Winter isn’t always kind on skin. The drop in humidity combined with icy winds and the effects of indoor heating can leave skin dry and flaky. And while you might be tempted to just suffer through, with the promise of brighter days – and skin – with spring’s arrival, there are ways to maintain the glow and feel radiant.
The primary cause of dry dull skin in winter is a lack of moisture. So taking care to both reduce the amount of moisture-loss while ramping up the hydration is key.
Treat yourself at home
If you’re spending a night in on the couch watching Netflix, you might as well make double use of that time by giving yourself an intensive at-home beauty treatment.
Give your feet a soak in a warm bath, gently slough off the dead skin, then slather in a thick moisturiser and pop on a pair of cotton socks. Give your hands the same treatment, soaking them up to the elbows in a cleansing bath then gently exfoliating before added on a rich hand and nail cream.
Finally, apply a deeply cleansing mask to your face then follow up with an infusing mask, and a layer of rich moisturiser.
Sweat it out
While exercise might be the last thing on your mind in winter, a good sweat-sesh can have positive benefits on your skin. Sweating opens up the pores in your skin, allowing impurities to come to the surface. Sweat also protects your skin from bacteria like E. coli and Staphylococcus aureus by secreting an antibiotic called Dermcidin. Get yourself down to a hot yoga session and beat the cold while getting your sweat on.
Get the good fats
Healthy fats can be deeply moisturising for your skin when fed from the inside-out. In winter especially it’s important to dose up on foods containing nutrient rich Omega-3, which can have anti-inflammatory and healing qualities. Likewise, healthy fats can help your body absorb vitamins A, C and E, which are vital for combating the effects of aging and giving you radiant skin. Get your daily dose from fatty fish and oily nuts.
Winter can be harsh on your skin. Between the low humidity, icy winds (thanks Melbourne) and indoor heating, the season is full of triggers for a dry and flaky complexion. But, while there’s not much you can do about the weather, there are ways to improve your skin.
Winter’s low humidity zaps moisture from your skin, leaving it dry, dull and more sensitive than normal. To combat these issues, you should keep your skin hydrated and healthy.
Try swapping your lightweight summer moisturiser for a richer formula. A nourishing cream-based moisturiser containing antioxidants and vitamins A, C and E will work perfectly. Just massage it into your skin after gently cleansing to boost hydration levels and help soothe dry skin.
Lifestyle factors can also affect your skin. By implementing simple changes, such as swapping your usual coffee for antioxidant-rich green tea, you can help keep your complexion hydrated from the inside out.
Boost Healing with Vitamin Therapy
If you’re using a rich, hydrating cream and are still experiencing excessively dry skin, don’t throw it away just yet. While it may seem like your moisturiser isn’t working, there may be another explanation.
Your skin acts as a protective barrier, meaning that while your moisturiser and creams are being absorbed, their active ingredients may be unable to penetrate to the dermal layers below. Thankfully, ultrasound therapy treatments, such as Vitamin Infusions, use sound waves to help deliver nourishing and beneficial ingredients deeper into the skin.
Don’t Over Exfoliate
Although it may be tempting to exfoliate away all that dry, flaky skin, you should resist. In winter, over exfoliation can be the enemy of fresh, radiant skin. In fact, it can actually leave your skin drier than before.
The solution is to reduce exfoliation and increase hydration. If, after doing this, you’re still having issues, try opting for a gentle method of exfoliation that works on a deeper level, such as Microdermabrasion, which removes dead cells without aggravating your skin.
Avoid Hot Showers
A hot, steamy shower may feel fantastic on a cold day. But, it can also be bad for your skin, especially if your skin is already dehydrated from the harsh winter conditions. By stripping away your skin’s natural protective layer, long and frequent hot showers can increase moisture loss, resulting in dryness, flaking, and irritation.
To show your skin some TLC this season, try turning down the heat in the shower to a lukewarm temperature. Also, avoid unnecessarily long showers and washing when you don’t need to. If you insist on having a hot shower, keep your face out of the water flow. And, no matter what temperature your shower is, remember to moisturise afterwards to lock in hydration.
