some suggestions and the steps you need to take will depend on your skin. Some may need to do a complete revision of their skin care plan, other may just need to tweak it by adding or swap some skin care product for more winter friendly formulations.
Here are some tips:
1 . Switch to a milky or creamy cleanser - if you have oily or combination skin it may love a gel cleanser during warm and humid days, but during the cold and dry season a gentle hydrating and moisturising cleanser may all you skin need to make it feel more comfortable. One way to tell is if your skin is feeling tight or sensitized after cleansing it's time to switch it up. Incorrect cleansing will prevent effective penetration of serums or treatments creams, so make sure your skin is well hydrated.
2. If you are already using a milky cleanser and a good moisturising cream, sometimes all the skin needs is to give it a boost with a hydrating serum. Serums are more powerful than moisturisers and penetrate deeper, so if your skin is deeply dehydrated you may need to get the big guns out. Serums are very useful to help the skin cope with seasonal changes to help the skin adjust. If you are sick, on medication, not sleeping well, smoking, drinking more than 2 cups of tea / coffee a day you may need a serum to help your skin get back into shape.
3. In winter a dry skin suffers even more because dry skins are low in essential fatty acids. This means they tend to lose moisture from their skin through evaporation even faster. We call this impaired barrier. Your skin is literally more porous and not only does it lose moisture faster, irritants can penetrate into the skin and cause sensitivities. To keep your barrier intact and strong, the spaces between the skin cells need to have a good balance of ceramides, cholesterol and essential fatty acids (or omegas 3,6,9). If your skin is very dry and flaking, look for moisturisers rich in omegas 3,6,9.
4. Exfoliate your skin at least once a week. During winter, the skin cellular turnover slows right down to allow the skin to build up a thicker dead cell layer to protect the skin from harsh weather. The trouble is, thicker skin and dead cell build up not only looks sallow, dull and crepey from the surface, making pores look larger, wrinkles deeper and pigmentation darker, but it acts as a barrier to serums and moisturisers. Winter season is the perfect opportunity to undergo a course of peels combined with hydrating facials. Choose AHA or enzyme peels over harsh scrubs which can aggravate already sensitized capillaries.
5. During winter I like to invest in a thirst quenching creamy or gel mask to give the skin and instant glow. I love using masks as they are the one thing you can do that will give you INSTANT results. This is why beauty therapists ALWAYS finish a facial with a mask - for the instant results. A new generation of masks are designed to leave on overnight called sleeping masks. They give life back to the skin overnight and when you wake up in the morning your skin looks like you had a facial. These masks are particularly hydrating and nourishing so terrific to use during winter. 6. I have been seeing so many people with chapped lips. Make sure you exfoliate, moisturise and mask you lips too and for soft kissable lips switch from a matt lipstick to a juicy hydrating formula, lip gloss or a plumping lip balm.
7. Your hands can really suffer in winter because they are exposed to frequent washing with soap and exposed to the environment. Time to invest in a softening and moisturising hand cream. Make sure you massage it well into the cuticles and if going outdoors pop your hand cream on just before you put your gloves on. The warmth of the gloves with help to infuse the cream into the skin and protect your hands.
A big thanks to Jana Elston for this post.