Winter plays a cruel game with our skin: dry skin, chapped lips and a suddenly lacklustre complexion are all part of the seasonal skin switch when the days get shorter. But here’s the good news – a few minor tweaks, not an entirely new set of products, is what your skin needs to attain a gorgeous glow.
So I don’t need to change all my skincare products for winter?
Nope, that’s a myth. If you are using high-quality products, they will keep your skin in tip top shape all year round. In fact, switching to a super rich, heavy moisturiser can have the opposite effect, overloading the skin and causing breakouts. Your skin really needs the same thing throughout the seasons – ingredients like hyaluronic acid to significantly boost the water content in your skin cells, and high quality moisturising ingredients such as rosehip oil, that prevent that precious hydration from evaporating through your skin. It’s as simple as that.
But what to do if my skin is drier in winter?
Layer up. Layering involves applying your skincare products in a particular order (so this is good advice all year round!). The lighter product (think serum) should be applied first as it is designed to penetrate to the deeper levels of your skin. Then follow with a moisturiser that locks in the benefits of the serum and prevents the dry winter air from sucking the much-needed hydration straight back out of your skin. If skin does begin to feel tight, a few drops of a light face oil over the top of your moisturiser will protect against environmental aggressors, to keep your skin feeling soft and your complexion glowing.
Can I use the same cleanser as in summer?
A good cleanser will serve you just as well in winter as in the warmer months. Your best option is a cleansing pad soaked in micellar water– it will gently sweep away the daily grime without stripping the skin of its natural oils. You’ll not only remove every skerrick of makeup, you’ll also give the skin a good boost of soothing, repairing antioxidants. If you find that new sun spots have popped up after summer, choose a micellar water with a melanin modulating active, such as Algaktiv LightSKN™ which directly targets brown spots and age spots.
Do I need a specific eye product though?
Eye gel is essential all year round. The eye area is super delicate because it’s five to ten times thinner than on the rest of your face, making it particularly prone to dryness. It also has no sebaceous (natural oil) glands so it can’t naturally regenerate any lost moisture. While it’s tempting to slather on thicker creams over winter, moisturising around eyes with a really rich product is actually counterproductive as it can clog the skin, causing milia (small white lumps) and puffiness. What you need is a light gel that sinks in fast and hydrates with powerful ingredients that penetrate the deeper layers of the skin.
Will moisture keep crows feet at bay?
Honestly, a good eye gel should do more than add moisture. The skin around your eyes also needs a decent dose of vitamin A to help strengthen the skin and slow the breakdown of collagen and elastin (that’s what keeps your skin bouncy and stretchy). Retinol is the traditional form of vitamin A for skincare but we now have much gentler, plant-based alternatives such as Stevisse (from the stevia plant), which has the same skin-rejuvenating effect without causing any retinol-like irritation.
What else can I do to prevent dry winter skin?
Tempting as it might be, don’t turn the heat up. Dry air will suck the moisture out of your skin, whether you are outside or under the doona. In fact, many winter lifestyle habits can have a negative effect on our skin. We spend less time outdoors (hello vitamin D!), we often avoid exercise and we eat richer foods to boot. The effect is tangible: a sluggish inner equals a sluggish outer. Keep up your summer routine – go for walks, drink plenty of water, and nourish your skin with the same gentle but effective products year-round and you’ll cruise through a cold snap.
Searching for a new skincare set? Wave winter skin woes goodbye with a smarter cleanse, hydrate and moisturise routine.