Our Top Winter Skin Care Tips
As the weather gets colder in Winter we notice our skin starts to change too. As the evenings draw in, the mercury drops and the sun is lower in the sky, our skin feels drier and tighter, and can even become itchy. We don’t help the situation by putting on the central heating, which not only dries out our skin further but also means our skin struggles with the constant temperature changes between the indoor heat and the colder outside temperature. In this article we cover some of the fundamentals and the importance of winter skin care.
Why does my skin break out in Winter?
People who have very sensitive skin and Rosacea often find their skin can get worse and more irritated in the Winter. This skin condition occurs when the skin’s natural protective skin barrier (acid mantle) becomes compromised. This can be caused by extreme weather conditions/poor product use/ stress/ hormones or medication. Some peoples skin can be more susceptible to this condition as it can often be genetically determined.
Our Acid Mantle is a slightly acidic film on the surface of our skin acting as a barrier. This barrier stops good components from leaving the skin (such as water) and prevents the invasion of foreign bodies from the skin (such as bacteria). When the barrier becomes compromised, skin can become sensitive leading to redness and visible red vessels. This can happen in any area of our body.
It is worth pointing out that Free Radical Damage from pollutants and ultraviolet radiation (UV) can also cause our skin to become damaged, weak and dull. Bacteria, which can include Demodex mites, can aggravate rosacea and sensitive skin too.
How do you hydrate skin in Winter and help sensitive skin and Rosacea?
Look to include either Hyaluronic Acid or Sodium Hyaluronate in your skin care products – these ingredients hold 1000 – 1800 times their weight in water and will help to draw water to the surface of the skin to help replace lost hydration and bring a plumped healthy glow back to the skin. Pharmaceutical grade ingredients, such as those found in iS Clinical products will penetrate further to be able to draw hydration more effectively from lower layers of the skin.
Oat Kernel/ Aloe leaf juice/ Green tea and grape seed extract are all antioxidants with powerful anti-inflammatory properties, which will help calm irritation, redness and protect skin from further damage. A lot of antioxidants also have anti-bacterial and anti-irritation properties to help manage itchy skin in Winter.
Vitamins A,C and E are also powerful antioxidants and work more effectively together. These will help protect the skin, repair and hydrate.
What’s the Best skin care routine for Winter?
Make sure you are using a slightly thicker moisturiser than your usual and that it includes vitamins which are powerful antioxidants. In addition, it is a good idea to include a serum in your skincare routine as serums have the ability to work deeper in the skin and help to retain moisture, a serum with a high pharmaceutical grade hyaluronic acid is ideal for this.
Exfoliation is a must in the winter months as it gets rid of the dead, dry flakey skin cells from the surface of the skin. This helps our serums and moisturisers work more effectively and will also resurface the skin making it look more radiant and even in tone and texture.
Autumn and Winter is also the best time of year to start treating skin that has suffered from sun damage. It’s the time to resurface the skin to tackle pigmentation damage with peels and active serums. In addition, remember that an SPF is an all year round must have, ideally factor 50 used everyday as UV rays, in particular UVA rays are just as present in the Winter as they are in the Summer. It is the UVA rays that causes skin damage, fine lines and wrinkles.
Although a hot shower or long hot soak in the bath may seem like the perfect treat on a cold Winter’s night, very hot water isn’t good for the skin, especially if you are sensitive as it strips your protective layer away. So, turn down the temperature a bit and reduce the time you spend soaking in the bath.
Don’t neglect the skin on the rest of your body over the Winter months!
All too often are bodies are covered up and forgotten about over the Winter months and it’s not until Spring that we realise we need to do something dramatic to treat our dry legs and arms. If you use a hydrating moisturiser over the Winter you can lay down a foundation to repair and strengthen your skin so it is not only protected but also ready to be revealed when the Spring comes!