Just like you protect yourself from the cold with layers of fluffy jumpers, scarves and gloves, it’s worth remembering that your skin needs some protection in the winter months too. The combination of colder temperatures, blustery winds and central heating can wreak havoc on your skin – even if you’re looking after it as normal.
Our skin-needs change throughout the seasons, meaning that the same products that kept your skin looking gorgeous will not automatically continue when the frosty nights set in. Winter weather can cause our skin barrier to become dull, dry and prone to breakouts. Pair this with your summer glow fading to reveal age spots and redness, and it’s no wonder your skin can get you down during winter.
The beauty industry has recognised this growing demand for season-specific skincare in the past few years, making it pretty easy to refresh your routine. Here’s some tips on how to avoid dry facial skin in winter, repair dry chapped hands, reduce redness and help control breakouts.
Stay hydratedWinter = dry skin for the most of us. But what causes dry skin in winter? The main culprits are low humidity, central heating and cold winds, which can leave our skin struggling to retain moisture in its cellular level.1 This is why your skin may feel tight and uncomfortable. This environment can also make skin look older and duller, as when skin is dry it doesn’t reflect light, instead the shadow effect can make fine lines and wrinkles more noticeable.
So, what’s a gal (or guy) to do? Here’s our winter skin care tips:
- Turn down your shower temperature: however tempting it may be to turn up the heat in the shower after stepping in from the cold, it wont do your skin any favours. Heat can cause further damage to your already-delicate skin barrier, which may cause your skin to become even drier.2
- Take off the day gently: opt for gentler, pH-balanced products to help repair your skin barrier, like Weleda Almond Soothing Cleansing Lotion.
- Ease up on the exfoliating: using harsh exfoliating products regularly can damage the skin barrier, but it is still beneficial to remove dead skin cells. So, if you are going to exfoliate, choose a gentle one like VitaSkin Vitamin C Gentle Daily Exfoliator up to three times a week, and always remember to moisturise after!
- You guessed it, moisturise!: a good moisturiser for winter plumps up skin by adding water to them, brightening up your complexion. So forget about your lightweight summer lotion for the time being and upgrade to a richer, more nourishing face cream like UpCircle Face Moisturiser with Argan Powder.
- Re-nourish dry lips: chapped lips are just another – annoying – indicator that our skin’s barrier is struggling. One of the best things you can do to tackle dry skin on lips is to regularly apply a moisturising balm with an SPF like Dr Organic Moroccan Argan Oil Lip Balm, and please don’t pick or bite them, it will only make it worse.
- Don’t forget your hands: developing dry skin on hands in winter is common, so make sure you always have a trusty, rich cream like Balmonds Intensive Hand Cream in your handbag, ready to tackle those dry cracked hands.
Reduce the redness
If you naturally have cool-toned skin with red and pink undertones, chances are this will only get more pronounced during winter. This is mainly due to temperature changes e.g. coming in from the cold to be met with central heating, which causes blood vessels to expand and contract. But there are things you can do to reduce the redness, like
- Investing in a good SPF: yes, however strange it may seem when there’s not a single spec of sun in the sky, a good SPF will still serve you well. Choose one with added moisture and apply to your face, neck, hands and any other exposed skin to avoid further skin discoloration.3
- Find the right moisturiser: if red skin is your main concern in the winter, look for a moisturiser containing niacinamide and vitamin B5 (aka pantothenic acid) to soothe warm tones in the skin.
Stop spots in their tracksYou may be surprised when spots rear their ugly heads in winter – how can they even be created in such dry conditions?! Well, it turns out that winter is the ideal climate for spots4 – we know, it’s not fair! Don’t fret too much though, there are certain things you can do to tackle winter-time spots, like:
- Gently polish dead skin away: choose a gentle facial polish to help free those blocked pores, like Alba Botanic Acne Deep Pore Wash, which contains blemish-reducing salicylic acid.
- Choose gentler spot treatments: consider swapping your current treatments for a gentler one as your skin is already battling the weather! Try using a natural one like Alba Acne Invisible Treatment Gel during the winter months.
If these problems persist or worsen, please seek the advice of your GP who may be able to prescribe medical products if necessary.Shop Natural Beauty This article has been adapted from longer features appearing in Healthy, the Holland & Barrett magazine. Advice is for information only and should not replace medical care. Please check with your GP before trying any remedies
Last updated: 16 September 2020