It’s hard to believe we are already well into autumn and winter is right on our heels! Although not without its challenges, winter is a glorious season and in nature is an important time of growth and regeneration. But winter can be harsh for us humans and often takes its toll on our skin, so it’s a good idea to prepare your skin in advance of the colder months to allow time to adjust and transition as the temperature starts to drop.
So, what happens to our skin in winter? Interestingly, as much as winter can bring plenty of rain, our skin tends to lose moisture during the colder months. There’s less humidity, which can dehydrate our skin, colder temps mean reduced blood flow, hot showers and baths can strip our skin of its natural oils leading to dryness and irritation, same with the biting winter winds, and even our indoor heating can cause dryness. All in all, there’s a lot of environmental things happening in winter that can have an impact.
But this doesn’t need to be cause for concern because there are plenty of things we can do to get our skin ready for winter. And in our eyes, it’s a great excuse for some self-care!
Hydrate from the inside to combat dryness
As kids, we had always been told us to drink eight glasses of water a day, and actually, that’s about right. Sadly, the average adult doesn’t drink anywhere near eight glasses a day and aside from the physical and mental performance impacts of dehydration, there’s also a toll on our skin.
So, keep up the water intake, always, but especially in winter. Add some lemon slices (or other fruits) if you find the flavour a little bland. Herbal teas like jasmine, green, rooibos, and chamomile are also great for your skin, but nothing beats pure water – it has everything your body needs and nothing it doesn’t. And be just aware that alcohol will dehydrate you.
Bathe your skin in moisture to keep it feeling soft and supple
We recommend adding additional hydration to your skincare regime. What this looks like will differ from person to person, but could be a heavier moisturiser, adding a face oil, using hydrating masks, or a combination of these things. If your skin tends to get very dry in winter, you may also want to consider using a gentle cleanser to prevent stripping your skin of its much-needed natural oils.
Look for skincare products that contain some of our favourite winter skincare herbs:
- Ginkgo: not only a powerful antioxidant, but also improves circulation by dilating blood vessels.
- Gotu kola: has remarkable anti-ageing qualities, is wonderful for firming, helps increase collagen production, and fortifies skin health.
- Echinacea: provides hydration and boosts natural moisturising, protects the outer skin layers to lock in moisture, brightens and boosts collagen production.
Our Winter Hydration Kits are a great place to start and will work with different skin types (which we talk about a little later), but if in doubt, please reach out and ask us for advice.
Also, don’t neglect your lips. Your water intake will help with dry and cracked lips but a natural lip balm will seal in the moisture and keep the dry air out. Plus, your lippie will look much nicer on smooth, well moisturised lips!
Don’t forget to give the rest of your body some love too
It’s easy to remember to moisturise our bodies in summer because we’re wearing less clothing and want to look our best. But in winter we are wrapped up and it’s easy to overlook the parts that aren’t on display. However, our bodies still need some TLC in winter so make sure you are using a good body moisturiser all over – not just arms and legs, but also hands, torso, neck, and even your butt! Your skin will look and feel much more supple, it will itch less, and you’ll feel more comfortable underneath heavier clothing. Do it straight after your shower or bath to seal in all that lovely hydration (and before you cover yourself up!).
Boost your mood to boost your skin
The shorter days and less exposure to sunlight in winter can affect our moods, and unbeknownst to many, your mood can affect your skin. There’s often a chemical response to emotions that can weaken skin cells, interrupt collagen production, and result in physical changes. We’ll talk more on mood boosting for winter next month, but for now you could prepare your environment with beautiful, natural mood boosting resources such as essential oils like ylang ylang, clary sage, lavender, chamomile, and jasmine, or crystals such as citrine, selenite, black obsidian, amethyst, and rose quartz.
Does winter affect different skin types differently?
While winter affects all skin types, the short answer is that everyone’s skin is different it does affect different skin types in different ways. Here’s a quick overview:
- Dry skin: prone to becoming even drier during the winter months due to the drop in humidity. This can cause skin to feel tight, itchy, and flaky.
- Oily skin: may produce less oil during the winter leading to a decrease in shine. However, cold temperatures can cause the skin to produce more sebum, which can lead to breakouts.
- Combination skin: may experience dryness in some areas and oiliness in others during the winter months. This can be challenging to manage since different areas of the face may require different types of moisturisation.
- Sensitive skin: may become more irritated during the winter months due to cold, dry air and harsh winds. Additionally, certain fabrics, such as wool, can exacerbate sensitivity and lead to rashes.
Regardless of your skin type however, all skin types show signs of ageing and fine lines and wrinkles may become more prominent during winter if hydration is not increased. So, if you take one thing away from this post today, it is hydrate, hydrate, hydrate – inside and out!! And, if you need help with getting your skin ready for winter, drop us a note anytime.