Caring for your winter skin

By: Belle Hartles |

Even though our skin tends to be covered with layers during winter, don’t let the warm coats and long sleeves lead you to believe that your skin isn’t prone to losing moisture! Understanding how to lock in hydration is a must as we head into the winter months.

We'll preface the rest of this article by saying the absolute best tip for healthy winter skin is hydration. Drink your H2O! Your skin is the largest organ in your body, protecting you, storing lipids and water, preventing fluid loss and serving as thermoregulation. Drinking more water is the most natural way to get the beaming, glowing, healthy skin we all want.

Moving on...

Often, the culprit of dryness and a lack of hydration in the skin is the contrast that takes place when transitioning from low temperatures outside, with harsh winds, to a heated room with air conditioning or electric heaters. Skin can easily become more sensitive as a result of this. Of course when facing cold temperatures outside, we naturally want to warm up by a fire or heater. However, it is best to avoid facing sudden changes in temperature, and rather, gradually warm up after being outside in the cold. This will help to reduce dehydration and irritation.

During winter, our skin’s oil production decreases significantly compared to during summer and another natural moisturising process that is often overlooked, sweating, tends to occur less during the winter when going about your day. If you’re finding that your normal or oily skin is becoming noticeably drier in the colder months, consider switching to a face wash that doesn’t strip the natural oils from your face and opt for a deep moisturising body wash. A facial toner is also a great addition to your skincare routine during the winter as it helps to balance the PH levels in your skin, which helps to preserve your natural moisture (Rivera, 2020).

Exfoliating is often neglected during winter due to the assumption that it isn’t the best way to deal with skin that is more prone to dryness. However, exfoliating the dry dead skin cells off is also important in order to allow your skin to replenish as new cells will form. The removal of dead skin can help to unclog pores and decrease irritation and flakiness.

It is important not to neglect parts of the body like legs and arms which have only a very small amount of sebaceous oil glands. Hands are also a sensitive part of the body that often visibly suffer from the dryness that winter brings. The skin on hands are thinner than other parts of the body and are especially prone to becoming dry and flaky. Therefore, hand creams are essential for combatting dryness and providing extra protection, especially for those that are more prone to breakage around the knuckles. The muscle we use to eat, speak, and more should also not be forgotten. Moisturising your lips with natural ingredients like products with beeswax or shea butter also soothes the delicate skin and prevents them from cracking. Beeswax in particular, provides anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, and antiviral properties (Kurek-Górecka et al., 2020).

If you are especially suffering from dry skin, consider changing what skincare products you use during the winter as a lot of products contain alcohol and other chemicals that may be drying out your skin. Ingredients like hyaluronic acid, aloe vera, and jojoba oil are great ingredients to look out for in products as they can provide much-needed moisture to your skin. Hyaluronic acid in particular, not only provides an abundance of moisture for your skin, but also smooths the texture of the skin and provides anti-aging benefits as it aids with wrinkle reduction and elasticity production (Papakonstantinou & Karakiulakis, 2012). Layering your skin is also an essential practice during the winter. For mature skin, it may even be worth investing in a nourishing treatment oil or vitamin C serum underneath your usual moisturiser.

Another daily habit to reconsider may be hot showers. As appealing as a burning hot shower or bath may be after a long cold day of rain and harsh winds, these habits can easily rob skin of the moisture it needs. Instead, opt for a more moderate temperature and try to reduce the length of time you spend showering or bathing. If you want to go a step further and feel you can muster the strength, try having a cold shower to further reduce the amount of natural oils being stripped from the body and soothe dry, irritated skin.

Nourishing your skin internally is just as important as looking after it externally. The antioxidant properties found in nature’s natural nutrients such as ginger and turmeric have skin-enhancing abilities. Turmeric aids to detoxify and purify the skin. It also promotes the circulation of blood, providing your skin with a natural glow and reducing the look of dryness and dullness. Ginger helps to internally flush out toxins and hydrate skin with the herb containing over 40 antioxidant properties. A key ingredient we use in our beauty shot, Verisol Collagen, also aids with adding moisture to the skin as the peptides found in the collagen hydrate the skin and work to prevent wrinkles from forming on the skin.

Life can certainly get busy and sometimes your skincare regime may fall to the bottom of your list of priorities. However, if there is any time of the year that you should make sure to prioritise looking after your skin and incorporating the extra steps into your skincare routine like toning, exfoliating, and using serums, the months of winter are certainly the time to do it.

Reference List:

Kurek-Górecka, A., Górecki, M., Rzepecka-Stojko, A., Balwierz, R., & Stojko, J. (2020). Bee Products in Dermatology and Skin Care. Molecules (Basel, Switzerland), 25(3), 556.

Papakonstantinou, E., Roth, M., & Karakiulakis, G. (2012). Hyaluronic acid: A key molecule in skin aging. Dermato-endocrinology, 4(3), 253–258.

Rivera, J. (2020). What Skin Toner Does And Why You Should Care. Mintrx Pharmacy.