When I think of all my favourite things in winter I think of sitting by a fire, going for an extra hot shower and drinking some hot choccy (or even better, a mulled wine). My skin however, is not as much of a fan of winter as I may be.
Cold temperatures and low humidity levels mean dry air. And dry air draws moisture away from the skin. On top of that, some of my favourite things I mentioned above actually make things worse for your skin during this time. Things like hot showers can strip your skin of its natural oils, and sitting by a roaring fire can apparently dry your skin too! GREAT!...What are you going to tell me next? Santa's not real?!
When your skin is stripped of its natural oils it is more likely to become irritated. It can become itchy and painful, and can flare up existing conditions like eczema and psoriasis. You might even notice particularly sensitive spots on skin as well, like around your nose, eyes and lips.
Even for our oily acne prone babes, winter can be a tough time. And as we have talked about many times before, hydration during winter is just as important for our oily prone babes as it is our dry skin darlings as well.
Here are our top 9 tips for looking after your skin in winter.
1. Invest in a humidifier
Humidifiers add moisture to the air and in doing do prevent dryness that can cause irritation. They are also known for reducing snoring and alleviating common cold symptoms. Double yay!
2. Keep the heating to a *reasonable* temperature
I will admit I am guilty of cranking up the heating before popping on a jumper or grabbing a blanket for extra warmth. To avoid drying out your skin even more, keep the AC temperatures down! Keeping the AC off is also a plus for the environment so double YAY again!
3. Try to avoid the scalding hot showers!
I know this one can be extra difficult. I am that person that comes out as red as a tomato and as happy as a pig in mud from a hot shower in winter. And as good as it feels, trust me when I say your skin is not thanking you for it! Hot showers can dry out your skin and damage your skin’s barrier, so they are a no-no, especially in winter.
4. Opt for a gentle cleanser and a fragrance free body wash
As your skin becomes a little drier in winter, it often becomes more sensitive and more irritated too. We recommend sticking to a gentle cleanser during these months to ensure you aren’t adding to the irritation. Due to the heightened sensitivity of your skin in winter, you may not be able to tolerate the same amount of actives as you would in warmer months, so sticking to a gentle cleanser is a safer option. The tbh Skincare gentle cleanser is a great option containing both cleansing and conditioning ingredients.
When it comes to washing your body, bar soap can worsen dryness by stripping the skin’s natural oils so definitely avoid these during winter. Instead, look for body washes that are labelled ‘for sensitive skin’ or ‘fragrance free.’ Often, they contain fewer drying ingredients and more moisturising ones like hyaluronic acid, ceramides, shea butter, and oats. We recommend the Aveeno Skin Relief Body Wash Fragrance Free from Chemist Warehouse.
5. Moisturise straight after cleansing
You might think that dry skin will absorb products better than already moist skin..but you would actually be wrong! Moist, hydrated skin is more likely to absorb the topical ingredients applied to it when compared to dry skin.
Studies have shown that applying a moisturiser immediately after cleansing results in greater hydration of the skin compared to delayed moisturising! If you want to get the most out of your hydrating serums and moisturiser, we highly recommend you apply them to damp skin directly after cleansing. Don’t forget to do this daily with your rebound serum and thirst trap moisturiser to get that bit of extra hydration in winter. Our rebound serum is also great for supporting your skin barrier and calming any additional redness during the season, so be sure to include this in your daily routine.
6. Modify Your Skin-Care Regimen for the Season
It makes sense that with the drier and colder air stripping your skin’s natural oils, you will need to use different products through the winter seasons compared to those you use during the warmer months.
We recommend that you up the intensity of your moisturiser and that you add in some barrier supporting products. For our oily prone babes, the best oil free moisturiser for sensitive acne prone skin is our thirst trap moisturiser. For our darlings who are prone to being that little bit drier, you will want to make sure you are upgrading your moisturiser in winter for additional hydration. If you are acne prone and dry, you are going to want to make sure that this is definitely a non-comedogenic product. We would recommend either Clinique’s Moisture Surge™ Intense 72-Hour Lipid Replenishing Hydrator, or, for a cheaper option, the BIODERMA Sèbium Hydra Replenishing Moisturiser. These are good skin products for sensitive sally’s as well!
7. Go easy on exfoliants and scrubs
Exfoliation can help keep your skin looking smooth and vibrant, but you should tread carefully during the winter months when your skin might be extra sensitive! It is possible to over-exfoliate and cause further damage to your skin’s barrier. If you do want to keep exfoliating as part of your regular skincare routine through winter, we would suggest that you opt for a gentle chemical exfoliant rather than a physical scrub. Harsher scrubs with large particles may be more likely to break down your skin’s moisture barrier and cause damage.
8. Make sure you are drinking enough water
Making sure you are drinking enough water is key to maintaining bouncy, glowing skin and preventing it from drying out. In addition to staying well hydrated, it is a good idea to focus on eating foods that are high in antioxidants and omega-3 fatty acids. Both of these nutrients can protect your cells from environmental damage and assist you in maintaining a healthy skin barrier.
9. Apply sunscreen, even on cloudy days!
Don’t be fooled by the extra cloud coverage and cooler temperatures in winter. Up to 80 percent of the sun’s harmful UV rays can permeate clouds and still cause damage, according to the Skin Cancer Foundation. It is super important even during the colder months to make sure you are protecting your skin against harmful UV rays. We recommend finding an SPF that also has hydrating ingredients within it, so you can get a little bit of extra moisture in at the same time. Our skin shady 50+ has Glycerin, Alkyl Benzoate and Vitamin E in it to provide that extra hydration, whilst still drying down to a satin/matte finish. It doesn’t clog your pores or contain oil so is suitable for those with breakout prone and oily skin.
It’s not uncommon to experience dry, flaky skin in winter! The key to keeping your skin healthy is to moisturise your skin frequently with the right products. If you find that your dry skin isn’t improving, or it becomes severe to the point of cracking and bleeding, we recommend following up with your healthcare provider for the right treatment.