Between the cold temperatures, the lack of humidity, and the increased exposure to indoor pollutants, the winter months can really take their toll on your skin. Whether you’re dealing with dry patches, a rough skin texture, a lack of radiance, or anything else, the secret to keeping your skin healthy over the winter lies in making a few tweaks to both your skincare routine and your lifestyle habits. Follow these winter skincare do’s and don’ts and you’ll have your natural glow back in no time.
Do: Switch to a lighter cleanser
Your skin produces less sebum in cold weather, which is one of the reasons why the skin struggles to keep itself hydrated and moisturised in the winter. If you’re still using the same cleanser that you were using over the summer, it’s time to make a change.
Many cleanser formulas are simply too harsh for the winter. They’ll strip away excessive amounts of your skin’s natural sebum at a time when you should be trying to preserve this protective layer instead. So, switch to a milder cleanser for the winter – milk and cream cleansers tend to be much gentler than foaming and gel cleansers, making them ideal for the colder months.
Don’t: Expose your skin to hot water
For many, this one is difficult to do – after all, nothing feels quite as satisfying as a long, hot shower at the end of a bitterly chilly day.
However, don’t forget that all-important sebum layer we just mentioned. Like harsh cleansers, hot water also strips that protective layer away, leaving the skin dry and vulnerable. To avoid this, turn your shower temperature down to lukewarm instead – your skin will thank you!
Do: Add hydrating products to your skincare routine
The lack of humidity in the air over the winter causes the moisture within your skin to evaporate at a much faster rate, which is why dryness is such a common winter skin concern. The best way to counter this is to ensure that your skincare routine contains plenty of hydrating ingredients.
One of our favourites? Hyaluronic acid, purely because it can hold up to 1000 times its weight in water. There are a couple of different forms of hyaluronic acid out there, so look for a product that contains both for maximum benefits. If you’d prefer to go with a serum formula, check out this True Botanicals Chebula Active Immunity Serum Review – in addition to HA, this product is also infused with a number of other super-hydrating compounds.
Don’t: Forget about SPF
It’s easy to forget about sunscreen in the winter, especially when you’re faced with a cold and cloudy day. However, while UVB rays may not be as strong at this time of year, UVA rays are still around, and these are the ones that damage your skin’s protein fibres and accelerate the skin aging process. It doesn’t help that snow and ice can actually double your skin’s UV exposure, leaving it even more susceptible to harm.
So, if you thought that you were done with your sunscreen until the spring, think again. This is a product that you need to be wearing year-round, even in the darkest depths of winter.
Do: Invest in a humidifier
A humidifier can truly be a game-changer for your skin. As mentioned, humidity levels drop in the winter months, and this increases transepidermal water loss, leaving your skin parched. A humidifier counters this by adding moisture back into the air. As a result, your skin won’t lose quite as much water, enabling it to stay plump and hydrated.
Ideally, place your humidifier in your bedroom. Your skin cells need a large amount of moisture overnight to heal and regenerate, and a humidifier will ensure that they receive this.
Over-exfoliation is something that should be avoided year-round, but it’s so easy to unintentionally over-exfoliate in the winter. Again, this is down to the fact that your skin contains less sebum during the colder months, meaning that it can end up irritated and damaged far more easily. How often you exfoliate should depend on your skin type, but once or twice a week is generally all that’s needed in the winter.
Don’t forget to also pay attention to how you exfoliate. Chemical exfoliants are much gentler than physical exfoliants, making these the best choice for the winter months.
While winter may be relatively short and mild in some parts of the world, others experience the bitter cold for several months, making it vital to understand how to help your skin to cope with this. Fortunately, it’s not too difficult – follow the tips above and your skin will soon return back to a healthy and happy state.