Winter Skin Prep
As we go into Autumn and enjoy our pumpkin spice lattes, fluffy jumpers and begin to approach Christmas (am I allowed to start getting excited yet?), our skin might take a hit from the harsh winds, cold temperatures and dry air. But don’t worry! Learning how to prepare your skin for the cold can help reduce the effects of the season change.
More moisture and oil up
As Winter arrives, you may notice your skin start to dry up and switching some of your skincare products can help with hydration. Face oils or heavier moisturisers may help your skin stay hydrated and fight the dryness associated with the change of seasons. Hyaluronic acid is seen as a good way to rehydrate your skin as it attracts water to the top layer of skin, making it appear brighter and more hydrated. Using a moisturiser on top is crucial to help create a barrier on your skin and prevent this moisture escaping. We recommend using a cocoa butter or face oils after hyaluronic acid. Specifically, our nourish oil can help lock this moisture in (we might be biased though!).
Chose cleansers carefully
Switching to a gentler cleanser to avoid stripping your skin of essential oils can also help. Whilst in Summer, lightweight foaming cleansers can help remove traces of sweat and dirt from the hot day, in Winter opting for something more hydrating can help keep your skin healthier. Swapping from a gel or foaming cleanser to a cream cleanser can protect your skin’s natural barrier. Washing your face in cooler water may also help.
When your skin is already dry and irritated, exfoliating might seem a terrible idea, but exfoliating remains an important part of your skincare routine. Dead skin cells clog your pores and reduce the amount of product absorbed, meaning all that amazing hyaluronic acid and cocoa butter goes to waste and leaves your skin dry and irritated. Exfoliating away these dead skin cells help your moisturisers penetrate deeper and leave your skin ultimately healthier. However, ensuring you use a gentle exfoliator is important as too harsh a formula could leave your skin irritated. Exfoliating too often will also dry out your skin and so limit exfoliation to two or three times a week.
Remember your UV protection
Whilst putting sun cream on in the pouring rain may feel silly, your skin is still exposed to a significant amount of UV rays. In fact, UVA rays are equally present in Summer and Winter. UVA rays can penetrate clouds, glass, windows and deep into your skin, damaging your skin and causing premature ageing and skin cancers. UVB rays are less intense and struggle more to penetrate cloud cover, these rays are responsible for the immediate, visible effects of sunburn and cause the redness associated with too much sun. They penetrate less deeply into your skin. However, you must still be careful of these rays particularly if you are lucky enough to be heading off up high mountains skiing over the Winter. So ensure your Winter sun cream protects you from both types of rays and is prioritised just like your Summer protection!
If you read our cold showers blog, you already know of all the benefits of cold showers, but if you aren’t ready to take the icy plunge, trying to keep your showers lukewarm instead of hot can help. Hot showers dry out our skin even more and in Winter you may be more tempted to stay in them for longer and enjoy the heat, but limiting the amount of time in a hot shower or reducing the temperature could really save your skin.
Clean your accessories
If you notice an increase in jawline or forehead spots during the Winter season, your favourite accessories could be to blame. Make sure you are washing scarfs, jacket collars, hats and any accessory that comes in close contact with your skin (including reusable masks) regularly to avoid bacteria build up.
Vitamin D is important for your health and is good for your skin. It can help decrease inflammation, protecting the skin, reducing the ageing effect of environmental oxidants and preventing the build-up of dead cells. Vitamin D is also really good for immune system! Vitamin D is found in UVB rays, which between October and March in Britain are hard to get enough of. Instead we need to get vitamin D from food or supplements. It is hard to get vitamin D from food alone and many foods that contain vitamin D are animal products. Plant-based sources of vitamin D include some mushrooms and fortified foods. Taking a supplement of 10mcg of vitamin D (over 25mcg can damage your bones, heart and kidneys) could be a good idea for anyone, check with your doctor if you have any worries!
Keep eating well
As the temperature gets colder we can find ourselves craving warm, comfort foods. Be sure to keep some healthy foods in your diet too. Avocados and other healthy fats are particularly good for keeping your skin hydrated and happy. Kale and other sources of vitamin C are also good as they help support cell growth and healing. Ensuring you continue to try to eat your 5 a day can be a good way of helping support your skin through the change of the season, and is also good for your general health!
We hope some of these tips are useful and helps you to keep your skin hydrated, healthy and happy through the change of the season.