Best Skincare Routine Adjusts to Season
To achieve the best results we need to change our skincare routine with the seasons. Just as we crave certain foods or wear different clothes depending on temperature, humidity and season, our skin care routine needs to adapt if we want to keep skin looking healthy and plump.
Skincare Regimen, Summer to Winter
As a general guide, your skincare range will need to transition from less moisture to more moisture as we move into dry winter conditions. If you have sensitive skin, eczema, rosacea or psoriasis adding extra moisture in winter becomes even more important to avoid flare-ups.
Face Care Routine for Mature Skin
Also remember that as we age, our skin becomes thinner and drier. By our 40s, most of us should be using a good moisturiser every day. Because mature skin produces less sebum (the natural moisture coating skin) it needs an extra boost to keep it smooth and plump. Our sebum production peaks in teenage years and then drops-off as we age, most dramatically after menopause.
Best Skincare Routine Year-Round
The best skincare routine uses moisturisers daily to:
- Keep skin soft by maintaining an optimal 10% water level in the top layer of our skin (epidermis)
- Protect against skin aging from damaging UV sun rays (broad spectrum UV protection)
Oily to Normal Skin
If you have oily or normal skin the only change you may need to make to your skin care routine is this simple switch in cleansers.
Add an intense moisture boost or overnight treatment as needed in winter months.
Dry Winter Air and Skincare
Cold air holds less moisture that warm air (that’s why we sweat so much in the tropics.) When you combine cold dry winter air and house heating, we get very dry conditions, and any moisture in your skin is quickly drawn away, leaving it tight, dull and irritated.
Your skin actually changes in the winter. Repeated exposure to cold, dry conditions causes cells to shrink and change the way the surface of our skin looks and feels. It needs more moisture and extra protection to restore plumpness and reduce fine lines
Itchy Dry Skin – Winter Itch
If your skin is dry, sensitive or you have skin conditions like eczema, rosacea or psoriasis it will be a challenge to maintain this ideal 10% water level in your epidermis. Winter conditions are constantly drawing moisture out of our skin – at a faster pace than it’s naturally replaced.
For many of us this brings on ‘winter itch’ – it could be mild, a bit of light flaking under our clothes, or it could be very uncomfortable, with chapped, cracked or bleeding skin.
Signs of Winter Skin
- Flaking skin (usually on lower legs and arms)
- Dull skin
- More prominent fine lines and wrinkles
- Chapped lips
- Winter skin breakouts
Daily Skincare Routine
Make these easy changes in your routine and keep skin moist, smooth and avoid the winter itch.
- No long hot showers or baths: Yes, they feel great in the winter, but strip the oil barrier from your skin. Short, warm showers are best.
- Best cleanser for dry skin – switch to creamy: No alcohol or clay-based products that draw moisture out of your skin. Absolutely no soap.
- Wear SPF sun protection daily: Clouds and rain don’t block UV rays, and if you are out in the snow remember snow reflects the sun back-up off the ground for a nasty sunburn.
- Best night time moisturiser - intense: Go for oil-based formulas, with a higher oil to water ratio. Look for oils that are quickly absorbed and nutrient rich. Our skin does most if its intense healing at night.
- Gentle exfoliation: Exfoliation is great for removing flakey winter skin. Use a super gentle formula – it shouldn’t feel scratchy at all. Exfoliate less frequently.
- Extra TLC for eye area: Avoid winter crows feet with a targeted eye cream. Using a heavy winter moisturiser not designed for your delicate eye area results in serious baggage and puffiness.
- No fragrances or chemicals on lips: These really irritate chapped lips. Choose a lip balm that is all natural.
Best Lotion for Dry Itchy Skin
We want healthy skin because it looks great, but healthy skin also works as a barrier to prevent germs and viruses entering our body, which can lead to serious systemic infections.
Very dry skin is a part of skin conditions like eczema, and it goes beyond being a minor irritation to being very painful. Chapped, cracked and bleeding skin is vulnerable to infection. Regular moisturising, especially in winter, helps break the dry skin – cracked skin – infection cycle.
Winter Dry Skin and Skin Infections
The natural coating on our skin (sebum) contains a wax ester that helps kill germs, smother viruses and creates a protective barrier for locking in moisture. In the winter most of us need to top-up our natural sebum, especially if you have mature, dry or sensitive skin. Here’s what to look for in a heavier moisturiser:
- Short ingredients list (less chemicals and preservative the better)
- No fragrance or dyes
- Rich moisturisers like shea butter, coconut oil, jojoba oil, argan oil or buriti oil
- Natural gentle alternative exfoliators, like Vitamin A. Retinol products can be too harsh for sensitive skin
- A range that is non comedogenic, this means it won’t block pores
- Find something that you really like, so you’ll reach for it regularly
Simple Beauty with Natural Oils
Some oils, like jojoba, are very similar to our natural sebum. Natural oils are made for winter and are a perfect ‘one stop’ moisturiser from head to toe. With no fragrance, fast absorbing, and loaded with natural nutrients oils like jojoba are best applied directly after a shower to lock in hydration.
Jojoba is also:
- Rich in natural Vitamin A for skin regeneration
- Contains essential fatty acids omega 6 and 9 to help repair damaged skin tissue
- Has anti-bacterial properties to soothe and heal itchy skin
Dress to Avoid Itchy Dry Skin
To avoid feeling itchy and getting flaky skin under your clothes, especially in a dry office environment, try these tips:
- Wear loose-fitting, cotton clothes. Natural cotton or silk is best.
- Wool is warm, but depending on the weave is can be scratchy and rough feeling
- Try wearing wool layered on top of cotton or silk so that it doesn’t rub against your skin
- Some synthetic fibres can also irritate winter itch
- Wash clothes with a detergent that has no added perfumes or chemicals. Rinse in clear water only, fabric softener usually leaves a layer of chemicals on clothes.
- Apply a good moisturising lotion under your clothes to lock in hydration and reduce chafing