The Science Behind Winter Skincare, SimplifiedMay 30, 2019
Cold breezes, dry heaters and hot showers. When the seasons change, so does your skin. You may notice some redness, itchiness or even minor breakouts when winter comes. These are signs that you may need to tweak your skincare for the colder season. Here’s what you can do to soothe your winter skin and the reasons why it works.
Dehydration is one of the first signs of cooler weather. Winter winds tend to carry dry air, and indoor heating makes your home and office spaces particularly arid. When the air is dry, it sucks moisture out of surrounding surfaces, including your skin.
It’s not just dry air that dehydrates you. Taking hot showers and cleansing with warmer water can diminish the natural oils in your skin’s moisture barrier. As the barrier breaks down, your skin is even more prone to moisture loss in the dry air.
You should continue to cleanse and moisturise every day, but you may want to change up the cleanser and moisturiser that you use. As hot showers and dry air threaten your skin’s natural barrier in winter, it becomes even more important to protect it by using a gentler cleanser. Look for a cleanser with some moisturising properties.
You may also need a richer moisturiser in the winter. We recommend using a moisturiser that contains natural botanical oils, such as jojoba oil, macadamia seed oil or squalene. These plant-based oils have a similar structure to the lipids in your skin.
Hyaluronic acid, the most popular skin care ingredient of the last year, will be your best friend in winter. It occurs naturally in your skin’s moisture barrier and it holds up to 1,000 times its weight in water. Apply a drop of serum before moisturising to help lock the moisture into your skin. To save time, you can also opt for a moisturiser that contains hyaluronic acid.
If you have acne-prone skin, you still need to moisturise. When your skin is dehydrated, it tries to compensate by producing more sebum. Oily or acne-prone skin types have a tendency to overcompensate and produce enough oil to block the pores and cause an acne breakout. If your skin is oily or acne-prone, you can use a lighter moisturiser that isn’t as thick.
Hyperkeratinisation is when your dead skin cells stick together and congest your skin. It’s much more common in winter because, basically, your skin cells dry up faster. Your skin also produces more sebum in response to dehydration, and this can cause the dried-out cells to stick together, which makes it harder to remove them with cleansing. It can also lead to itching, dull skin and acne.
Rather than use a stronger cleanser that can strip your skin’s natural barrier, exfoliation can help you cleanse smarter. We recommend a gentle AHA serum to help you remove those dead cells. Exfoliating scrubs can be too abrasive for your winter complexion. AHAs (short for alpha-hydroxy acids) are natural acids derived from fruit, sugars or dairy. They dissolve the bonds between the dead cells so that they can be easily removed without disrupting your natural oils too much.
As a bonus, fresh exfoliated skin will be better at absorbing the active ingredients in your skincare routine, such as hyaluronic acid.
The weather is cooler and your skin may give you some initial grief, but there are plenty of reasons to love winter. Think of warm hearty foods, crisp sunny days and time to mix up your style for a new season.
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