Many makeup wearers are accustomed to changing their foundations during winter. So why aren’t as many of us adjusting our skincare routines? As the weather changes, so too does our skin, not just in colour, but in composition and behaviour. These changes often include dryness, dullness, loss of clarity, poor texture, and even sensitivity.
Here are some of our favourite tips for creating your ideal winter skincare regime, and explanations as to why these changes are important in order for you to better understand and care for your skin.
1. Cellular activity slows down
Cell production slows down in cooler months, and speeds up in warmer seasons. You may have noticed your hair and nails growing faster than usual in summer. This can result in that typical dull, drab winter complexion that lacks brightness and glow. You may experience dead skin cells building up on the surface, and not sloughing off as effectively, since there aren’t as many fresh new skin cells to replace them. A gentle exfoliant, particularly one that includes ingredients known for their brightening qualities such as fruit enzymes, can provide noticeable improvement to winter dullness and congestion.
2. Reduced sebum production can lead to dryness
In much the same way, natural oil production slows down as well. You may experience dryness for this reason. Most skin types will benefit from a nourishing facial oil, or at the very least, a richer-than-usual moisturiser, to lock in hydration.
3. Air conditioning can impact skin activity
If you live in a colder climates, you're likely to be exposed to heating and air conditioning for the better part of your days and nights. This can significantly dehydrate the skin by inducing Trans Epidermal Water Loss (TEWL). The low-humidity, conditioned air leads to water evaporation through the skin, so it is crucial to replenish these levels through a few different channels. Consume plenty of water, utilise ingredients like Hyaluronic or Lactic acids that attract water molecules in the tissue, and seal it in with a barrier-forming moisturiser which prevents evaporation through the skin’s surface.
4. Avoid sensitivity and barrier disruption
Constant air condition exposure, rapid changes in temperature when moving from outdoors to indoors, and the use of piping hot water and showers during winter can sometimes lead to disrupted barrier function and sensitivity. This means the skin is more prone to bacterial infections leading to breakouts, and is more likely to become dehydrated and irritated. Your usual skincare may also begin to exacerbate sensitivity and worsen a disrupted barrier if it contains highly active ingredients like vitamin A or exfoliating acids. When this occurs, remove active ingredients from your regime until symptoms clear. Instead, utilise nourishing moisturisers, hydrating serums, and products which are anti-inflammatory and fragrance-free. Keep some calming, cooling, and reparative products at the ready so that you can treat symptoms of sensitivity right away.
Winter is commonly a time during which the skin goes through many changes. As always, the best approach is to tailor your skincare routine according to your personal needs, listening to what your skin is telling you and making tweaks as the seasons change. This will provide you the best chance of delaying early onset signs of ageing, and enjoying healthier, radiant skin for longer.