WINTER SKINCARE 101
That’s right, the winter season has come upon us and seems to be staying around for a bit. While it brought snow, coziness and hot chocolate, it also brought cold, freezing temperatures and dry air - something that our skin is not so much fond of. For this reason, just like we’ve said “see you soon” to our T-shirts in favor of warm, oversized sweaters, we are also bound to make a switch in our skincare routines. Are you ready for the time of regeneration and deep nourishment? That is surely a plus of the oncoming months - you can indulge in richer formulas and truly pamper yourself. Before we hop into it, let’s see how winter influences the skin.
A study presented in the British Journal of Dermatology has unequivocally pointed out the seasonal impact on the skin. In winter, the structure of the skin cells changes so that even healthy individuals can develop eczema, atopic - like dermatitis or rosacea. The concentration of NMF (Natural Moisturizing Factor) decreases because of extremely drying out the skin by being exposed to cold temperatures or dry air and spending most of the time in centrally heated spaces. We know what we’re fighting against.
A GENTLE CLEANSER + LUKEWARM WATER
This is the very first step everyone’s routine should start with. All throughout the year, however, especially in winter, it is extremely important not to dry out the skin further by using harsh cleansers or steamingly hot water. Switch to milkier or smoother formulas, enriched with beneficial, non - comedogenic lipids for a gentler result.
In winter, because our skin becomes drier and thus flakier, the accumulation of superficial dead skin cells increases. It can be more troublesome if you suffer from acne or have a tendency for clogged pores. Go for a preferred chemical peel - a mechanical one for face is always a big no! First off, it is not effective there, secondly, it creates micro-injuries on the skin, promoting inflammation.
A GREAT TIME TO USE RETINOL/VITAMIN C!
All the dermatologists will swear by it that wintertime is the best time to undertake your retinol/vitamin C treatment. Since both of these active substances make your skin very photosensitive (sensitive to the sun), the doctors couldn’t be more right about it. Whether you want to step up your anti-aging routine, fight hyperpigmentation or acne, now is definitively the best period. Not only will it provide the skin with active ingredients in need but it will also prevent winter - associated comedones formation or discoloration.
Moreover, did you know that the skin is more susceptible to aging processes during this season?
MOISTURIZE YOUR WAY
It goes without saying that you need more moisturizing in winter and you need it richer. Water-based, light formulas won’t do this time! Choose moisturizers with health-giving oils and butter as well as vitamins to build up your skin’s lipid protective barrier - in cold days it is damaged more easily.
Don’t forget that the sun shines throughout the year! Use this information to make your skin glow in winter by applying sunscreen regularly. Furthermore, if you live in a snowy area, the snow tends to actually reflect sunrays more efficiently than grass or any other surface. Watch out!
USE A WINTER WONDER MACHINE
Naturally, we’re talking about an air humidifier here. It is crucial that you create an optimal, healthy environment for your skin to get by in the cruel weather conditions within the frame of your possibilities. More humid air = a happier skin.
If you have any questions concerning winter skin care please leave a comment below. A future doctor, 4th year medical student Anna will be more than happy to answer it!
- K.A. Engebretsen, S. Kezic, C. Riethmüller, J. Franz, I. Jakasa, A. Hedengran, A. Linneberg, J.D. Johansen, J.P. Thyssen. Changes in filaggrin degradation products and corneocyte surface texture by season
- Help for Dry Winter Skin; Consumer Reports on Health. Feb2018, Vol. 30 Issue 2, p10-10. 1p. 1 Color Photograph.