Winter season can be extremely stressful for our skin due to winds and cold temperatures outside as well as drying-low humidity resulting from heating inside.
What exactly happens to our skin in winter:
To keep your skin beautiful and healthy during winter you should:
*help it to restore the protective hydrolipid barrier
*protect and balance your skin
*moisturize, moisturize and again moisturize
*provide protection against UV-light
The first step is to rethink your skin care routine and skin care products you normally use.
1. Go Easier on daily cleansing and alcohol containing skin care in the winter
Since extreme weather weakens skin’s balance and protective lipid barrier, you need to save your skin the additional stress of an intensive cleansing routine that will only worsen the situation. Choose a lighter non-stripping cleansing solution: cleansing milk or mild foaming cleanser.
If you are using a tonic with alcohol on a daily basis it is better to stop for winter or substitute it with a non-alcohol toning product. Remember, alcohol strips skin of lipids, natural protective oils and contributes to skin’s dryness and increased sensitivity.
2. Peel Deal:
If you are a fan of daily peeling products, it is advisable to change your routine for winter and to do a maximum of 2-3 peelings per week. Peeling your skin surface on a daily basis does not let it restore its protective lipid barrier and balance itself. It becomes more susceptible to free radical damage and even to break-outs.
If you notice that your skin has become very dry, sensitive or even started flaking, exclude moisturizers, serums etc containing peeling ingredients such Retinol, AHAs and Glucosamine.
3. Go Heavier on Moisturizer:
Moisturizers are mostly based on 3 types of ingredients: humectants, emollients, occlusive (very often emollients have occlusive properties as well).
Humectants, such as hyaluronic acid or urea, keep our skin moisturized by attracting water to its surface (epidermis). Humectants help to attract moisture from the environment as well as from dermis to epidermis.
Emollients like petroleum or shea butter soften, soothe the skin, increase its ability to retain moisture and create a protective layer on the skin to prevent it from dehydration.
Occlusive ingredients in moisturizers provide protective layer on the skin’s surface to prevent it from loosing moisture.
Humectants-based products are usually recommended for oily and combination skin types, while emollient-based and occlusive-based ones for normal and dry types. However, in winter our skin type often shifts. Oily skin becomes normal, while normal displays signs of being dry, and dry skin becomes very sensitive and often irritated.
Look for heavier moisturizing products to use in winter with such ingredients as jelly, silicons, evening primrose oil, shea butter and almond oil. Some skin care specialists suggest using protective emollient-based skin care products for the day and humectants-based at night to help restore your skins’ moisture level.
4. Timing is Important:
Apply your moisturizer at least 30 minutes to an hour before going outside. This is especially true if your moisturizer is humectants-based or has high water content. If you do not let your moisturizer penetrate and get absorbed by the skin it can freeze into micro ice particles on your skin’s surface or dramatically cool down your skin surface when you go into the cold winter day.
5. Hot Bubbly Escapes:
It is not recommended to have prolonged hot showers or long hot baths in winter. The fact is that the latter do not add to the moisture level of our skin but on the contrary take away the protecting lipid and fat layers and contribute to skin’s dehydration. When you shower make sure the water is not too hot and use shower milk that contains oils and emollients. If you are a fan of bubble baths as a way to escape the winter blues make sure to add moisturizing oils to the baths and apply a moisturizing body product afterwards.
6. Nobody Cancelled Sun Protection for Winter!
In winter the sun’s reflective powers on the snow can be higher than on the sand of a beach in the summer. Use sun protection to prevent UV damage and photoaging. We don’t have to remind you but your sun protection should not be lower than 15 SPF, of course.
7. Say No to Chapped Lips and Dry Hands
Usually lips and hands suffer most during the winter season. Lips get sore and chapped and hands get dry and flaky. For your lips, choose a thicker moisturizer with shea butter, jojoba butter OR avocado oil and apply it every time before going outside as well as before going to bed. Some protective and moisturizing lip care products are available as tinted glosses or balms.
Take special care of your hands since skin on the hands is thinner than on the rest of the body. In addition, hands are often exposed to stressful or stripping factors like soaps, winds, water etc. And finally, it is a known fact that hands are among the first to show signs of aging. Choose a rich emollient-based hand care product and treat your hands to a mask two times a week.
What else can you do?
Home or office environments in winter can get very dry due to heating. Your skin starts to feel tight and burning from dehydration. Increase the humidity level indoors by using a humidifier. Alternatively, several house plants can balance out humidity level in the environment.
9. Vitamins and Antioxidants:
Help your skin to regain its energy and strength in winter by taking an antioxidant supplement. Most important antioxidants for the skin are Vitamin C, B, E, Zink and Magnesium
10. Express Winter Facial:
Give yourself a mini-facial at home once or twice a week. Cleanse your skin. Use a mild exfoliating product selected for your skin type. Take a soft fluffy towel and soak it in warm water (not hot but not cool either). Add 2-3 drops of an essential aroma oil such as lavender oil to sooth, de-stress and refresh the skin. Press the towel to your face and inhale 3-4 times slowly and deeply to let the oil do its aroma work. This will stimulate blood circulation as well. For a stronger effect you can repeat the procedure one more time. Apply a hydrating and soothing mask or regeneration mask for 10-15 minutes. Make sure the room where you are having your mini-facial is comfortably warm. The mask on your face should not cool down to a level stressful for your skin. Take off the mask and apply your daily moisturizer with massaging movements. Direct the movements from the center of your face outward and a bit upward. Finish up by slightly tapping with your fingertips all over your face. This express facial will stimulate blood circulation, give your skin energy, restore its balance and help it regain its healthy radiance.
Read More about Skin Care in Winter
How to select Cleansing Products for Winter
How to choose Moisturizer for Winter
More Winter Skin Care Tips
Click for more information on skin care products for winter.
Feel like shopping? You can buy skin care products for winter online right away.
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