As winter sweeps in and the temperatures begin to get lower, it’s extremely important to adjust our skincare products and routine accordingly. Winter brings more than just snow, cozy days spent at home and coffee shops… The cold and dry air can be detrimental for your skin, causing dryness, flakiness and even leading to itchiness and blotching. While it may feel like there’s no escaping the dry indoor air and sweeping-cold temperatures, we’re here to save the day! By making small changes to your everyday routine, you can fight off the dryness and ensure your skin stays supple, hydrated and glowing throughout the colder months!
Determining Your Skin Type
The first step on the road to successful winter skincare is to accurately identify your skin type. Is your skin oily? Dry? Do you have a combination skin type? No two people are the same and we are all unique in our genetic makeup, and this is no different when it comes to your skincare needs. Tailoring your skincare routine to your skin type is going to give you a massive advantage in fighting off the effects of the cold. If you are unaware of what your skin type is, you can perform this simple test from the comfort of your home!
Start by using a mild, pH-balanced cleanser to wash your face, and then pat it dry with a fresh towel. Monitor your skin’s reaction, wait an hour as it will return to its normal state. If you have oily or mixed skin, you’ll notice your forehead, nose, and chin are oily and greasy. You probably have dry skin if your face, especially your cheeks, feels tight or flaky. Dry cheeks and excessive oil in the T-zone are characteristics of combination skin. If your skin feels normal and comfortable then it’s probable that you have normal skin, lucky you! If your skin appears to be red and itchy then take this as a sign that you have sensitive skin.
Different Skin, Different Needs
Now that you know what your skin type is, you can begin tailoring your skincare accordingly. There are four main categories that help us determine where our skincare needs may fit in, namely: oily, dry, combination and sensitive skin. While each category signifies different needs, remember that these are not hard rules, and sometimes you may find your skin type sits in a combination of these categories.
If you have oily skin your skin may be prone to breakouts, acne and excess oil production. In summer you may notice that your skin is oilier and this is because of the high temperatures which cause our bodies to produce more sweat. So while you may be using harsh cleansers in summer, this is not necessary for winter. Opt for a gentler cleanser which helps to maintain the appropriate level of moisture on your face to prevent your skin from becoming excessively dry. Additionally, you can opt for a moisturizer that is slightly thicker in winter, to help retain moisture and give your skin a healthier-glow!
If you have dry skin, your skin is at an increased risk of becoming excessively dry and damaged. The cold weather may cause your skin to become irritated and flaky. This is why using the right products in winter becomes increasingly important. Using a moisturizer as part of your everyday skincare routine can become a valuable weapon in fighting off the dryness and ensuring your skin stays soft and hydrated. Avoid taking very hot showers, and rather opt for lukewarm water, especially when washing your face.
When you have combination skin, finding the right balance can be tricky, regardless of what season it is! People with combination skin may find that their skin behaves differently on different days. If you find yourself in this category, you need to monitor your skin more closely and figure out what its needs are each day. When your skin is very dry on one day, use a moisturizer and lock in that hydration! If your skin is feeling oily, then we recommend skipping the moisturizer on that day and using a gentle cleanser to help remove the excess oil.
Sensitive skin requires a whole lot of love in winter. It’s at more risk of drying out, and of becoming irritated and uncomfortable. Consider using products that have soothing ingredients in them, such as tea tree and peppermint essential oils. These natural oils help alleviate the discomfort the dryness creates. You will also benefit from using a daily moisturizer to restore hydration and ensure your skin doesn’t become red or inflamed. Additionally, you can apply a hydrating facial serum that contains hyaluronic acid. This will ensure the moisture in your face will stay locked in and avoid breakouts and acne from taking hold of your facial skin.
The Do’s And Don’ts of Winter Skincare
Hydration is the key to success in winter skincare. You may need to swap out your normal moisturizer for one that is heavier. This will help combat the dryness of winter weather conditions. Lookout for moisturizers that contain heavy emollients and hydrating naturally-derived ingredients such as cocoa butter, jojoba oil and aloe vera. Additionally, using skincare products that contain antioxidants can help to fight off oxidative stress and ensure your skin is protected from signs of early aging such as fine lines and wrinkles.
While you may not have considered this, using a high SPF sunscreen is crucial for glowing skin in winter. The winter sun actually tends to be more intense, due to the lack of moisture in the air and the absence of humidity. Covering up with a solid sunscreen will protect your skin from the sun’s rays. It’s easy to overlook sunscreen in winter because we don’t feel hot, but the truth is that this is when we are at risk of skin damage from the sun. So, slap that sunscreen on when you go outside, even on cloudy days!
I’m sure we can all agree that taking a hot shower on a cold day is a heavenly experience. However, showering with extremely hot water can be very bad for your skin. While hot showers feel amazing on your skin, the hot water may strip your skin of its natural oils. This leads to skin that is even more dry than usual. Avoid using skincare products that contain synthetic fragrances, while these may smell great, they can dry out your skin and lead to adverse reactions such as blotching and redness.
When it comes to washing your face, be careful not to overwash. You certainly shouldn’t be cleansing twice a day and you may even find that using a cleanser everyday is too much. Over-cleansing can lead to further dehydration for your face in weather conditions that are already dry.
Winter Skincare Products To Consider
These concentrated formulas packed with potent ingredients can target specific skin concerns such as dryness, dullness and fine lines. Look out for facial serums that contain hyaluronic acid, vitamin C and glycerin. These ingredients are essential in providing extra hydration and nourishment for your skin. Additionally, facial serums contain a well-rounded balance of vitamins, antioxidants and nutrients. These can provide great results and alleviate the appearance of aging-skin. They also have the added benefit of being lightweight, making them easier to layer with other skincare products and eliminating the feeling of wearing too much product.
Choosing the perfect moisturizer for your skin is an essential tool to combat the chilly weather. The cold air and lack of humidity means that your skin is driest at this time of the year. The dryness of winter will affect your skin regardless of what skin type you have. However, it’s still important to choose a moisturizer that is best suited for your needs. Regardless of skin type, look out for moisturizers that contain ceramides which help to seal in the moisture and keep your skin looking supple and fresh!
You should avoid using harsh cleansers in winter. They are more likely to strip your facial skin of its natural oils. While they may be beneficial to use in summer when we are constantly sweating and our skin is producing excess oil, this is not the case for winter. Using a gentle cleanser will ensure all the excess oil, dirt and skin buildup is removed from your face. This allows your pores to breathe, without stripping away the entirety of its moisture. This way you can ensure your skin maintains a fresh, well-balanced complexion!
DIY Hydrating Face Mask
Here is a homemade winter face mask recipe that will nourish and moisturize your skin throughout the chilly and dry months. It contains:
The vitamins, healthy fats, and antioxidants included in these substances help to hydrate, maintain moisture and protect the skin.
Simply mash the avocado and combine with the mashed banana, honey, and olive oil to make a smooth consistency. For refreshed, supple skin, apply it to your freshly cleaned face. Unwind for 15 to 20 minutes, then rinse and moisturize. It is safe to use once a week, but you should first conduct a patch test to rule out any allergies or sensitivities.
It’s vital to tailor your skincare routine to your unique needs this winter! So do your research and don’t succumb to the allure of hot winter showers and moisturize, moisturize, moisturize! Your skincare routine doesn’t have to be a constant battle against the elements. So, embrace the winter with open arms and a radiant complexion. Armed with the knowledge of your skin type and the right products and practices, you’re ready to conquer the season and step out into the snowy wonderland with confidence and grace!