9 WAYS TO KEEP YOUR SKIN SOFT AND SUPPLE IN THE COOLER MONTHS
Have you noticed your skin changing and even becoming more dryer or easily irritated? Does it seem to be more sensitive, showing signs of redness, bumps, itching or flaking? Maybe it just doesn’t feel as soft as it normally does.
Well you can likely thank the weather for that. We’re mid way through winter… and you’re probably feeling it as the cold snaps make their way across the country. With each new season, your skin will most likely react differently to the changes in your environment.
Cold temperatures, low humidity, and high winds strip your skin of the moisture it needs, cause it to lose some of its natural oils, which makes your skin work that much harder to stay hydrated! Not to mention the impact that household heaters and extra hot showers have on your skin.
As your external and internal environment changes, we recommend you make some changes to the way you look after your skin. As the cold months creep on, we recommend making the following 9 changes to your regular skincare routine.
1/ Moisturise & Hydrate
First things first, adding more hydration and moisture into your routine will help combat the tough winter weather and winds. Keeping your skin moisturised will also help prevent winter rash, which is a condition that develops and is caused by dry skin.
As tempting as it is to lather on the thickest cream or lotion you can get your hands on, especially once you get out of the shower, be mindful of active ingredients. Just like finding the right jumper in winter, the thickest jumper may not always be the best choice.
Look for products that contain ingredients such as urea or lactic acids, ceramides, hyaluronic acid, niacinamide, bakuchiol, and botanical oils. These ingredients help soothe inflammation, rehydrate and strengthen your skin’s barrier. If you’re acne prone, stay away from moisturisers that contain petrolatum or are oil-based, they will cause you to break out. If you’ve been using a gel based moisturiser, now might be the time to swap to a creme based.
2/ Watch the water temperature
We know how tempting it is to take a long, hot shower on these cold days, however hot water does dry out your skin and strips it of its natural oils. Pair your baths and showers with proper moisturising regimen after, to let your skin absorb and lock in that extra moisture. Feel free to add a face mask and/or hydrating serum to your night time routine for an extra layer of hydration specifically for your face, which is normally most exposed in the winter months.
3/ Adjust your exfoliants
Your skin will need extra love during the winter, but be mindful that the harsh weather can make it more sensitive. You might want to adjust your exfoliants and make the change from a physical one to a chemical one. If you decide to do this, opt for a chemical exfoliant with active ingredients such as alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs), beta hydroxy acids (BHAs), or enzymes, will dissolve that top layer of dead skin and wash it away gently without causing your skin to dry or become flaky
4/ Add natural products & oils
Certain oils and natural products can help restore and rehydrate your skin, although they don’t do the same job as creams or ointments. Apply these in small amounts directly on your skin, or even add them to your diet and hydrate from within (if you notice any signs of irritation, discontinue use). Your skin will benefit from an extra added protective layer and external forces with these oils:
- Coconut oil : contains lanolin and lauric acids, which work to improve the skin’s barrier function and promote healing
- Avocado oil : contains vitamins C, D, and E which nourish and heal damaged skin
- Almond oil : contains vitamins A and E, is an anti-inflammatory, that also removes dryness
- Aloe vera : enzymes in the plant act like an exfoliator, the best part is you can buy it pre-made, or have some fun and make your own!
5/ Swap out your cleanser
Put away your water-based cleanser and switch over to a cream-based one until the summer season comes around again. Cream cleansers are gentler on dry skin and have built in moisture. If your skin seems to need extra hydration, try out a cleansing oil to take care of removing dirt and makeup without drying out your skin completely.
6/ Add a serum!
If you haven’t been using a serum in your daily routine, now is the time to add one. Serums are usually thinner in consistency, but contain tons of active ingredients such as hyaluronic acid, which has an almost magical power to grab moisture out of the air and hold it to your skin’s surface to deliver deep, lasting hydration. Add a serum before you moisturise to make sure you are really sealing in moisture and getting the best results.
7/ Hydrate from within
Speaking of hydrating from the inside, check your water consumption. Just because you’re not sweating it out in the heat, doesn’t mean you can skip out on the water intake! The recommended amount is at least 2L every day. Also look to swap out the hot cocoa for green tea, which is rich in antioxidants.
8/ Don’t forget your lips!
Your lips, along with your face, are usually the most exposed to the harsh winter weather. It’s very common for the skin on your lips to get dry, cracked and flaky and the temperatures drop and the winds pick up. Use a moisture rich balm to protect them from the elements, and avoid licking your lips… at all costs!
9/ Protect your skin from the sun
Even during gloomy winter weather, the sun can still damage your skin. The harsh UV rays still reach us in the winter, so you should always be protecting your skin by routinely applying SPF throughout the year. Tinted SPF Moisturisers are great particularly for the winter, as they have an extra added hydration in addition to SPF protection.
Changes of seasons may be hard on the skin, but if you are prepared to make adjustments to your skin care routine, your skin will thank you and will not feel dry, irritated or flaky. Remember hydration and moisture is key, but don’t overdo it.
If you are out and about, remember your face, lips and hands are most exposed. Give them some love and have creams, lip balms, sunscreen, and water on hand and with you to keep reapplying and rehydrating.
Harsh weather can also exist inside, as central heat will also add an extra component of dryness to your skin. If you’re keeping your room extra cozy and warm during the night, you might also want to invest in a humidifier to help further seal in moisture as you sleep and prevent your skin from becoming dryer.
*The information provided is general advice only and does not constitute medical advice. For specific advice for your skin, speak to a dermatologist or medical professional.