Top Winter skin care swaps for you usual skin care regimen
What is the best way to care for your skin during the cold winter months? Winter skin requires switching your skincare routine considerably and we have some essential winter skin care tips for you.
In your younger days, with the benefit of youthful and well hydrated skin, hardly a thought is spared on special skin care for winter. Sometime in your 30s it may occur to you that your skin sometimes feels dry, and even cherubic baby-faces suffer from cracked, taught feeling cheeks. But when you approach your 40s, notorious for being the age where collagen depletes, and older skin cells aren't being replaced quite as quickly, skin moisture seems to be siphoned off from somewhere inside your body, leaving dry skin on your face and hands. The dryness can be real, and extremely uncomfortable, especially if you have sensitive or problem skin.
There are a few rules to keeping a youthful and fresh, glowing appearance through the harsh weather of winter. If your skin is oily, dry or combination, then you definitely need to switch up your skin care routine for the winter months.
Sensitive skin can be more badly behaved in winter. The combination of harsh cold weather, and the addition of dozens more additives and chemicals on weather-blasted skin - this includes skin creams, and the detergent and softeners that your skin comes into contact with from your clothes. Sensitive skin is often subject to hives and rashes, and is usually thinner than usual skin that doesn't suffer the same way.
Skin sensitivity is a sign that you need to change your skin care products, or adjust your regimen to include hypoallergenic products placed on your skin. We hear less about the detrimental effects of cold on your skin and circulation.
The freezing cold weather is no better for your skin than the baking rays of a hot summer. We all hear about sun damage to your skin ad nauseum and every child who lives in a hot region of the earth knows to wait until they have sunblock applied before they run off into the radiant, but roasting sun.
Flip to the other extreme, and we notice considerable less fuss made about cold and extremely cold weather, and its detrimental effects on your skin and dermal circulation.
Part of the problem in recognizing the ill effects that cold causes on your skin, is probably because when your digits are like popsicles it's hard to focus on the chapped dryness under your gloves. But cold weather, even when not extreme, can result in a host of unpleasant feelings on your skin, like dryness, itchiness and a feeling of tightness.
Wetting the winter dryness
The irony is that even in a wet winter, your skin can get dry. Extreme cold, or long spells of dry, freezing weather affects your skin quite radically. The low humidity typical of winter weather, accompanied by cold air can dehydrate your skin surface. Have you ever left a piece of cheese unwrapped in your fridge for a few days? The cracking and dehydrating surface appearance is not that different from what happens to your skin under similar cold air, low humidity conditions. It loses its natural oils letting too much water and moisture escape, which is how your skin ends up dry and cracked. Some sensitive individuals may end up with winter rashes and eczema that can last all winter or turn into a chronic condition.
Keep your skin moisturized. Apply more moisturizer than you do in summer, and definitely apply it more often. Opt for lotions that are light in texture and contain a high level of water, or are water based.
We share some winter skin care tips on how to switch your routine
The toll that central heating and warm air conditioning has on your fading, warm summer glow is well known. So too are the best ways to preserve the health and condition of winter skin.
- Keep the heating down. Tempting as it is to set the thermostat to 'toast', the extreme artificial heat and dryness can dehydrate your skin and membranes considerably.
- Adjust your skin care routine to one more suited to winter skin care. Add more moisture to your skin more frequently, concentrating on areas prone to dryness like cheeks, hands, and legs especially the heels under your woolly winter socks.
- Don't take extremely hot showers. The high temperatures can actually cause your skin to dry out, and the excessive use of soap on skin already suffering though winter can cause skin irritation.
- Never forget sunscreen, even if there's not much sun. This doesn't change from summer, though you may apply it a little less often, or use one with a lower Sun Protection Factor (SPF).
- Avoid using strong or harsh chemicals on your skin. Opt for make-up and moisturizer made for your specific skin type.
- Use a more moisturizing soap or cleanser. Avoid strong fragrances and opt for a creamy texture to your moisturizer of choice, including ingredients like avocado oil, jojoba, almond or cocoa-butter.
- Do your skin care routine in the bathroom after a shower or bath. The residual moisture still in the air will help hydrate your skin as you apply skin care products to your dermis.
- Purchase a humidifier, or attempt to keep your main living area moist with good air circulation of fresh air from outside.
Falling into a seasonal winter weather skin-care routine will save you much trial and error in getting your moisture balance and skin care right.
This is a good start to working out a basic routine for winter skin care. Start with these basic changes to your beauty routine, and switch up your winter skin care routine to suit your lifestyle and habits.