Winter Skincare Tips, from Sally Foran, @irishbeautyfairy
Most of us find our skin becomes drier, more sensitive, irritated and redder in the winter months and our skin is more easily damaged, more reactive and even wrinkles are exacerbated as sometimes our lines are actually dehydration lines!
This is all because the colder temperatures, fluctuating temperatures, central heating, lower humidity, less UV light in winter all lead to water loss from skin which of course causes dry skin. As the air becomes drier, water evaporates from our skin and the colder it is, the less hydrated our skin is!
These fluctuating temperatures can cause blood vessels to become weak from expanding and contacting so much, resulting in broken vessels.
Also, on the inside, less lipids and ceramides are being produced, the natural exfoliation process speeds up, there’s less sweat being excreted, less oil being produced which all leads to less oil and an off balance pH!
Those who suffer from dry skin conditions such as eczema, rosacea or dermatitis will suffer more but everyone will suffer from drier skin and more frequent chapping or irritation.
So how can we fix these issues?
We need to focus on hydrating, nourishing, protecting and strengthening our skin and we can do so by swapping for richer products.
Starting with cleansing, ditch your squeaky clean cleanser as it removes skins natural lipids and worsens dryness. Switch to balm, oil or milk cleansers instead as they contain little to no surfactants, reducing the potential of causing dry, irritated skin.
Hydrating mist are going to be your skins best friend. These have the smallest water molecules so can penetrate the skin best and you can hydrate on the go with them and top up as much as you want! Keep one such as Pestle & Mortar Balance, at your desk, in your car or in your handbag.
Hyaluronic acid needs no introduction, it’s a great hydrator but to get maximum results, always ensure you use it on damp skin and always seal in it with a moisturiser afterwards.
Speaking of moisturisers, switch to richer ones, look for these barrier boosting ingredients petroleum, glycerin, hyaluronic acid, Shea butter, cholesterols, ceramides, squalane, urea, niacinamide, peptides, panthenol and plant seed oils. Apply occlusive ingredients over your moisturiser to seal in moisture such as Vaseline, lanolin or facial oil.
Adding a facial oil into your routine is recommended as it’s adds an extra bit of much needed TLC. You can either use between your serum and moisturiser, after your moisturiser as above, or add a few drops to your moisturiser if you prefer.
Don’t forget your SPF, it’s vital for protecting the skins barrier, even in winter as 90% of UV rays can penetrate cloud so don’t skip this step just because there’s no sun!
The eyes and lips are extra vulnerable to dehydration as they’re thinner and have less oil glands so ensure you’re using hydrating ingredients in these products too. Try Aliso Beauty lip balm.
A twice weekly hydrating mask is ideal for an extra hydration mask and leave on, sleep in ones are even better.
What about actives?
You may need to reduce or avoid the use of actives, especially if you find your skin is extra sensitive to them. You can switch to gentler alternatives e.g. bakuchiol for retinol, Q10 for vitamin C and PHA for AHA’S until the barrier is repaired. Actives can’t work on an impaired barrier either so you’re wasting your time and money if using them on damaged skin, not to mention making the problem worse!
Body and Hand care
The hands are just as exposed as the face so apply the residue from your facial products to them as well as a hydrating hand cream at night and one containing an SPF in the daytime.
Finally, the body suffers the same woes as the face but by applying your body oils and creams to damp skin they’ll penetrate better, and will be more hydrated as a result and also lower the thermostat to 20 degrees in the shower and avoid hot baths too.
Supplement wise, especially if you don’t eat a lot of oily fish, nuts or seeds, an omega 3 supplement is incredibly effective as it’s known as your body’s internal moisturiser.
Humidifiers add moisture to the air so may be a good addition to your home during the winter months also.
For more information and tips from Sally, follow @irishbeautyfairy on Instagram