Baby it's cold outside! Protect skin from winter chills
As the weather turns colder, the appearance of our skin can take a decidedly downward turn. Without proper care, skin on the face and body can become dehydrated and sensitised, accelerating the signs of ageing and leaving it looking dull and grey, so it's time to change up seasonal skincare routines.
“[Winter] is an excellent time for salons to introduce new treatments and products to their clients; most would be unaware of the need to change their skincare routine in winter yet when asked if their skin felt more uncomfortable they would almost certainly say yes,” explains Shirley Taylor of Beauytrade Ltd.
“In the absence of the sun, skin is left appearing undesirably dull, dry and sallow,” says Lorena Oberg, Skin Repair Expert. “As the body's largest organ, the skin is its first line of defence, leaving it susceptible to the adverse effects of the harsher, colder climate.”
“Winter can take its toll on the condition of our skin,” adds Wendy Stirling, Founder of Botanicals Natural Organic Skincare. “The chilling, cold air robs exposed skin of its natural moisture, often leading to dryness, flaking, chaffing and redness.
“In winter, air has a low moisture content causing exposed skin to dry out quicker.
“Then there's the contrasting warmth of our centrally-heated homes, which can deplete the skin of moisture even further. Those with existing sensitive or dry skin, including those prone to eczema, rosacea or other skin related concerns, are particularly susceptible at this time of year and can find caring for their skin during winter an uphill struggle.”
As a result of drying out skin, exposing skin to winter air and the effects of central heating can reduce its radiance. “Our skin can start to feel congested with a dull, grey appearance,” explains Rowan Hall-Farrise, Celebrity Facialist at QMS Medicosmetics.
Which ingredients to look for
With an array of hydrating skincare products on the market, it can be difficult to choose which ingredients are right for each individual skin during colder weather. Choose products that are vitamin-rich, and look for those with hydrating ingredients like Hyaluronic acid.
Wendy Stirling believes that natural ingredients are the way to go. “Avoid skin care products that contain synthetic ingredients and petrochemicals, as these can have a drying effect on the skin. There are some super natural ingredients to look out for. My favourite is organic Shea Butter as it's one of nature's miracles for protecting our skin. It's wonderfully healing and nourishing to the skin, also incredibly versatile," she says.
The importance of water
‘Drink more water' should be your daily mantra, and this is equally true during the cold months of winter as it is during hotter weather.
“It's such a common misconception that keeping your water intake up only applies in the summer,” says Lorena. “As the temperature outside drops, we drape ourselves in layers of clothing and crank the radiator up to the max in a bid to keep warm. The artificial hot environment we therefore create can cause dehydration in our body and skin. Drinking water helps the body maintain its fluid balance and helps to flush away toxins and impurities to keep the skin looking rejuvenated.
“[Also], do not have hot baths or showers. Yes, the heat may feel soothing to the skin during the cold weather but in fact, it's actually hard on the skin. The high water temperature and the evaporation of water off the skin, once out of the shower, cause the skin to become drier. Have lukewarm baths or showers and partially pat the skin dry and moisturise whilst the skin is still damp.”
Exfoliation is King!
“Exfoliating is King when it comes to disarming the lacklustre effects of the cold weather,” advises Lorena. “The cold, frigid dry air weakens your skin's barrier; disabling it from repairing and renewing itself to cause a pile-up of dead skin cells. Imagine trying to moisturise layers upon layers of dead skin? There's no way your cream will be able to penetrate that! Exfoliate the skin gently with to unplug congested pores and let your moisturiser or serum work its magic.”
Introducing a serum
With a lighter texture than rich moisturisers, this is the perfect time of year to introduce a serum into your daily regime. Janna Ronert, CEO of IMAGE Skincare, explains:
“To understand why adding a serum to your routine is a [winter] essential, let's talk about the differences between serums and moisturisers. Serums are usually a combination of water, oils, speciality ingredients and peptides formulated to penetrate the skin deeply. Moisturisers, on the other hand, are a combination of water, oil, waxes and actives. Unlike serums, moisturisers form a physical barrier to keep water in our skin and have larger molecules. While a lightweight cream can keep our skin hydrated during the humid days of summertime, the extra boost a serum provides can come in handy during [winter].”
Wendy Stirling agrees: “Using a vitamin-rich facial serum twice a day also helps provide winter skin with an intensive boost of nourishment.”
Choosing the right moisturising products
“After a complete exfoliation, moisturising also becomes fundamental,” says Rowan. “The application of a rich cream helps the skin to keep its hydrations with the cold, penetrating into the deeper layers of the skin and securing softness that lasts for long.”
The moisturiser that you use during the summer months is not necessarily the right one to continue using in autumn and winter. “It's always a good idea to step up in winter to a slightly richer more protective moisturiser preferably with an SPF,” says Shirley.
“Whatever moisturiser you're currently using that got you through the summer, it will definitely be too weak to defend your skin against icy temperatures,” explains Lorena. “Swap it for creams or serums with barrier-repairing ceramides and fatty acids, which are good at preventing water loss. This will lock and seal moisture.”
