Every change in season brings a different temperature, wind, humidity and UV exposure which can all affect the skin and body. Our skin has to adapt to these different weather conditions. Winter brings cold winds and freezing rain but our skin is also then inflicted with central heating when we come inside. This swing in temperatures can disrupt the skin barrier, making it more susceptible to inflammation and causing our skin to become dry and sensitive. As the season changes from summer to winter you may feel your skin has become dry and tighter and at times sore. Small changes in our skincare routine can help our skin cope with the fluctuations in temperature and environmental changes and ensure a healthy skin barrier. All you need to do is tweak your existing skincare routine depending on your skin’s needs during the new season. Here are some tips:

Switch to a milder cleanser;

If you tend to have dry skin, swap from a foaming or gel cleanser to a cream or milky cleanser that helps encourage the skin to retain moisture. If you have oily or combination skin, reduce the number of times you use a gel or foaming cleanser and instead use a cream cleanser a few times a week, this will help make sure you are not over stripping the skin of its natural oils. Double cleansing at night with a nourishing cleansing balm and then following with a cream cleanser is a great way to nourish and hydrate the skin whilst thoroughly removing any make-up, impurities and excess oil without drying out the skin.

Reduce how frequently you exfoliate;

Exfoliating our skin is an important step to remove the dead skin cells. These dead cells can site on the surface of our skin and can prevent our skincare products from penetrating deep into the skin, reducing the benefits. Dead skin cells can also leave our skin looking dull, so effective exfoliation improves how radiant your skin looks and feels. However, whether you use a chemical exfoliator or a physical exfoliator it is important to reduce their use in winter. This helps ensure a healthy skin barrier during colder months as cell renewal slows in winter reducing the number of dead cells that need exfoliating away. Over exfoliation can cause your skin to become dry and flakey whilst making your skin more sensitive, causing redness and increasing breakouts. With this in mind, your should only look to exfoliate once or maybe twice a week using a gentle and mild exfoliator to keep your skin bright, glowing and smooth.

Time for a heavier moisturiser;

Changing your usual moisturiser to a slightly thicker, more nourishing moisturiser helps to skin ensure it’s getting the hydration and moisture it needs. It’s just as important for oily and combination skin too, even applying a slightly heavier moisturiser at night will help ensure a healthy skin barrier.

Add a facial oil;

Facial oils offer an extra layer of protection for your skin to help strengthen the skin barriers and lock in hydration by preventing water loss. There are so many great facial oils out there that are derived from potent natural oils that boast anti-aging, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, hydrating and soothing properties, there’s one for every skin type! Face oils can be added to your moisturiser or applied after serum or over your moisturiser to lock in all the benefits of your serums and moisturiser. Facial oils help create a protective barrier, keeping the toxins out and trapping the hydration in which helps ensure a healthy skin barrier which in turn ensures healthy skin.

When the skin can no longer retain its moisture levels it results in dry, unbalanced skin. It occurs when the skin’s barrier is compromised. Winter weather can easily tip the balance, the cold air, rain, central heating and icy winds all contribute to the breakdown of the skin’s barrier and can result in dry, tight and sensitive skin. 

Caring for dry skin doesn’t just mean applying generous amounts of moisturiser. Skin prone to over-drying requires careful management and a skincare routine to suit.

Key Points

  • Use Mild Cleansers and Deeply Hydrating Ingredients – Nourishing plant oils, moisture rich natural butters, ingredients high in natural fatty acids and vitamins are key ingredients to look out for.
  • Avoid Harsh Ingredients – Products containing SLS, strong alcohols and fragrance can strip the skin of its natural oils and disturb the natural balance.
  • Protect your skin from environmental factors – apply SPF daily to shield the skin from UV light and use products containing Vitamin C to protect the \skin against pollution.
  • Use warm water rather than hot when cleansing. The temptation to use warmer water when the colder weather arises can have a negative effect on our skin and result in the skins natural oils being disrupted.

A skincare routine designed to nourish and protect the skin can help win the battle against dry skin, below are some products designed to nourish, treat and to prevent dry skin.

Light Exfoliation

It is important to gently remove the dead skin to allow your moisturisers and serums to penetrate, otherwise they sit on the surface of the skin without being absorbed correctly. It is important that a gentle exfoliator is used as you don’t want to irritate sensitive skin. Either a mild chemical exfoliant with lactic or glycolic acid or a gentle physical scrub. Use a couple of times a week to lift away dead skin, this then allows the products applied afterwards to be absorbed and the skin can benefit from the ingredients invaluable properties. 

Avoid Harsh Cleansers

Cleansers formulated with SLS or fragrance can be super drying for the skin. They strip the skin of its natural oils and can leave it feeling dry and irritated. Chose a gentle cleanser and wash using warm but not hot water 

Switch to a deeply hydrating moisturiser

Opt for a heavier cream moisturiser rather than a lotion to provide deep hydration. Moisturisers rich in fatty acids and omega’s help keep your skin deeply hydrated and supple whilst natural peptides and hyaluronic acid provide and lock in moisture. 

Nourishing Oils

Oils are a great way to nourish the skin and help build the skins lipid barrier. Oils provide deeply moisturising qualities and can help protect the skin against environmental factors. 

  • Argan Oil is rich in soothing vitamin E and contains anti-inflammatory linoleic acid whilst also delivering highly moisturising properties.
  • Jojoba Oil is rich in nourishing fatty acids it helps lock moisture in by creating a protective layer on the skin.
  • Olive Oil is a soothing oil which has antioxidant properties which help fight free radical damage and prevent premature ageing. 

Hydrating Treatment Serums

Apply after cleansing but before your moisturiser to help plump, smooth and hydrate the skin. Serums have a lightweight fluid texture which means they are easily absorbed and their beneficial ingredients penetrate the skin. A serum with Hyaluronic Acid (HA) is great for adding hydration, known for its extremely hydrating properties, it has the ability to hold up to six times its own weight in water. Our skin naturally produces Hyaluronic Acid to aid the skins moisture levels but due to ageing and environmental factors these levels can decrease.