There’s a lot to love about winter, from the perfect excuse to order a hot chocolate to chunky knits and gotta-have-it retail therapy to warm up your wardrobe but… what’s not to love about the colder months? The dry, tight, itchy skin that often comes along with it. So, to help you ditch the dry skin drama and really love the skin you’re in this season, we’ve put together a few easy-to-implement skin-saving strategies…
The fact is, different seasons do different things to your skin and your skincare routine needs to adapt to the winter months just like your outfits do. As the humidity drops with the temperatures, boosting and maintaining your skin’s precious moisture needs to be on top of your skincare ‘to-do ‘ list.
Like It HOT Come Bath Time?
The hotter your bath or shower, the worse for your skin this time of year. Dial down the heat from hot to warm and try to keep the long, drawn-out bubble baths for the warmer months. Stick to a time limit of max ten minutes; wash with a gentle, soap-free cleanser; gently blot your skin dry with a towel; and liberally slather on your favourite post-bath/shower moisturiser from head to toe.
Is Moisturising EVERY Evening Really Necessary?
Yes, yes… a thousand times “Yes!” Ointments, creams, and lotions work best straight after hopping out of the bath/shower to trap existing moisture in your skin. Something is always better than nothing but if you really struggle with dry skin, opt for an ointment or a cream over a lotion. Why? Well, ointments and creams tend to pack more of a hydrating punch, when the skin is particularly dry and uncomfortable. Look for a moisturiser that contains one or more of these ingredients: Jojoba oil, Dimethicone, Glycerin, Hyaluronic acid, Lactic acid, Lanolin, Mineral oil and/or Shea butter.
TIP: Don’t forget to moisturise your lips! Apply lip balm at least twice a day – morning and night – and choose one that feels good on your lips. Your lips shouldn’t sting or tingle after application.
Do I Really Need To Forget The Fragranced Ones For A While?
Yes, just while Winter is at its most chilly. The key to keeping your skin hydrated while humidity is at its annual low is to use gentle, fragrance-free skin care products because fragranced skincare products, like deodorant soaps, are too harsh for dry, sensitive skin.
TIP: An ‘unscented’ product can contain chemicals that neutralise or hide the odours of other ingredients. These chemicals can really get on your skin’s nerves if it’s on the dry, sensitive side. So, it’s best to opt for products that clearly say ‘fragrance-free’.
What Ingredients Are a Recipe For Dry(er) Skin in Winter?
As much as we love our exfoliating AHAs and resurfacing Retinoids, you’re going to want to skip these ingredients until the weather warms up and you find yourself booking a sandal-friendly pedicure. The goal right now is to hold onto your natural oils, not to do anything to upset their balance or strip them.
TIP: While you’re taking note of what to leave in the bathroom cabinet this Winter, kick any products containing alcohol to the curb for a while, too. Except for hand sanitiser, which you’re going to want to keep using to keep all the season’s germs at bay. Just make sure you’ve got a fragrance-free hand cream in your handbag to pop on straight after sanitising.
Bring the Heat with your Outfit, not a Fire
We love a roaring fireplace as much as the next person but fires and heaters suck the moisture out of the air, making your skin pay for that evening in front of the fire the morning after. Rather than seeking heat from an external source, try to dress appropriately for the weather, layer up, and don’t skip the one chance you have, all year, to wear a fabulous pair of gloves.
TIP: Get yourself a humidifier to add moisture to the air in your home or office environment, especially to counteract the effects of using electric heaters.
Water, Water… Everywhere!
Getting your 2 litres of water in isn’t just a summer thing, it’s everything in the winter skin department. You need to be conscious of drinking water throughout the day, sipping often, whenever you get a gap – in-between meetings, during the school run drives etc. Just like you hydrate from the outside in with a good moisturiser, you need to be hydrating from the inside out, too.
TIP: Challenge yourself to drink a glass of water before every cup of tea, coffee or hot chocolate you make or order this Winter. You’ll be surprised how quickly you’ll form – and enjoy – the habit.