Cheat Sheet – Winter Skin

The change from warm to cold to central heating to cold to office to travel to central heating etc can really make your skin feel like it’s ‘burning’.

Here are just a few tips that may help.

  • Treat the skin like you do your clothing, if you’re layering clothing, layer your skincare. You need a skincare ‘wardrobe’ at this time of year more than any other.
    Cleanse, tone (acid/mist or both), serum, oil, cream, protectant and/or balm. How much and when you use all of these depends on your skin, but a general rule of thumb is to start with ‘less is more’ and if it’s still absorbing, keep going (the only thing to be aware of is layering silicone as it will inevitably ‘peel’ or ‘roll’).
  • Don’t over-cleanse. Your skin needs all the moisture it can get at this time of year. If you’re dry/sensitive and you are using harsh cleansers suitable for the summer months and overusing the electronic facial cleaning brushes – your skin may be very unforgiving.
  • Avoid alcohol-heavy products. It’s one thing to have a toner showing alcohol denat at the very end of the inci list – it’s another to have alcohol as the main ingredient. Acids can be an exception here.
  • If you love a face wash (foaming) – try and change to a cleansing milk while the weather is so cold. You can buy a milk for oily skin if you need it.
  • Oils and balms can feel very comforting on the skin. Natural ones. If you are particularly dry, a heavy balm may actually be stripping, so go easy. An oily skin can use an oil designed for its specific type.
  • You should NEVER aim for ‘squeaky clean’ anything, be it hair or skin. If you have this feeling after washing/cleansing, you really need to stop and rethink what you are using.
  • Exfoliate regularly. Face and body. Topical exfoliants in liquid form are far more effective than scrubs. Skin is acidic, it is receptive to acid products. Use toners or pads with AHA acids twice a day and follow with a spray of a hydrating toner containing glycerin and/or hyaluronic acid before you apply your serum and you’ll feel a difference after one day.
  • Not everyone can use/wants to use liquid acids. For those of you that actually prefer a physical exfoliant, aim for gentle, naturally sourced granular scrubs that don’t use beads. The ones that dissolve as you are rubbing them in are generally safest.
  • Ensure you are taking omega oils to help your skin internally. Fish are the best – flax are a good second for vegetarians.
  • Do continue to use face masks – but go for more hydrating ones as opposed to clay ones. If you have a combination skin use your clay mask and go straight in afterwards with a hydrating one for a good boost.
  • If you are a shower person – don’t be tempted to stand under a hot shower to warm up. Your skin will not thank you for it. Keep it warm-hot, not boiling!
  • If you suffer from psoriasis or eczema it is likely that you will experience a worsening of symptoms in the colder months. Make sure your shower/bath products are as irritant free as possible, avoid tumble dryer sheets and moisturise, moisturise, moisturise!
  • And finally – don’t forget your Vitamin D.

Skin Rocks – The Cream Cleanser

Want to learn more about how to look after your skin throughout the colder months? Find out on the Skin Rocks Column.