Every season brings its own skincare challenges, and winter is no exception. Frosty air, low humidity, and central heating can all dehydrate your skin, leaving it dull and dry.
Luckily, there are simple ways to protect your skin from the ravages of winter. And, on the plus side, the lower UV levels which the darker seasons bring make this the perfect time to treat your skin to some freshening exfoliation treatments without the risk of getting sun damage. Here are our top tips to help you keep your skin soft and supple through the winter.
Moisturise, moisturise, moisturise
The cold outside and the central heating inside will both do a number on your skin’s natural oils. So, it’s worth going for something a little more intense when shopping for winter moisturiser. If your skin is naturally nice and oily then you may be able to get away with a lighter consistency, but the rest of us should seek out creamier, heavier options. Ingredients to look out for include ceramides and fatty acids which will help to maintain your skin’s protective barrier. The better protected your skin is, the fresher, plumper, and brighter it will be.
Choose a gentle cleanser
More heavy-duty cleansers are useful in the summer. They get rid of sweat and sun cream beautifully. But, in the winter, they can be harsh on skin that’s already struggling to maintain its moisture. The key in winter is to protect your skin as much as possible, and that means not attacking its natural oils with intense chemical cleanses. Seek out gentler, creamier cleansers which will remove dirt and makeup without attacking the skin itself.
Exfoliating every now and again is great for your skin. It will keep your face looking fresh and bright and will also help your skin to re-balance itself. However, by removing a layer of dead skin cells and exposing the soft, fresh skin underneath, exfoliating in the summer can leave your skin vulnerable to sun damage. This isn’t such a risk in winter. But remember - be gentle! Your aim is to remove dead skin cells, not to scrape your face raw! Ideally, exfoliate at the end of the day, follow with a generous dollop of moisturiser, and wait 10 days to a fortnight between each exfoliation treatment.
Don’t forget the SPF
OK, sun damage is definitely not as much of an issue during the winter as it is during the sunnier months. But that doesn’t mean that you can abandon the SPF entirely. It’s always a good idea to keep your face protected against the sun, even during the winter. For example, if it snows or if the ground is very wet, UV rays can be reflected back at you, doubling the risk of sun damage. So, keep your face protected! Seek out a moisturiser with inbuilt SPF, or perhaps add a layer of sun cream to your morning facial routine.