Winter is here and it’s time to change up your skincare essentials. Winters bring dry air and dips in humidity. This means dry, parched skin, damaged skin barriers and higher dead skin build ups.
Your skin is going to need some extra hydration and love in order to keep it healthy and beautiful during the winter months. It's not hard to do! All you need are these nine easy steps for a simple winter skincare routine:
1. A cold-weather skincare routine starts with the right cleanser
First things first: When it comes to cleansers, you'll want a product that's moisturizing, gentle and doesn't strip your skin off the natural essential oils. For example, a good rule of thumb is to use creamy, gel formulations instead of foaming cleansers. To ensure your skin isn’t further stripped avoid formulas with alcohol or fragrance—both can dry out your skin and cause irritation.
With cleansing remember that more isn't better; over-washing can irritate your face even more than not washing enough! The American Academy of Dermatology recommends washing twice daily with lukewarm water by gently massaging in a circular pattern with fingertips without scrubbing too hard on the delicate eye area (this part is really important!). If you're feeling extra dirty after some outdoor activity but don't have time for a full shower just yet, simply splash cold water on the problem areas—a quick rinse will do wonders for clearing away any grit or grime from your day.
2. Switch to a richer moisturizer or face oil that’s made for winters
You should switch to a richer moisturizer during this season. Look for fatty oils, ingredients that are hydrating. Face oils are a great way to make the hydration work harder and last longer. You can use a face oil in your morning routine, before your sunscreen and in your nighttime routine as the last skincare product. This will ensure it packs in the hydration and reduces trans-epidermal water loss..
If you have dry skin, face oil is recommended throughout the year. But in the winter months, it acts as a multi purpose product. Face oils are also formulated with antioxidants, apart from hydration they can even work on fighting signs of aging through the day or night. As usual, we continue to remind our readers to avoid fragrances or harsh ingredients that can further irritate your skin.
3. Start exfoliating regularly in the winters
During the winters, it is common to have dry skin build up. Exfoliating is a great way to keep your skin clearer and brighter. It helps remove dead skin cells, which can clog pores and lead to breakouts. Exfoliation also reduces the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, improves skin tone and texture, removes dirt and oil that builds up on your face during the season. Exfoliating once a week (or every other week if you have sensitive skin), can be enough to keep your skin feeling healthy. If you're not the kind to remember to exfoliate, you can introduce a gentle exfoliating face wash into your routine.
4. Look for emollients and ditch the humectants
Always pay attention to the ingredients in the products you use. Emollients are moisturizers that help your skin retain moisture; humectants attract water from the air to your skin. While both types of ingredients are good for keeping skin feeling hydrated, humectants are of no use in the winters for hydration.
Humectants like glycerin, hyaluronic acid, glycolic acid and lactic acid all help the skin stay hydrated by extracting moisture from the surrounding air. But during winters, there is hardly any humidity, leaving the humectants to possibly turn into irritants.
Emollients on the other hand add hydration and pack in the skin’s existing hydration by reducing water loss. They create a layer on top of the skin to lock in all the goodness. Examples of emollients are Argan Oil, Shea Butter, Sunlower Seed Oil, Coconut Oil and more.
5. Wear sunscreen every day
This may seem like a no-brainer, but you'd be surprised how many people don't wear sunscreen daily in the winter sun. Sunscreen is one of the best ways to protect your skin from ageing and cancer. It doesn't matter whether it's hot or cold outside; as long as the sun is shining, you should apply a broad spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or greater 20 minutes before going outside (for example, when getting dressed!)
6. Don’t forget about your lips and eyes!
We tend to forget about our lips and eyes, but they are just as important as the skin on our faces. The skin around our eyes is the thinnest and must be handled with great care. We spoke about face oils earlier, they can double up as eye cream too! Just gently apply them around the eye area and leave it overnight.
Lip balm and lip masks are an essential in the winter months. Your lips can become chapped and dry, it can even lead to bleeding lips. The right lip balm will keep your lips looking soft and healthy, no matter what time of year it is.
7. Stay hydrated
The eternal mantra for great skin, drink plenty of water. In fact, the Mayo Clinic recommends a daily intake of 9 cups (1.7 liters) for women and 13 cups (2.3 liters) for men.
No matter what time of day or night it is when you read this sentence: Drink some water! It'll help with your overall health as well as your beauty routine.
8. Use a humidifier to add moisture to the air
Humidifiers can be helpful during cold weather because they keep the skin hydrated and help prevent dryness and irritation. They're also great for clearing congestion, which can make you feel better during cold-weather months. Consider using a humidifier instead of running the heat or buying a vaporizer; studies show that these two options actually increase indoor air pollutants like particulate matter (PM) and carbon dioxide (CO2), whereas adding moisture will make breathing easier for everyone in your home.
9. Don't go overboard with hot showers
Hot water can cause your skin to dry out and make it rough, leading to breakouts and other issues. You should be using lukewarm water for the majority of your shower time.
Be careful not to use hot water on your face or step into a scalding tub full of boiling liquid—this is especially important if you have sensitive skin! Hot water can also increase inflammation in acne sufferers when they steam up their pores by running warm water, which would normally clear up pimples but actually dries out and irritates already inflamed skin cells (aka our enemy).
Follow these steps for a simple winter skincare routine that will keep your skin healthy and beautiful throughout the season.
The right winter skincare routine can help protect your skin and maintain it’s health, so it’s vital to have one in place. As we’ve seen, there are many ways to take care of your skin in the winter. It all comes down to keeping it simple: follow a few simple guidelines and you won’t have any problems at all!