Winter can make your skin look so ‘Blah’! Dehydrated, lifeless and grey. So let’s move through some ways of improving your skin routine, especially during this time of isolation, where a visit to see your skin therapist is just not possible right now.
Boost hydration levels
To really boost hydration levels, during winter I love hyaluronic acid serum. Our skin naturally has hyaluronic acid deep in the dermal layers, Whilst a topical product cannot penetrate as deeply, it does keep the upper layers of the skin very well hydrated. A magical property of Hyaluronic acid, or HA, is that just one molecule of HA is able to attract 1000 molecules of water. So think of it like a magnetic sponge. Depending upon the molecular weight of the serum you choose, and there are many on the market, the HA will penetrate into the epidermis. This plumps up the skin cells, allowing them to not only be hydrated, but better able to function as they are bathed in water. So this gives our skin a glowly look, that is actually also healthy too. My favourite Hyaluronic Acid serum is AlphaH Hyaluronic 8 serum which is intense and nourishing. It is amazing at supercharging the skin with natural moisturising factors through the inclusion of Vitamin B5 too. It has an old-fashioned medical eyedropper, so I love to simply use about 4 or 5 drops across my face and then using my fingertips, I pat it around my face and eyes. And it is purple in colour, which just adds to the joy you feel on those wintery days!
Change it up
During winter when the heating is blasting, our skin can become very dry and begin to look lacklustre. The low humidity and temptation to take long hot showers both contribute to the dry itchy feeling too.
I am a big believer in changing your moisturiser from summer to a more suited winter product. In summer our skin tends to sweat and our natural skin oil will sit on the skin surface to lubricate it. In winter, the dehydrated air and changes in our skin function will not give us this natural moisturising property. So it is better to opt for a thicker, richer moisturiser.
One of my favourites for winter is Cosmedix Emulsion Intense Hydrator. This product is a deeply moisturising, and contained shea butter and other rich emollient ingredients to provide barrier protection and skin survival for the dry winter conditions.
Some tips and tricks (and insider secrets!)
I know that it feels so amazing to heat your body in the shower, but during winter keep your showers warm and short. Believe it or not, water is dehydrating on the skin, and the warmer it is, the more your skin will dry out once you get out. This is because excessive exposure to hot water strips the skin of essential natural oils, which provide your skin with a natural moisturising factor.
Beware of soap. Whilst we are talking about showers, soap is very drying due to the high ph. Our skin likes to sit at a natural pH of around 4.5 to 5.5. Soap generally has a pH of around 10. I love to keep a face and body cleanser in the shower so that I can avoid soap altogether. A great choice is Aspect Dr Deep Clean. This is perfect for cleaning your skin without drying it out.
If you skip eye creams during summer, now is the time to bring them out. Using a rich eye cream or serum around the thin delicate eye area, can really boost the appearance and health of this area. Our eye area generally contains no oil glands at all, and the skin is also thinnest in this area too. So adding some plump can help reduce dark circles and also make your eyes stand out during winter.
Get laser hair removal during winter. Laser and IPL treatments target the melanin or dark pigment in our hair to slowly reduce the hair count. During summer, our skin also tends to be a little tanned from sun exposure and perhaps also the odd spray tan too. Whereas in winter, we cover up to keep warm. This leaves our skin pearly white, which is perfect for laser or IPL hair removal. Most people need around 6 or so treatments, spaced around 4-6 weeks apart. So you can virtually be hair free by the next time you have your legs summer party ready.
A great time to visit your skin therapist is also during winter for skin treatments. Our skin in winter needs all the help it can get. Treatments like microdermabrasion, chemical peels and skin needling all help to improve the skin health, appearance and skin function. I love to have lactic peels during winter, as not only does my skin feel super smooth after, lactic peels actually are very hydrating for the skin. Hydration is key for skin that is healthy and functioning optimally.
Thanks for reading!