin using a blend of Shea Butter and Rice Bran oil along with Hyaluronic Acid to enhance the skin's overall suppleness.
- Consider adding in some overnight deep moisturizer treatments which can help particularly dry areas like hands, lips, and feet if they’re feeling extra dry.
5. DON'T SKIP ON THE SUNSCREEN
Just because it's cold and dreary outside doesn't mean the sun isn't affecting your skin!
Sun damage happens all year around, through each and every season and sun damage = premature aging, the development of fine lines and wrinkles, an increased risk of skin cancer. UVA and UVB rays are always present, and while clouds do reduce some of the sun's UV rays, they don't block all of them, and therefore whatever the weather, come cloud, rain or shine, your skin needs SPF protection.
If you’re blessed to be surrounded by beautiful snow, the sun reflecting off snow means UV rays are hitting you from additional angles so SPF is extra important here!!
If you are a winter sports fan and hitting the slopes this season, remember lips are especially vulnerable to sunburn. Our Throwing Shade SPF contains Zinc oxide, which is a fantastic physical sunscreen, great for sports, and will help to reflect the UV away from the skin of your face and lips.
So go apply that SPF 50+ if you’re SPF free today!
6. ADD MOISTURE FROM THE INSIDE OUT AND STAY HYDRATED
It can be easy to let our water intake wane now that the hot summer is over. Who is guilty of replacing their H20 intake with hot chocolate, coffee and maybe a little too much alcohol during the winter months? Guilttttyyyy…
Staying hydrated is super important for your skin, so don’t skimp on the water intake!
This is also a great time to make sure you’re getting enough fatty oils in your diet, if you don’t eat oily fish, there are Avocados, nuts and seeds or supplements to add to your diet!
7. SUPPLEMENT THAT SUNSHINE VITAMIN (VITAMIN D)
Vitamin D is essential in maintaining the skin barrier function and what is our goal for the Winter...maintaining that skin barrier! With the sun giving us the cold shoulder, supplementing Vitamin D is key during this season!
Learn all about your skin and Vitamin D here
8. DON'T NEGLECT YOUR HANDS
Y’all are probably already feeling the effects that the wind and cold air are having on your hands! They get dried out, and fast!
And since we're all still constantly washing our hands (as we should be) it's just not gonna cut it to apply hand cream in the morning and call it a day! Instead, I recommend keeping a nourishing hand cream in your purse, at your desk, in your car, by the sink…try and get into the habit of moisturizing your hands after you wash them, all of this will help prevent them from drying out too much.
9. LAYER THE MOISTURE ON THOSE LIPS
Winter can really do a number on our lips, leaving them dry, cracked and sore… I know y’all want to avoid that! This happens because the skin on our lips is thinner and gets constant exposure to the harsh winter elements without protection. Unlike our skin, our lips don’t have oil glands to keep them protected, so once they’re dry, it can be hard to bring them back from the brink! I recommend using overnight intensive treatments, always keeping a chapstick on hand (like always) and covering your mouth with a scarf when out and about in the cold wind and rain!
10. REMEMBER TO EXFOLIATE
I know it can be tempting to skip exfoliating when your skin’s feeling sensitive and dry from exposure to the winter elements. It can seem counterintuitive to strip your face…but exfoliating is important, year-round, as it ensures you're clearing away any dead skin cells that can flake off and cause dry skin.
Exfoliating also has a knock-on effect for the rest of your regimen, allowing your serums and moisturizers to really soak in and work their magic!
The key is to use a much more gentle formula than you would in the summer months, and really tone down the frequency you exfoliate your skin. We don't want to dry out or cause further skin irritation so this is really important!
BONUS TIP: REMEMBER TO GIVE THE REST OF YOUR SKIN SOME LOVE!
If you’re a dedicated facial skincare lover, it can sometimes be easy to forget that skin exists beyond the neck, and easy to neglect the rest of your body. I know I can be a little guilty of this from time to time! But the truth is, the skin on our body deserves and needs our love and attention just as much as our faces.
Make sure to wash with a gentle exfoliating body wash such as Skin Deep, apply a nourishing moisturizer particularly after bathing and overall be gentle with your skin, remember it’s much more sensitive and prone to irritation and sensitivity during the winter months.
There we have it, now you’re armed with a winter survival toolkit, ready to navigate this season like a pro! Now go out there and show winter who's boss!