Our monthly blog on skin care
As the nights start drawing in, chances are it’s more than just your body clock that’s being thrown off-kilter. Tight skin, rough knuckles, chapped lips? Say hello to winter, about to wreak havoc from head-to-toe. What you need know to keep your complexion happy throughout the cold snap. From your face to your feet, here’s how to winter-proof your skin – starting now.
1) Too much change isn’t always a good thing
“I would not recommend a complete overhaul of all products due to a change in seasons – I don’t think there’s a need for it,” says Dr Du-Harpur. “I think that the most important thing is to develop an awareness and understanding of your own skin and how it responds to different environments and products, and make simple changes to help skin adapt for a change in environment.
2) You still need SPF
Because it is winter, it doesn’t mean you should put away your suncream. While there is less UVB around in winter, levels of UVA (or UV-Ageing as it is known in the dermatology world) are still significant enough to age our skin. Using a sunscreen that specifically has a high UVA rating all year round to protect your skin. As UVB is the wavelength that stimulates vitamin D production, levels can drop in the winter months and if necessary we can supplement with oral vitamin D3.
3) Keep hydrated
Your skin will become drier and often more sensitive with the onset of colder weather and central heating. Make sure you keep hydrated during the day; swap your coffee for green tea which has great antioxidant effects. Gentle cleansing is a must: you need your skin barrier to be as healthy as possible so that it can retain vital moisture. As a rule of thumb, if your skin feels tight after washing it is likely that the cleanser you are using has disrupted your skin barrier. Skin should feel calm and hydrated after washing, so if you are reaching immediately for your moisturiser you may want to consider a gentler cleanser.
5) Facial scrubs
Ease off on gritty facial scrubs: your skin is dealing with unusually high levels of inflammation so try not to beat it up any further with a physical exfoliator. That said, do keep using your favourite acid toner as this will maintain steady cell turnover and ensure your other products perform at their best (see our gentle winter picks further on).
6) Layering technique
The many trusted dermatologists and experts that we speak to at GLAMOUR all agree that a winter skincare strategy should focus on layering your products. If you haven’t read Caroline Hirons’ Skin Care book (AKA The Holy Grail) yet, here’s her approach based on years of insight and knowledge: “Treat the skin like you do your clothing. If you’re layering clothing, layer your skincare. You need a skincare ‘wardrobe’ at this time of year more than any other. Cleanse, tone (acid/mist or both), serum, oil, cream, SPF and/or balm. How much and when you use all of these depends on your skin, but a general rule of thumb is to start with ‘less is more’ and if your skin is still absorbing the product, keep going (the only thing to be aware of is layering silicone products, as they don’t always play well together and have the potential to ‘peel’ or ‘roll’, which feels grim.”