How to Look After Your Skin With the Changing Season – Skin Rocks

How to Look After Your Skin With the Changing Season

As if the cold weather wasn’t enough to contend with, when the temperatures drop and winter descends, these changes can wreak havoc on our skin. Lower levels of humidity, blustering winds and arctic weather (ok, perhaps a tad dramatic!), can all suck the hydration out of our skin. Combine this with drying central heating and you have a recipe for potential irritation, dehydration, dryness, and an unhappy skin barrier. Inflammatory skin conditions such as rosacea and acne can also be aggravated during this time of year.
But it’s not all doom and gloom, as there are some simple things you can do to help support your skin during the colder months.
Regardless of your skin type, here are some pointers to keep your skin hydrated and healthy:
  • Opt for gentle cleansers that don’t strip the skin (you don’t want that ‘squeaky clean’ feeling). Cream, milk, or balm formulas are all great options.
  • Use barrier-supporting ingredients in the form of serums, moisturisers, and mists. Ingredients to look out for are ceramides, hyaluronic acid, and glycerin.
  • Use a good moisturiser to seal in hydration and reduce trans-epidermal water loss (TEWL). If you’re finding that your skin is still dry, try adding a serum that includes or glycerin or HA under your moisturiser.
  • Avoid long, hot showers and baths. Extreme heat can exacerbate dryness and any underlying redness or irritation. When it comes to washing your face, stick to lukewarm water. 
  • Use an exfoliating acid to resurface and brighten your complexion. If you prefer a physical exfoliant, choose a dissolvable exfoliant.
  • Add an extra layer of hydration to your routine in the form of essences and mists. Look for humectants - such as glycerin and hyaluronic acid - on the ingredients label.
  • The million-dollar question ― do you need to wear SPF in the winter? Yes, the answer is always yes. Even when it’s cold and grey outside. In fact, did you know that snow can reflect the sun's UV rays? UV light is also more intense at high altitudes (skiers, take note).
In addition to the above, each skin type will be affected in different ways, so we’ve broken this down further for you: 
Signs you might have this skin type: dryness, dull appearance, tightness, flakiness, rough texture.
Naturally producing a lower amount of sebum (oil), for skin that’s prone to dryness, you want to be extra gentle to prevent irritation. Pack your skin with moisture and seal it in with occlusives.

What to do:
  • Facial oils are wonderful for dry skin and particularly great for protecting the skin during blistery, winter walks. Press a couple of drops over the top of your moisturiser during the day, or use underneath your moisturiser in the am or pm.
  • Nourish the skin from the inside out with omega oils. These can be found in flax or fish oil supplements and certain food sources.
  • Use an occlusive and emollient moisturiser. Ingredients to look out for are ceramides, squalane, shea butter and glycerin.

Signs you might have this skin type: excess sebum, shiny appearance, enlarged pores, prone to blackheads and breakouts.
While some may find their skin becomes slightly less oily during the winter - as  opposed to summer when sebum production is increased - others may find that their skin overproduces oil to compensate for a lack of hydration.

What to do:
  • Don’t be tempted to use astringent, drying cleansers that strip your skin. This will only make things worse. Instead, opt for a hydrating gel or milk formula. A gentle foaming cleanser also works well.
  • Keep your skin well hydrated with essences, mists and serums containing hydration-boosting ingredients such as glycerin, panthenol and hyaluronic acid.
  • Don’t skip moisturiser. While you might not want to use a rich cream, a lightweight, hydrating formula will do a world of good.

‘Normal’ (aka balanced):
Signs you might have this skin type: skin is neither too oily nor too dry, small 
pore size, not prone to irritation or breakouts.
Although your skin may typically be balanced, harsh, winter conditions can push your skin towards the dry or dehydrated side of the spectrum.

What to do:
  • Consider adding a hydrating serum into your routine. Look for humectant ingredients such as glycerin, hyaluronic acid and panthenol.
  • Switch to a richer moisturiser if your summer cream doesn’t feel nourishing enough.

Signs you might have this skin type: oily t-zone but dry, dehydrated or ‘normal’ in other areas (usually the cheeks).
With combination skin, dry areas may become drier, and an oily t-zone can worsen as a sign of dehydration. This skin type can be a little trickier to treat.

What to do:
  • Use gentle cleansers that won’t strip the skin and cause it to become more out of balance. 
  • Niacinamide is known to regulate oil production and support the skin’s barrier, making it a great ingredient for combination skin. Look for this in your serums or moisturisers. 
  • Choose a hydrating moisturiser that’s lightweight in texture to apply all over the face and then layer a facial oil over the top in drier areas.

Skincare by Caroline Hirons