Winter Skincare Tips
With the holiday season behind us, Winter probably has you dreading more than just the frigid temperatures and poor driving conditions. The appearance of itchy, dry, cracked, scaly skin is commonplace during this time of the year. Not only can this be frustrating and leave you feeling helpless, it can also exacerbate pre-existing skin conditions such as eczema and psoriasis.
Here are some useful tips, along with some of my personal skincare favourites to help keep your skin looking healthy all winter long.
- Stay hydrated- Even in sub-zero temperatures and when you’re not feeling parched as when you are dehydrated, your skin can be robbed of moisture. Winter air is so dry that it looks for moisture wherever it can get it, yes-even from your skin. By keeping hydrated, you can ensure that your skin maintains more moisture than it would otherwise.
- Dry skin-brush- Use a small handheld body brush to brush your skin in an upwards direction towards the heart. This not only increases circulation and improves lymphatic flow, but also sloughs off dead skin cells. Your dry skin isn’t efficient at shedding dead cells on its own, so with the help of a dry skin brush, you can help shed that excess, unwanted layer. In addition, your moisturizer will be able to hydrate your skin more effectively once the layer of dead skin cells is removed.
- Use a good cleanser– Foamy, lathering cleansers are designed to have a unique alkaline pH. With your skin being slightly acidic, these cleansers can strip away your skin’s acid mantle; the protective barrier of your skin, leaving it feeling dry and tight. Stick to a soap-free, non-foaming cleanser during these months to help keep the skin hydrated. The cleanser my skin is currently loving is Acure Facial Cleansing Gel containing superfruit and chlorella growth factor, which is rich in antioxidants and is chemical and fragrance-free.
- Exfoliate regularly- Light exfoliation with an alcohol-free cream or face scrub can help remove build-up of dead skin cells and allow room for new skin cells to grow and readily accept moisture. The exfoliator I use weekly is Origins Modern Friction, Nature’s gentle dermabrasion, which has ingredients such as rice-in place of exfoliating beads, as well as lemon oil, which is rich in Vitamin C and can help to improve the skin’s appearance and tone. I also like Acure Pore Minimizing Facial Scrub, containing moroccan red clay and argan stem cell, which is rich in minerals and aids in detoxifying the skin. When is the best time to exfoliate? During the night, as your skin does not have to face UV rays afterwards.
- Moisturize daily- Long lasting moisturizers can be hard to come by but can work wonders during the dry winter months, particularly after a shower or washing your hands. A good tip is to moisturize during that one-minute window after cleansing while the skin is still damp, to seal in moisture in your skin. Coconut oil, jojoba oil, or shea butter are great emollients which help bind skin cells together to leave the skin feeling smooth and moisturized. In addition, they are readily absorbed by the skin and are free of harmful chemicals such as parabens and phthalates. For a gentle facial moisturizer, one of my personal favourites is DermaE’s Hyaluronic acid Hydrating Day Cream, which is a moisture magnet that is amazing at rehydrating dry, “thirsty” skin. Hyaluronic acid acts as a humectant, which attracts and holds onto water, trapping the moisture in your skin and leaving it hydrated, plump, and dewy. Another one of my favourites to use during the winter is sweet almond oil, which is not only hypoallergenic and for any skin type-oily or dry; it can be applied directly or in combination with a moisturizer. It is also light in texture, readily absorbable, and naturally rich in vitamin E, A, and other vitamins and minerals.
- Keep a humidifier- Having a humidifier in your room can help your skin maintain moisture, in addition to helping you breathe better in less arid air.
- Treat your lips- With all the fuss about keeping your skin hydrated during the winter, let’s not forget to keep a lip balm on hand to avoid chapped, cracked, and bleeding lips during these cold months. I like to use a mixture of a little sweet almond oil and sugar to scrub on my lips to exfoliate and remove dry skin. After washing it off, the sweet almond is by then readily absorbed and leaves the lips more moisturized. The lip balm can be applied afterwards, for an extra moisturizing effect.
- Take personal care- Use fragrance-free products (fragrances contain harmful, skin irritating chemicals), alcohol-free sanitizers, soap-free cleansers, and avoid excessively hot showers to help your skin maintain it’s moisture.
Your skin doesn’t have to pay the price for cold winter weather. Follow these simple tips to ensure that you maintain healthy glowing skin throughout.
Note: The products mentioned in this blog should only be used with discretion. It is always advisable to do a skin patch test prior to use of any product to see if your skin will react.
Villet, Michelle, 2014. 10 Tips to Save Your Skin From Cold, Dry Winter Weather, Retrieved on January 10, 2017 from http://beautyeditor.ca/2014/01/08/winter-skincare-tips
Parker, Kim, 2017. How to switch up your skincare for Winter, Retrieved on January 11, 2017 from http://www.redonline.co.uk/beauty/10-best/best-skin-care-routine-for-winter