Did you know that your skincare routine should evolve with the seasons? Winter isn’t just time to change your wardrobe, it’s also the season in which to change the way you look after your skin, especially if you are over 50 as the older you get, the drier your epidermis becomes.
When cold weather arrives, humidity levels drop drastically – says Arabella Preston, former makeup artist and co-founder of leading skincare brand Votary.- This, combined with dry heat from central heating and the fact that our oil-producing sebaceous glands get sluggish in colder weather, can leave normally healthy skin feeling dehydrated. It often becomes sensitive, and that can lead to more serious skin conditions.
That’s why it’s so important to switch up your skincare routine so skin can not only look but feel its best in the winter months, too. But don’t worry, it’s not the case of a complete overhaul of all your beauty products; simple changes would help your skin adapt to the environment and retain the moisture better.
Here are a few ways to keep it looking and feeling soft and healthy despite the cold.
The cardinal rule of wintertime skincare is keeping skin hydrated. You can start from the inside out by drinking more water and tea, including seasonal fruits and vegetables in your diet. Consuming food rich in Omega 3, Vitamin A, C, and E can be useful in having moisturized and healthy skin.
Cleanse your face gently
Cleansing creams, balms, and oils can effectively wash the skin while keeping it hydrated. A non-foaming cleanser that gently removes make-up and sunscreen, while maintaining the skin’s acid mantle is the one you should use during wintertime. Opt for rich, waterless formulas based on shea butter and plant oils.
Moisturise, moisturise, moisturise
This is the time of the year to replace any light creams with products that are rich with emollient ingredients like shea butter, castor or avocado oil. The trick to keeping your skin moistured longer is layering up your beauty products as well as you do with your clothes in winter.
Start with a serum rich in hydrating ingredients like vegetable glycerin, hyaluronic acid, or alpha hydroxy acid first and then finish with a cream-based moisturizer (these are thicker than a lotion) on top to lock everything in. When required it, pamper your face with an overnight mask, too.
Your skin undergoes circadian rhythms- says Dr Joshua Zeichner, Director of Cosmetic & Clinical Research in Dermatology at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York-. Skin hydration levels start to decline in the afternoon and continue overnight, so p.m. masking is extremely helpful to keep the skin hydrated.
If you are sleeping in a room with particularly dry heat, pair your overnight mask with a bedside humidifier to further seal in moisture.
Don’t skip the sunscreen
Just because it’s winter, that doesn’t mean you should put away your suncream. UVA are still significant enough to age your skin. SPF 100 is important daily but is also critical when you’re out enjoying winter activities, like a winter walk or weekend ski trip. Don’t leave your home without it.
Exfoliate in moderation
During winter, the skin is trying to protect itself from harsh conditions by regenerating. However, layers of dead skin cells may leave your skin looking dry and wrinkly, so you need to exfoliate regularly. If you notice flaking or redness, switch to gentler formulas with lactic acid, fruit acids or jojoba beads and apply no more than once per week.
Look after your lips
Make sure your lips are sealed with an effective ointment at all times and protected. Smooth on a rich balm with a combo of natural oils and waxes nightly to fend off flakes and chapping. Any balm that contains wheat germ oil, almond oil, jojoba oil, coconut oil, aloe vera, shea butter, sunflower oil, or cottonseed oil, will do the trick. Also, avoid long-lasting or matte lipsticks because their ingredients tend to cause dryness.
Pamper your hands
Wearing gloves is a simple, easy way to help protect hands from cold temperatures and dry air as well as eliminate cracked and splitting cuticles and nails. So why not do it at night time, too? Before going to bed, apply a rich layer of hand cream under cotton gloves. After a few nights, you’ll see the skin barrier will start to improve.
Don’t take long hot showers
The hot water can strip the skin of its natural elements contributing to dry skin. It’ better to take brief lukewarm showers and then immediately after it, while your skin is still damp, apply rich moisturizers to lock in hydration. If you find that your skin is flaking more than usual, try dry brushing, an exfoliating ritual that involves rubbing your skin with a brush in a light, circular motion. A great way to promote lymphatic drainage, too.
Dig into your kitchen pantry
Sometimes you can find great sources in your kitchen pantry for your beauty routine. Oatmeal, yoghurt and honey are the best ingredients for soothing irritated skin. The first one, called colloidal oatmeal can be used not only for breakfast but also for a soothing bath. It cleans your skin, forms a protective barrier, helps hold in moisture and ease inflammation.
Yoghurt is also a great way to promote cell renewals. It is considered a great source of lactic acid and it calms skin that’s irritated from the weather because it contains inflammation-fighting vitamin E. Cleanse your skin and then leave the yoghurt on for 10 to 15 minutes in a very thick layer. Then, add a tablespoon of honey to make the most of the antioxidants.