She adds: “For naturally dehydrated or mature skin types, double up your moisturiser with a Hyaluronic acid. Apply first after cleansing, then slick on your moisturiser and your skin will be left looking revitalised and refreshed.”
Rowan Hall-Farrise also recommends the application of moisture-rich Hyaluronic acid, saying: “I recommend to my clients to lose the uppermost layer of dead skin cells, using a synergistic combination of Collagen and Hyaluronic acid of differentiated molecular sizes. When applied to a freshly exfoliated skin, the lower molecular weight Hyaluronic acids can penetrate further into the basal (deeper) layers of the skin and take with it the Collagen, for extraordinary plumping and hydration from the skin's depths. The instant, and long-term, benefits include a reduction in fine lines, firmer skin, and an altogether revitalized and smoother looking complexion.”
Here's our round-up of products and treatments that deliver healthy and hydrated skins during the winter months:
Everlinespa Bright Refine Pro
Everlinespa Bright Refine Pro, available from Beautytrade Ltd, is the first multi-level cosmetic peel programme developed to exfoliate, illuminate and perfect the skin in a single dose.
A combination of natural fruit acids including Citric, Tartaric, Lactic, Mandelic and Glycolic acid brighten and illuminate the skin as well as stimulate collagen production and diminish signs of ageing and sun damage.
Suitable for all skin types including sensitive, blemished, hyperpigmented and aged.
Botanicals Nourish Night Balm
Certified organic by the Soil Association, Botanicals Nourish Night Balm feeds the skin with nourishment, locks-in moisture, soothes discomfort and provides a barrier to the elements, whilst also letting the skin breathe without blocking the pores.
Enriched with certified organic Shea Butter and infused with Wild Rose and Rose Geranium, it soothes and revitalises skin overnight.
CACI Age-Delay Survival Kit
CACI's Age-Delay Survival Kit helps skin look less dull during the winter months.
CACI Amino-Lift Peptide Complex is formulated from age-defying ingredients Matrixyl™ 3000 and Snap-8, clinically proven peptides which firm the face and reduce the appearance of wrinkles. For use day and night, CACI Eye Revive serum features active ingredients that absorb quickly, including REGU®-AGE™ which helps to reduce puffiness by up to 31% and dark circles by 35%.
CACI Hydro Eye Mask instantly refreshes the delicate eye area with Hyaluronic acid and Cucumber, whilst the CACI Hydro Mask, used in the CACI salon facial treatment, is a ‘quick-fix' that deeply nourishes skin with a surge intense hydration.
Germaine de Capuccini B-Calm
Germaine de Capuccini's new B-Calm range of Dermocosmetics features Skinbiome Repair, an exclusive ingredient which protects and repairs the skin's eco system, improving the skin's wellbeing and resistance.
The professional advanced dermocosmetic B-Calm treatment has been strictly formulated with the essential ingredients to treat effectively weakened, stressed and sensitive skins. It includes the application of a Biocellulose Mask for the face, neck and décolletage which is soaked in a concentrated serum with properties that builds a micro-environment that retains humidity and protects allowing the skin to regenerate and heal. Homecare products are also available.
Hempz Triple Moisture
With 100% pure, natural Hemp oil rich in vitamins and essential fatty acids, Hempz Triple Moisture range provides skin with intense, long-lasting nourishment.
Exfoliate the body with Herbal Whipped Creme Body Scrub to reveal glowing skin, and lock in moisture by lathering Herbal Whipped Body Creme all over.
Each product has an uplifting scent of Grapefruit and Peach, and are cruelty-free and suitable for vegans.
Image Skincare ILUMA
Remove dulling, dead skin cells with Image Skincare's ILUMA Intense Brightening Exfoliating Powder, an ultra soft micro-exfoliating blend suitable for all skin types.
Follow this with an application of ILUMA Intense Lightening Serum, which features a blend of vitamin C and Grape Seed extract to promote a clarified, fresh-looking complexion.
Margrete Gotye No.25 Ultra-Hydration Balm
Margrete Gotye No.25 Ultra-Hydration Balm rehydrates and rejuvenate skin during the winter months. It features Trehalose to protect the epidermis' cell membrane, and Hyaluronic acid, naturally found in the body, to lock in moisture and plump skin.
Chamomile extract soothes sensitive and dry skin, whilst Portulaca Oleracea extract features antioxidant flavones and saponins contained which fight free radicals. Skin is hydrated further by Tremella extract.
QMS Medicosmetics Exfoliant Fluid removes the dead skin cells and penetrates skin to hydrate. It features fruit acid and enzymes for cell regeneration and moisturisation.
Hydrate skin further with QMS Medicosmetics 24h Cream which protects during the day and regenerates skin overnight. Vitamins E and C protect and smooth skin, stimulate cell regeneration and collagen synthesis to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.
Alternatively, QMS Medicosmetics Moisturizing Balance is an intensive moisturizing cream with DNA protection. The natural residence of the skin is strengthened, making it ideal for dry and stressed skins during the winter months.