We know the winter months bring colder weather and drier air that our skin definitely doesn’t like. The fridge-like temperatures can wreak havoc on our complexion, causing dryness, sensitivity, flaking and in extreme cases, cracking, which can be quite painful. Our skin also has to contend with the impact of drier air inside. When treating our skin, the most important factor is protecting our skins barrier function.
The increased use of central heating often means our skin is on the back foot when it comes to maintaining its radiance. There are however some simple steps you can follow to help keep your skin on track during the colder months.
Dial down the heat
When the temperatures drop, taking hot showers and baths feels lovely, but they are not your skin’s best friend. Hot water evaporates faster than cold water and if the skin is not immediately moisturised, the skin can lose its natural hydration quickly.
Trans-epidermal water loss is a natural process that occurs when water makes its way from the dermis (the deepest layers of skin) and passes up to the epidermis where it evaporates from the stratum corneum (very top of skin) into the atmosphere. Excessively hot bath
ing can increase the rate of trans-epidermal water loss, resulting in dehydrated skin. It can become a vicious circle; when dry air takes moisture from our skin, its structure changes and when the skin is drier, wrinkles become more visible. So, turn down the heat and ensure you apply your skincare as soon as you get out of the shower and that’s not just your body moisturiser, that includes your facial skincare too.
2. Keep moisture in the air.
Our skin is the barrier that keeps water inside of the body, when the air is drier it struggles to maintain its natural moisture balance. Adding moisture to our indoor environment is key and a very simple method is to place a bowl of water on top of a radiator which will evaporate into the air. This is quite a basic method and while effective, using a humidifier is the best option. I have written a blog post with lots more info on the benefits of supporting the moisture levels of our indoor environments. This is especially important as we spend over 90% or out time indoors!
While you may think exfoliation should be avoided if your skin is dry,
personally I believe gentle exfoliation can remove dry skin cells to reveal baby fresh skin and promote good cell turnover and a healthy glow. However, I do say this with some caution, if your skin is feeling sensitive then proceed with care. We don’t want to be disrupting the barrier function and making things worse. Always keep in mind what else you have in your skincare routine, i.e. are you using retinols and other cell turnover enhancers?
Physical exfoliator ingredients like Jojoba beads a spherical grain that nourish and smooth the skin. It is suitable for all skin types including sensitive skin. L--lactic acid is a chemical exfoliant found in the Cosmedix Purity Cleanser cleanser, with 5% lactic acid this dual cleanser can also be worn as an exfoliating mask for 5-10 minutes to further exfoliate the skin, this is a great one if your skin does not feel tight after cleansing and is more on the oilier side. Retailed by myself upon request or consultation.
4. Review your skincare
I’m not saying you need a skincare routine overhaul, far from it, but it’s good to have a check in with how your skin is feeling and looking. You might choose to book an online consultation with a skin expert to review things with you. Your skin and lifestyle is totally unique to you! They are available during the lockdown period just contact me!
Add in hydrating serums, you might already have a hyaluronic serum you use once a day, maybe increase that to morning and night, or add in a hydrating tonic to apply before your serums.
Your moisturiser is a key product during the winter months to help protect the outer most layers of your skin. Choosing one that’s best suited to your skin (not your best friend’s skin) is really important. I generally don’t base decisions on age either when it comes to selecting a moisturiser, it can be a guide but there are certain occasions when you might have young skin that is genetically dry and it needs a lot more nourishment, or you might have hormonal menopausal skin which might breakout with a rich heavy cream. Cosmedix & Exuviance has a variety of moisturisers to suit all skin needs and I’ve included my favourites below.
Cosmedix Emulsion Intense Hydrator, Exuviance Hydrafirm & Ultra Restoritive Cream.
Any questions? I'm just a message away!
Lots of love, Hatty x