Magazine / Beauty / Skincare

How to Change Your Skincare Routine in Winter

MD Alexandra Dorobantu
Dermatologist
On Oct 25th, 2021

Prevent common winter skin problems by adapting your skincare routine to the colder months. Discover powerful ingredients to refine your winter skincare regime.

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With every change of seasons, we need to adapt the skincare routines to suit the different environment better. In the Winter Skincare mini-series, we explore how to make simple changes in your basic skincare steps, the most common skincare issues, treatments to take advantage of and expert recommendations for the colder months.

When exposed to harsh winter temperatures, our skin suffers, becomes dehydrated, sensitive, and damaged. The extreme changes in temperature from indoors to outdoors are also harmful to your skin. Your skin requires care and love throughout the year, with slight variations when the seasons change. However, the basics are the same, and you can keep a minimalist skincare routine.

The fundamental steps, regardless of the seasons, are cleansing, moisturising and protecting your skin with sunscreen (yes, even in winter). During winter, start depigmenting treatments using more powerful ingredients like hydroquinone, chemical peels, or in-office laser procedures, as sun exposure before and after treatments increases the risk of unwanted post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation.

Top 5 Winter Ingredients

Seaweed 

Seaweed is a natural humectant, which pulls moisture from the environment directly into the skin. It also contains vitamin E, a powerful antioxidant that nourishes and protects the skin from external pollutants. In addition, the amino acids in seaweed help your skin become plumper, smooth out fine lines and wrinkles with significant anti-ageing effects.

Check out the Green Angel Seaweed products and choose to incorporate them into your winter routine. For the first step of the skincare routine, use Green Angel's Seaweed Cleansing Lotion, formulated to remove the impurities and makeup gently. Then, follow up with a daily moisturiser with seaweed, jasmine essential oil, neroli and Vitamin E.

Glycerine

Glycerine is beneficial to the skin because it functions as a humectant, enabling it to lock in moisture. Also, it helps with dehydration, relieves dryness sensation and is tolerated perfectly by sensitive or irritated skin. It's also an emollient, meaning it soothes and nourishes the skin to the deepest layers.

You can use glycerine as a moisturiser, but because it is thick, applying glycerine solely on your face may not be the greatest idea as it can clog your pores and cause acne breakouts. Therefore, it should always be diluted, and it is best to buy skincare products containing glycerine rather than glycerine alone.

Jojoba Oil

Jojoba oil is high in antioxidants, including Vitamins A and E and omega-6 fatty acids. It functions as a humectant and emollient, which means it works to keep up skin hydration levels. Its high levels of vitamin E, a powerful antioxidant, help the skin maintain a healthy barrier and fight against free radicals that can cause premature ageing.

Jojoba oil is excellent for dry, itchy skin with redness and patchy areas. Improvements in skin texture, tone, and elasticity and a reduction in the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles have been noticed. To maximise its efficacy and super-hydrate your skin, use a few drops of jojoba oil directly after cleansing, or mix it with your favourite moisturiser.

Aloe Vera

Aloe vera is a well-known ingredient for its skin-healing qualities. It is high in vitamins, minerals, and anti-inflammatory compounds, which help calm skin redness and inflammation. Applying Aloe vera based products regularly alleviate symptoms like dryness, itchiness, or stinging sensation. 

It's perfect for people with sensitive skin that can't tolerate many skincare products or ingredients. While considered safe for most people, some develop an allergic reaction to Aloe vera and therefore, it is better to patch test any product before applying it to your face.

Ceramides

Ceramides assist in reducing water loss and keep the skin barrier strong and healthy. Ceramides are one of my favourite ingredients in winter because they effectively protect and rehydrate dry, itchy, or flaky skin. Ceramides are also great if you have oily skin with acne.

Essential Steps in Your Winter Skincare Routine

Step 1: Cleansing Your Skin

Anything you do needs to start with cleaning your skin from excess sebum, pollution and other impurities. Therefore, use a gentle, fragrance-free cleanser that matches your skin type. You can apply a cleanser that contains salicylic acid or lactic acid once or twice a week if you have combination or oily skin. 

Step 2: Restoring Skin's PH

After cleansing, use a mild hydrating toner to balance the skin's pH. Make sure the toner you use has no alcohol, scent, or essential oils and is light enough so the rest of your products can sink deeply into your skin. 

Step 3: Addressing Specific Concerns

A serum is a concentrated skincare product that addresses a specific issue. You can find a product for any skin problem or concern, such as retinol for anti-ageing, niacinamide for acne, rosacea, and hyaluronic acid for hydration. During the colder months, you can use a brightening serum that also nourishes the skin.

Step 4: Moisturising

Next, use a face cream containing humectants and emollients such as ceramide, glycerine, and hyaluronic acid. A moisturiser not only hydrates the face but also seals in all the good stuff you've applied in the previous steps.

Step 5: Protecting the Skin

Never forget to apply sunscreen. UV rays are strong and active all year round, including on windy, cloudy or snowy days. For example, most of my patients get sunburns when on skiing trips. Read more on how to practice sun safety in our article "What is Sun Protection Factor".

Our skin never stops defending our bodies, but it works extra hard to ensure smoothness and moisture retention in the winter months. In addition, prolonged exposure to cold air causes dry, itchy skin that can lead to excessive dryness, cracks, or eczema. These skin issues can become irritating, and they can have a long-term effect on your skin without adequate care. The following article of the Winter Routine mini-series explores some common face and body skin conditions. Use #DHWinterSkincare on social media for more tips and recommendations.

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