It’s that time of the year when we need to start thinking about our skin. Even the most balanced skin can get disrupted by dry, winter air, cold temperatures, and harsh winds. There are ways to avoid dry, dull, itchy, and flaky skin this season. Try these winter skin care tips.
During the winter months, cold, outside air and dry, indoor heating can wreak havoc by causing your skin cells to dehydrate and die more quickly. These dead cells will accumulate on the surface of your skin and cause it to feel dull, dry, and flaky.
I recommend exfoliating to help sluff off those dead cells and to make room for new, healthier skin cells to rise to the surface more easily. The process will also help your moisturizer and other skin care products penetrate more effectively.
As a general rule, I recommend exfoliating two to three times a week. But your skin type and condition will determine how often you should exfoliate and what you use. You might try a physical exfoliator like a leave-on mask that has a fine pumice in them, or a device that exfoliates. There are also enzymatic and chemical exfoliation treatments. And finally, there are professional treatments like chemical peels and microdermabrasion that can enhance your at-home routine.
Your summer skin care routine will not cut it when it comes to caring for your winter skin. At this time of the year, your skin will probably need more moisture more often. If you usually use a lotion, consider switching to a cream moisturizer and adding a moisturizing serum with hyaluronic acid—both of these will help you lock in moisture.
Trying to regulate your environment can also help. I recommend that you:
- Use a humidifier in your bedroom (or space where you spend most of your time).
- Drink lots of water.
- Try using an overnight hydrating mask.
- Avoid overheating your home.
- Avoid hot showers and even hot water when cleansing your face.
Snow is an incredible reflective surface and has been shown to reflect up to 80% of UV rays. That’s to say that in wintertime, you can get UV exposure directly from the sun and also from rays reflected off the snow. You should ALWAYS wear a good quality sunscreen because UV causes damage to your skin: dullness, wrinkles, and pigmentation.
Wear a minimum 40 SPF on your face every single day, no matter the time of year. If you plan on spending a significant amount of time outside, then you should increase the SPF to 60 or greater and reapply it every two hours.
Sometimes, we hear people using the terms “moisturizing” and “hydrating” interchangeably. But there is a distinction.
Moisturizing the skin—with things like shea butter, cocoa butter, lanolin, and mineral oil— locks in existing moisture and builds a natural protective barrier. Hydrating the skin—using ingredients like hyaluronic acid, alpha hydroxy acids, glycerin, and propylene glycol—is about absorbing moisture from the air and infusing the skin cells with water.
Ideally, you should be using a combination of moisturizing and hydrating agents to help keep your winter skin healthy and happy.
Eat & Drink Well
With family get-togethers and work parties on the horizon, you should avoid drinking too much alcohol and eating foods that lead to inflammation. This would include things like sugar, wheat, dairy, and trans fats.
I’m a firm believer in enjoying yourself—in moderation. During the holiday months, be aware of how much you are eating and drinking.
If you indulge in too much alcohol, you’ll dehydrate your skin, increasing your chances of having pigmentation. By eating too many inflammation-causing treats can lead to broken blood vessels, aggravated acne, and other skin conditions.
The Last Word
Winter probably isn’t your favourite season—it’s not your skin’s favourite either! But that doesn’t mean you and your skin can’t make the best of this frigid season with a solid winter skin care routine. Follow our tips for taking care of your skin this winter and get out there and glow, girlfriend!
If you think you might want more information on how to best treat and take care of your skin, reach out to us anytime.