We hate to say it, but winter is coming. That means your skincare routine needs changing. To cope with the cold, dry air, many of us need to make small changes to how we look after our skin. If you have dry or sensitive skin, it’s especially important to reconsider your skincare routine so that it’s better suited to cope with winter weather – this might mean changing habits or buying winter skincare products to help you deal with specific skin problems.
Everyone’s skincare routine and needs are different, so there’s no way we can claim to reveal the perfect winter skincare routine – but we can give you plenty of snippets of advice that you can apply to your current routine.
DO re-do patch tests
We all know that it’s wise to carry out patch tests when using new skincare products for the first time. However, if you’ve used a product during the summer months, took a break from and it and now want to try it out again, be careful. Our skin is drier and weaker in the winter, and you may find that certain skincare products have an adverse effect on your skin during this time – particularly harsher products such as chemical peels and hair removal creams. Carry out a patch test for each product if you’re trying them out again for winter, or else you could be in for some nasty reactions.
DON’T take long, hot showers or baths
Before you close this article in sheer disbelief at the above sentence, give us a chance to explain. Long, hot showers or baths may be moments of sheer bliss in winter, but they don’t help your skin. That 20-minute shower you treat yourself to every winter weekend will strip the oils from your skin – hardly ideal when the winter weather is already drying it out.
DO moisturise after showering
To prevent your skin from drying out, try to moisturise soon after your shower or bath. Depending on the moisturiser you use, you should even try to apply the product while your skin is still slightly wet. If you can’t live without your hot showers, moisturising immediately afterwards gives you the best chance to keep your skin moist. Remember not to scrub at your skin with a towel to dry it– pat it gently instead.
DON’T neglect sunscreen
Winter days may be short, dull and cloudy, but you should still apply sunscreen each day. As you may know, the ozone layer only protects us from some forms of radiation. Some UVB and all UVA radiation slips through. UVB radiation is what gives us sunburn, while UVA radiation penetrates further into the skin and causes longer-term skin problems, including premature skin aging. UVA radiation isn’t entirely blocked out by clouds, so if you want to protect your skin you should still apply sunscreen – even in winter!
DO consider switching moisturiser
Winter moisturisers tend to be heavier and richer than your average moisturiser. Avoid moisturisers with ingredients that are likely to irritate your skin (essential oils, menthol, sodium lauryl sulphate etc.). Any irritation will exacerbate any problems your dry or sensitive skin already has. For additional moisture, look for products containing argan oil, mineral oil or petroleum oil. It may take you some time to find the right products for your skin, but don’t give up!
Dry, dull winter skin can be easily improved by following these top tips. The usual skincare tips also apply – get more sleep and drink more water. If you’re lacking in winter skincare products, head to our catalogue to grab some and don’t forget to check out our latest offers while you’re there.