This winter is different to any other. The weather is super cold and frosty, but our behavior is quite different. This year most of us are staying in a lot more, and the heating is on full time. And when we do go out, facemasks are all the rage (and rightly so!). So, here are some winter skincare tips to get you through looking great and feeling fab.
By Giulia D’Anna of Dermal Distinction
1. Wear sunscreen. Sounds weird right? Well believe it or not, clouds only reduce UVA by around 3%. This means that although you won’t get sunburnt, your skin is still soaking in the damaging wrinkle-forming rays. Wearing sunscreen is super important year round.
2. When home heating is blasting, the amount of moisture we lose from our skin is considerable. This is called “transepidermal water loss”, and is the result of water being wicked-out of the skin by the dry heat. This can leave your skin feeling dry and itchy. To combat this, apply a thicker moisturizer during winter. Look for a product that is super-rich or even use a night-cream during the day. My favourite moisturisers contain aloe, green tea or fruit oils to soothe and feed the skin.
3. Go easy on the acne or oil-controlling products. You might find that your favourite zit-busters contain benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid, but these can be too drying during winter, and feel a little too harsh. Look for products that contain glycolic or lactic acids instead, as these still produce a great clean, but do not penetrate as deeply into the skin and generally feel a little gentler. And don’t be tempted to skip the moisturiser either. You will still need to protect against moisture loss for your skin during winter.
4. Face moisture mists are not just a luxe face treatment, but actually help your skin stay balanced during the day. Using a spritz on your face every few hours will help continually boost your skin with moisture. You will feel like your skin is super plump and hydrated. There are some formulations that contain vitamins to provide that extra nourishment for your skin too.
5. If you have not tried dry brushing your skin, OMG! You are missing out! During winter, we sometimes have a gazillion layers on, and sometimes winter fibres can be itchy. Grab a great quality dry brush and rub it over your thighs, back and arms. You will feel like your skin is waking up and is buzzing. Dry brushing helps to improve the skin by increasing circulation, but it also sloughs off dead skin cells that are just lying around. Top off your skin with a great body moisturiser, and you will feel like you just visited your favourite day spa. Try it – you will love it!
6. Now let’s talk about face masks and how to prevent breakouts whilst out and about wearing these. Under the mask, use a lighter moisturiser than normal whilst wearing the mask. The moisture levels under a mask can increase the clogging of pores. So change up to a summer-weight moisturiser. Lighter moisturisers contain little or no oil, and this is important as your skin will likely sweat more under a mask with each breath you take.
7. Don’t wear makeup under a mask, but if you do, make it mineral. Anything with chemical-based fillers like supermarket brands can clog the pores. Mineral-based makeup has large particles that do not sit in the pores, allowing your skin to breathe.
8. After removing your face mask, gently clean and exfoliate your skin. Do not overdo it. It is important to flush away bacteria that starts to build up from the little hot-house that you created under your face mask. Top this off with your favourite face serums and a thicker moisturizer for your heated house. 9. The fabric of a mask can be quite irritating, as it rubs over your nose and cheeks. Apply a thicker barrier over the bridge of your nose, tops of your cheeks and along the jawline. A thick moisturizer or night cream in these areas can be helpful to stop the face mask from rubbing and chaffing the skin
10. Use a sheet mask! I know, I know. So many masks, but this one is a game-changer. Nourishing your skin with supercharged ingredients after wearing a face mask is the difference between stressed-out red skin, and skin that is luscious and healthy. Sheet masks can sit on the skin for anywhere between 10-30 minutes, and they feel even better when you have your favourite glass on wine in your hand.
11. Finally, take care of your face mask. If using a washable mask, wash it daily. With the constant moisture from your breath, bacteria can easily build up. Be sure to keep it as clean as possible, and avoid touching it with your hands to limit more contamination.