Winter is here, and so is rain, snow, wind, and a number
of harsh conditions that can seriously affect our skin health and appearance. Cold
weather causes a series of reactions on the skin that you need to counter if
you want to show a radiant and glowing complexion throughout the whole winter.
WINTER SKIN DAMAGE
No matter how many layers of warm clothes you wear from
feet to head. When the temperatures drop, your skin moisture drops with them. Dryness is the most evident consequence of
cold weather on the skin. While high summer temperatures make your skin
produce more oil, cold weather has the opposite effect.
Low temps are accompanied by less humidity outdoors
and dry environments produced by heating and fires indoors. This temperature
fluctuation plus the wind and other outdoor stressors can cause irritation and
inflammation. To al this, we have to add the fact that we drink less water in
winter. The result is poorer skin hydration, that is, dry, flaky, and itchy
On the other hand, skin microcirculation is also
affected by the cold. Under low temperatures, the skin capillaries
constrict in order to reduce the blood flow through the skin. It helps to
maintain the body temperature and the capillaries will go back to normal after
the exposure. Nevertheless, these alterations in skin microcirculation can cause
facial redness, telangiectasia or spider angioma.
The effects of the above-mentioned external stressors plus the friction of clothes against the
skin can eventually damage the hydrolipidic barrier. This hydrolipidic barrier, also
known as the acid mantle, is a layer made of naturally occurring oils and
lipids that are necessary to maintain skin balance and protect it from external
stressors. Disruption of the acid mantle makes the skin
more vulnerable to all the winter stressors, thus falling into a spiral in
which the skin will be less capable of recovering itself from continual
aggression and loss of moisture.
WINTER SKIN CARE
To minimize the effects of winter on the skin and
prevent the characteristic dryness that comes with it, we highly recommend
adapting your skincare routine to the new season. Here you have some tips:
Use a gentle skin cleanser
Try to use a soft skin cleanser with milder surfactants and fewer
fragrances to help to preserve the hydrolipidic barrier that gets thinner and
more fragile in winter. For your hands, cleaning them often with hand sanitizer
nowadays is a must. To reduce the drying effects of alcohol-based sanitizers, moisturize
your hands more often.
Enhance your skin moisture
Reinforce your skin moisture in your
skincare routine. You can use a thicker day cream in winter,
add a moisturizing serum to your regime, or apply a moisturizing mask more often.
The options are endless.
We highly recommend boosting vitamin
C in your skin using INNO-EXFO Bio C once in a while. It will
prepare your skin for the cold season.
Don’t forget to moisturize your lips frequently,
and drink plenty of water!
Humidify the environment
It is a good idea to counteract the air dryness caused by
heating devices by using a humidifier at home. It will make the ambience more
bearable for your skin.
Avoid too hot showers
I know you will hate me for this one,
but a long steamy shower is not good for your skin. Hot water damages the acid
mantle and weakens the skin barrier. It can lead to dry skin or worsen it if
you already have it. Lukewarm water showers are much more advisable.
Apply sunscreen all year round
UVR does not magically disappear in
winter. Keep in mind that solar radiation can damage your skin even on cloudy
days and cause photoaging. For more info on this, check our article: PHOTOAGING: WHY AND HOW SUN EXPOSURE ACCELERATES THE SKIN AGING PROCESS.
Furthermore, the snow reflects the sun rays up to 80 % – a lot more than sand or water at the beach – so use a stronger sunblock if you go to the mountain.