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The perfect skincare routine boosts your skin’s health all year round. When the seasons change you may need to switch your skincare regime up a little, in the winter months your skin is exposed to more external irritants that can cause all sorts of problems with your skin. Your ‘summer skin’ tends to be thinner and more hydrated as warm air holds more moisture, and your oil-producing glands (sebaceous glands) produce more natural oils that keep your skin supple. During winter we spend months constantly going between cold outdoor temperatures and warm centrally heated rooms, both of which dry skin out and this can cause or exacerbate dry skin conditions. Cold air, dry indoor heat, low humidity levels, and harsh winter wind can all zap your skin of moisture. This can leave your skin looking a lot less radiant than normal, not only your face, but also your hands, feet, and other areas exposed to the elements.

Some of the most common signs and symptoms of dry skin include:

flakiness or scaliness

  • redness
  • rough texture
  • itchiness
  • raw, irritated skin
  • cracks in your skin
  • stinging or burning

By making some simple changes to your skin care regimen and habits, and using the right products, you will keep your skin looking soft, smooth, and vibrant through-out the winter season.

Dry, flaky and dehydrated skin and cold weather go hand in hand. This is because low temperatures mean low humidity, both outdoors and indoors. The water content of the epidermis tends to reflect the level of humidity around it, so even oily and combination skin types suffer from red, itchy skin during winter months. Although the natural lipid barrier that keeps moisture locked in to our skin is still in action, the cold air arriving in winter sucks out more moisture than the barrier can keep it in.

Here are a few tips to help maintain a healthy glow throughout the winter:

  • Swap to a hydrating or gentle cleanser and try not to over cleanse during this season so you don’t strip your skin of it’s natural oils. Use gentle products that will give you ample cleansing to your face and won’t strip off the barriers that protect your skin.
  • Add a good exfoliater, although exfoliation may be the last thing you’d consider with dry skin, a gentle exfoliant can give you back that lovely healthy glow. Exfoliation removes dead skin cells from the outer layer of skin, increasing cell turnover and promoting healthier-looking skin, it also enables post serums and moisturisers to absorb better. That being said, don’t overdo it!
  • The cardinal rule of wintertime skincare is keeping skin hydrated. So make sure you have the right moisturiser for your skin type. During the winter, people tend to switch to a more emollient moisturiser that is better suited for these harsh winter conditions. Ingredients to look for are ceramides, hyaluronic acid and glycerin as those ingredients help to keep skin hydrated and supple. Niacinamide also minimizes the appearance of dry or damaged skin and restores suppleness.
  • Hyaluronic acid is an excellent ingredient, it helps to maintain moisture levels and is a great moisture magnet. It improves skin elasticity & hydration.
  • Ceramides help to hold skin cells together while holding onto moisture to keep it locked in your skin.
  • Glycerin is another crucial ingredient that absorbs water from the air and retains it in your skin to keep your skin supple & moisturised
  • Overnight Masks are as the name suggests, you leave them on overnight. What’s great with overnight masks is that they intensely hydrate the skin as you sleep. The serum will penetrate deeply into your skin leaving you with supple skin inthe morning, these are best for giving your skin that extra boost of moisture that it needs.
  • Add a serum to benefit your skins performance it provides an extra layer of moisture and remember to layer your products from the thinnest to the thickest.
  • Incorporate a skin brightening product and apply a deep and intense moisturiser at night time.
  • Don’t Skip On SPF Protection. During winter months, sunlight contains less UVB radiation which is the culprit for sun burns. However, long-wavelength UVA rays are present all year can penetrate through clouds, fog and window glass, causing oxidative stress and premature signs of ageing. SPF protection of minimum 30 is vital in high altitudes as snow reflects 80% of UV rays, in comparison to sand and water that only reflect around 10-15%.
  • Winter air can be especially harsh, which is a nightmare for those of us who already have naturally dry skin. Dry skin naturally produces less sebum, your skin’s natural lubricant, and so it often feels parched…especially in winter. To combat this make sure that you choose a extra rich moisturiser.
  • Pamper yourself
  • Sheet Masks are widely popular nowadays because of how easy they are to use. It is a physical sheet that is drenched with a serum-like formula and placed on your face this will help trap moisture in the skin. The sheet masks come in a variety of formulas to choose from. There are different ones for different skin types and for different skin concerns.

Switching abrasive physical exfoliators for a gentle cleanser can help the skin adjust to cooler, drier weather. ZO Gentle Cleanser For All Skin Types is great for dehydrated skin thanks to a potent blend of antioxidants and botanical extracts that removes dead cells, sebum and dirt, while maintaining healthy lipid balance and helps retain epidermis natural moisture level. This should last roughly 4 to 6 months depending on your usage. (£40)

We must also not forget to stay hydrated – We know you probably hear this tip over and over again but it is highly important! Drinking 8-10 glasses of water a day can do wonders for your skin. It flushes out toxins from your body whilst working to flush bacteria from your skin and keep it hydrated. Avoid hot showers, although they are comforting they can severely dry out your skin. Instead try lukewarm water and gentle exfoliation. While we take extra care at looking after our skin in winter, we tend to forget about our lips only taking action when they start becoming painful.

Because of the cold air in winter, moisture is sucked out of our lips, often leaving us with painfully dry and cracked lips that then need serious repair.

Using a gentle scrub on the lips once a day or a few times a week is going to keep them soft and smooth whilst adding a good lip balm as well for comfort.