I can’t stress enough how imperative it is to protect our skin from all the perils of winter. We’re not just talking the face – the lips and body take quite a beating during this season too.
While everyone’s skin becomes more sensitive regardless of skin type, some people experience different degrees of dehydration and dryness, while others struggle with unexpected blemish breakouts. During the winter months we are contending with a multitude of factors that the skin quite literally has to weather. In addition to the cold, crisp air which dehydrates and strips the skin of the nutrients it needs to protect itself, we are constantly transitioning from the arid, manufactured heat of our homes and offices to the dry, frigid air of the great outdoors. This never-ending revolving door between 2 highly contrasting environments whips our skin into a tizzy. The skin becomes like a yo-yo not able to adapt quickly enough to its ever changing environment. It’s uncertain of what to do first to protect itself, so we need to do a little hand holding and take extra special care of our skin so that it can return the favor.
Back to basics! Drink tons of water!
It may be a bit counterintuitive but we need to drink as much water during the winter as we do all summer long. Our bodies are working overtime to keep us warm during the chilly winter months. This requires us to consume more calories and water. Since our skin comes into direct contact with the elements outside, it gets hit hard. If we don’t drink enough water, the skin is unable to carry out its cellular activities as efficiently. As a result the skin becomes dehydrated. So remember to drink.
Skin care by skin type
There is no one skincare regimen that fits all. That said, it’s important to step up your skin care game in the winter, but be gentle! No matter what your type, skin becomes more sensitive during the cold winter months and needs us to cut it a little slack.
Winter blemish breakouts
If you tend to experience bouts of seasonal breakouts during the winter, chances are, you are using too harsh a regimen for this time of year. In a time when even combination and oily prone skin requires more hydration, you may be exfoliating or using peeling treatments too frequently. This can actually strip skin of the nutrients it needs. Parched, the skin responds by going into overdrive and manufacturing excess oil. This surplus of oil rears its ugly head on the skin’s surface in the form blackheads, whiteheads and other varieties of blemishes. Ease up on these type of harsh treatments. Try exfoliating 1 x per week or give your face a couple weeks off. Make sure that the exfoliator you choose is gentle. I prefer all natural exfoliators like Yu-Be Foaming Skin Polish. It utilizes ingredients like rice brand and bamboo to exfoliate, extracts of ginger root and ginseng to balance the skin and green tea, geranium oil and camphor to soothe and refresh. (Can be used as a body scrub too!) I also eliminate glycolic acid peel treatments and products entirely during the winter. If this sounds too scary, try reducing the number of treatments you use. When overused these types of products produce the very blemishes we initially used them to heal.
You may also want to try a moisturizer geared for more sensitive skin that is a bit richer than what you normally use. I can’t say enough good things about Sapelo Skin Care Rejuvenating Cream. It is an anti-aging wonder that is hyper nourishing, yet simultaneously guards against breakouts. It helps stimulate cell growth providing the building blocks to manufacture new collagen, elastin and keratin cells. Alternatively you can try adding 4-5 drops of face oil to your favorite moisturizer to give it a boost. Cosmetics 27 Huile 27 is an all natural elixir packed with nutrients that boosts the skin ability to repair, moisturize and protect itself. This French multitasker can be used on the lips, hair and cuticles as well.
Chapped face syndrome
Even if your face doesn’t qualify as chapped, like mine does during the winter, you probably want to opt for a richer moisturizer, add a nourishing, water based serum and boost your moisturizer with 3 – 5 drops of face oil. This is by no means taking things too far. If you’re still feeling dry, you may want to try cleansing your face at night only. If you are washing off the remains of the day at night, a bit of warm water followed by a gentle toner is enough in the morning. For those of us with dry skin, even the gentlest cleansers can be extremely drying.
While some of these practices may sound counterintuitive and perhaps even a little scary, dare yourself to conduct an experiment. Giving your skin a break may be just the thing it needs to rebalance itself and keep you looking healthy and beautiful all winter long.
By: Alyssa Barrie Weiss, Twitter: @AlyssaBarrie