Try a Laser Facial
Winter makes the perfect time to book in for a laser facial. The treatment, which uses photoacoustic technology to stimulate collagen production, can work wonders on a tired winter complexion. It can also treat specific skin concerns, such as fine lines, wrinkles, enlarged pores, uneven skin tone, congestion, acne, and scarring.
The pre- and post-care requirements for a laser facial also make it ideal for winter. Specifically, the requirement that sun exposure must be avoided for two to four weeks prior to treatment and two weeks after treatment make it much more ideal for winter than summer.
Additionally, a laser facial can easily be teamed with microdermabrasion and vitamin infusion (two other fantastic winter treatments) for superior results.
Remember Sun Protection
It may be winter, but that doesn’t mean you can forget about shielding your skin from the sun. While there is less UVB around, the levels of UVA are still strong enough to age your skin. So, you may not have to worry about getting burnt, but you should be aware of fine lines and wrinkles. To protect your skin from the sun’s ageing effects in winter, be sure to wear sunscreen, even when it’s cloudy.
Prepare your base
The key to smooth, flawless makeup is of course preparation and that starts with your daily skincare routine. Cleanse, moisturise and treat your skin daily and include regular exfoliation to remove dead skin cells.
But be wary of over-exfoliation during winter – this can make the problem worse, especially if you’re using a harsh scrub. Instead, use a chemical exfoliant once or twice a week and dial up the moisture to protect your skin. If you’re really concerned about what products to use, it might be worth a chat with an aesthetician who can recommend a cosmeceutical range. Products like Aspect Dr, Environ and Cosmedix have been clinically formulated to treat specific skin concerns without harsh additives that could stress your skin further.
Get the perfect winter complexion
By this time of the year, your summer tan is but a distant memory and so your skin appears much lighter. In addition, the filtered daylight casts a paler light on your skin, making it look dull and washed out. You can counteract this problem by switching to a lighter shade of foundation or powder and topping it up with a bit of shine.
To combat dry skin, look for a foundation that contains moisturiser. Otherwise, you can mix your regular foundation with a bit of moisturiser for an added boost.
Primer is especially important for winter skin as it will create a solid base for your foundation to sit on – essential if your skin is dry and just wants to suck up everything you apply on top. Apply it after you’ve moisturised and before you apply foundation or powder. Some primers can even be worn on their own if you like the no-makeup-look but want a little coverage on top of your clean skin.
For light colour correction, add a BB cream or CC cream into your makeup bag. These multi-purpose wonders even out your complexion, moisturise, prime and provide some SPF benefits (although we recommend using a separate SPF for maximum coverage).
Colour it in
Avoid the vampire-that’s-spent-too-long-in-the-coffin look by brushing a light bronzer across your cheeks, forehead, nose and chin. If redness is an issue, avoid pink-based bronzers in favour of gold, brown or berry undertones (berry works particular well for dark-skin), but don’t go more than two shades darker than your skin tone.
For cheeks, cream blusher will lift your colour and provide a long-lasting, rosy glow, even when it’s wet and windy outside. Just gently dab colour onto the apple of your cheeks. If you’re not sure where to apply, just smile broadly with your mouth closed and add blusher to the roundest parts.
While we’re talking colour, when it comes to eyes you can go a bit darker and dramatic in winter – browns, taupes, berry shades and a hint of metallic all look gorgeous. Of course, there’s no reason why you can’t incorporate summer shades into your winter look (think orange, blue and pink). It’s all about what you love, after all.
Primp your pout
Winter can be particularly harsh on your lips. Prep them by using an old toothbrush to gently massage away dead skin cells. Then use an ultra-moisturising lip balm to keep them looking lickably-lush.
A dramatically dark lipstick is the perfect complement to fair winter skin. Plums, berry and deep reds will give you an air of elegance and mystique, even when wrapped boot-to-chin in warm winter woolies.
MySkin Clinics provides expert skincare treatments to help you look your very best, whatever the season. Call your nearest clinic today to book your complimentary appointment.