By David Saunders, Health Editor | UPDATED: 08:28, 26 June 2020
When it comes to our daily skincare routine, many of us follow the same steps day in and day out. However, the conditions our skin faces on a daily basis change with the weather and so should our routine.
As the nights draw in and the weather starts to err on the chilly side, Dr Seukeran explains the steps we should take and changes we should be making to prepare our skin for the winter months ahead.
sk:n dermatologist, Dr Seukeran added: “Winter may make your cheeks look rosy but it can also result in dry, cracked or chapped skin. As temperatures drop and the air gets drier, it can really take its toll on our skin leading to cracks forming on the skin’s surface, loss of hydration and often, inflammation”.
The following top tips and changes to your daily routine will help keep these symptoms at bay:
1. Review and swap out certain skincare products
At this time of year, your skin is already lacking in moisture, so the last thing you want to do is run the risk of stripping it of natural oils with a strong cleanser. During the winter months, cream cleansers are much gentler on dry skin than gel or foaming cleansers and have the added bonus of built-in moisture. Try using a cleanser which is fortified with age fighting vitamins and antioxidants to gently remove make-up and impurities.
Your exfoliator may be another swap to make! Regular exfoliating in the winter months can really help your skin, getting rid of dry, dead skin cells and revealing a glowing complexion. However, the granules in physical exfoliants can be too harsh on your skin, resulting in further dryness or damage. A chemical exfoliator is a much kinder way to remove dry skin without leaving more behind. Don’t overdo it though, 2-3 times a week is plenty.
2. Add serum and eye cream to your regime
If you don’t already have a serum in your skincare routine, it’s worth considering one for the winter months. Serums have great moisturising and anti-aging benefits! Furthermore, they contain a concentration of active ingredients that target a number of skin concerns, including dry skin.
Serums contain hyaluronic acid which takes moisture out of the air and holds it to your skin’s surface for longer lasting and deeper hydration. Apply a serum before your moisturiser to allow ingredients to absorb into your skin – for maximum benefits!
Eye cream is also a great addition to any skincare routine, especially in winter as the cold conditions and dry skin can make fine lines and wrinkles much more apparent. Also, the skin around your eyes is much more delicate and can easily get chapped when the cold winds cause your eyes to water.
3. Up the moisture content
We often use a lightweight moisturiser in the hope of not clogging up our pores, however they can fall short when it comes to replacing moisture during the dryness of winter. For a lasting moisture, switch to a richer cream for the colder months, look for formulas that contain fatty acids and ceramides as they will help your skin to lock-in moisture and develop a protective barrier.
Even if you have oily skin, the winter will still do its best to dry it out. Try an oil-free moisturiser, the best ones will contain alpha hydroxy acids to provide balanced moisture and help control oil levels.
Winter doesn’t just have a negative effect on the skin on your face, it’ll affect the whole body. Due to the heat, we often resort to a lightweight body lotion for the summer months but in the winter, your dry skin will suck it up before it even touches the surface.
Look for a heavier moisturising cream with fatty lipids, it’ll give your skin a much stronger moisture barrier.
As a bonus tip, apply moisturiser as soon as you’re out of the bath or shower, whilst your skin is still damp. That way you’ll lock in extra moisture!
4. Make sure you’ve got the SPF Factor!
The sun might not shine as brightly or as often, but it’s important to still protect your skin from the damage of UV rays. Keep using suntan lotion or a moisturiser with an SPF of 30 to provide protection against both UVA and UVB rays. Ideally use a lotion with zinc oxide or titanium dioxides as they form a barrier on the outer layer of your skin, so you’re protected as soon as you put it on. Try using a photo and anti-oxidant skin protection, such as Heliocare® 360˚ Mineral SPF50 , available at sk:n.
5. Keep cool
Though a steaming hot bath or shower is a temptation often too hard to resist during the darkest, coldest winter months, hot water can strip your skin of moisture and in the cold, as previously mentioned, moisture is key. Try to limit your time in the bath or shower to no more than 10 minutes and keep the temperature as lukewarm as you can stand.
The same goes for washing your face, hot water can cause the blood vessels in your skin to dilate in order to release heat, however, that simply results in more moisture escaping and will only make dry skin more of an issue.