The onset of winter brings dry, crisp air that can be taxing on our skin. As we bundle up in layers and turn up the heat indoors, it’s crucial to adapt our skincare routine to prevent the uncomfortable and often damaging effects of winter weather on our skin’s health.
Understanding Winter Skin Challenges
The Impact of Dry Winter Air
- Susceptibility to Skin Conditions: Dry, cracked, and chapped skin can open the door to infections and conditions like dermatitis, eczema, and psoriasis.
- Need for a Consistent Routine: Maintaining a stable skincare regimen is key to protecting the skin’s barrier against harsh conditions.
Transitional Skincare Needs
- Seasonal Changes: The shift from fall to winter requires a change in our skincare approach to protect against low humidity, wind, and the effects of central heating.
- Healing Summer Damage: Overcoming the residual effects of summer on the skin is the first step towards winter skincare.
Building a Winter Skincare Routine
A beauty expert from Walgreens in Tennessee, Amanda Simons, emphasizes the importance of a personalized and simple skincare routine to keep the skin healthy during winter. Here’s her recommended five-step plan:
Step 1: Cleanse
- Start with a clean slate: Use a gentle cleanser to remove dirt, oil, and makeup without stripping moisture.
Step 2: Apply a Serum
- Tailored Treatments: Choose serums that address your specific skin concerns, like hydrating hyaluronic acid or refining retinol serums.
- Innovative Solutions: Consider serums with Pepticology™ for regenerative effects on a variety of skin types.
Step 3: Moisturize
- Lock in Hydration: Apply moisturizer over the serum, especially after showering, using products like Vichy Mineral 89 or La Roche-Posay Lipikar.
Step 4: Sunscreen is a Must
- Year-Round Protection: Incorporate SPF 30 or higher into your daily routine, even in winter, to guard against UV rays.
Step 5: Extra Moisture with ‘Slugging’
- Seal with an Occlusive: Try “slugging” at night to lock in moisture using products like Walgreens petroleum jelly or CeraVe Healing Ointment.
Common Skincare Mistakes to Avoid
Dr. Sam Bunting, a renowned London-based dermatologist, cautions against common missteps in winter skincare:
Overlooking the Skin Barrier
- Strengthen Before Treating: Repair the skin barrier with a gentle routine before using active ingredients like retinoids.
Inadequate Sun Protection
- Full Coverage Required: Use a separate, generously applied sunscreen to protect against UVA rays, which can penetrate glass and lead to aging.
Choosing the Wrong Lip Care
- Avoid Irritants: Select lip balms free from fragrances and colorants to prevent irritation on sensitive lips.
Avoiding Skincare Faux Pas
Protecting the Skin’s Barrier
Dr. Sam Bunting stresses the importance of repairing the skin barrier post-summer before progressing to treatments that can aggravate sensitivities.
The Truth About Sun Protection
Using makeup with SPF isn’t sufficient in winter. A dedicated layer of sunscreen is necessary to ensure full protection from UVA rays. This is often overlooked but is vital for preventing aging.
Lip Care Done Right
With the tendency towards dry lips in cold weather, choosing a non-irritating lip balm is more important than ever. Fragrance-free and colorant-free options should be a staple in your winter lip care.
Expert Advice for All Skin Types
The advice from Simons and Bunting underlines the need for a skincare routine that’s both protective and proactive. By selecting appropriate cleansers, serums, moisturizers, and sunscreens, you can fend off the negative impacts of winter. Moreover, by understanding and avoiding common mistakes, such as insufficient sun protection and using irritating lip balms, you can ensure that your skin remains resilient and healthy.
For more detailed guidance and product recommendations, consider consulting with a skincare expert or pharmacist. Taking a tailored approach to your skin’s needs can make all the difference in maintaining its health through the winter months.
Read more about winter skincare routines and tips on Insider.