Our skin is an important indicator of our overall health and wellbeing - and even though it’s the body’s largest and most visible organ, the reality is that it can easily get taken for granted. You skin needs its share of TLC too – particularly during winter’s cold temperatures and harsh winds.
Just as we adapt our clothing, exercise regimen and diet throughout the year, it’s time to take a seasonal approach to our skin, and follow a winter skincare regimen for a healthy glow all year around.
Here are our tips and tricks for winter-friendly skin.
With the cold weather in full swing, the variations in temperature and humidity – particularly when we go from freezing cold outside to toasty heated spaces indoors – can wreak havoc on our skin.
But why is this the case? Because our skin needs moisture, the low humidity in both the wintry air outdoors and inside heated homes affects our skin’s hydration. The harsh, dry winds of winter can also cause windburn, drying out and reddening the sensitive skin on our lips and hands.
What’s more, as we tend to spend too much time in hot, steamy showers in winter, we inadvertently further deprive the skin of its natural oils.
And, as we pile on the layers of clothing, we can dry our skin out due to the phenomenon known as the ‘winter itch’. It’s no surprise that winter can heighten our risk of dry and irritated skin, cracking, chapping, flaking, rashes and even eczema.
Products to incorporate in winter
Choosing a great hydrating moisturiser is an essential part of an effective winter skincare routine for dry skin. If you notice any tightness, dryness or flaking, consider upgrading to a heavy-duty moisturiser.
According to dermatologist Dr Karen Koh, in winter it’s best to use thicker, oil-based creams and ointments rather than runnier, water-based lotions. This is because water naturally evaporates, meaning products with high water content won’t have strong, long-lasting moisturising effects.
When choosing your winter moisturiser, look out for products containing vitamin E, which can help keep your skin moist, as well as ‘humectants’ which attract moisture to your skin.
Other useful products in cooler months include a lush lip balm, a hydrating foundation (matte is best for summer, when we’re oilier!), and a gentle, creamier cleanser or cleansing milk. A gentle eye cream is also a must for your winter skincare routine as the skin around the eyes is thin and susceptible to harsh winter winds.
Essential oils are also a great hydrating option for those with dry skin; non-clogging oils like mineral oil, primrose oil, avocado oil or almond oil are best.
Products to avoid in winter
In addition to avoiding runny, water-based moisturising lotions, it’s important to steer clear of comedogenic products (which block pores), as well as products with fragrance as these can irritate your skin.
In winter, it’s best to avoid harsh face masks, peels and alcohol-based toners as these can strip your skin of its natural oils. Although oils are generally a good idea in colder temperatures, avoid shea oil and butter, which are believed to clog pores.
For more tips on creating a healthy lifestyle, from fitness to diet and much more, check out our free guide below. It’ll help you set, stick to and track your healthy living goals.