It’s officially winter, which can only mean one thing: we’re all dealing with Winter Face. What is Winter Face? Dehydrated, flaky, dull, dry skin that can just as quickly break out in a rash as it can in an acne flare-up. So what’s the cause of all this upset? Cold weather brings a whole cocktail of elements to wreak havoc on your skin - think cold and icy weather, central heating, hot water showers and harsh winds.
Don't freak out just yet - because we know how to fix it. Here are five easy tips to supercharge your skin care routine these winter months and combat Winter Face for good.
#1 - Use SPF
It may come as a surprise to some, but a good SPF is an integral part of your winter skincare routine. Just because the sun is a little more reclusive, doesn’t mean you can scrimp on the sunscreen. UV rays are present all year round, and wearing sunscreen every single day is the best way to ensure your skin is safe from their ageing effects. Even if you sit inside an office all day, UVA rays can penetrate through windows - so don’t assume you’re safe.
It’s best to use a broad-spectrum sunscreen, with a minimum strength of SPF 30. If your moisturiser or makeup already has some level of SPF, this is an added plus, but don’t assume that this is enough to adequately protect your sensitive skin. If you want to be extra careful, check out products recommended by the British Association of Dermatologists.
#2 - Keep a facial mist on hand
The best way to fight dehydration in cold winter months is by layering as many hydrating products as you can into your skin care routine. But going from icy cold outdoors into homes and offices with radiators on full blast means that flaking and dryness can creep in, despite your best efforts.
One easy trick for a midday boost of hydration? Using a facial mist. Pick up a travel-size facial spray with calming thermal water and minerals to soothe dehydrated, dry skin throughout the day. While you might feel a little silly misting yourself like an orchid in the middle of the office, lean into it - your skin will thank you.
#3 - Be clever with your moisturiser
Once winter comes along, a lot of people try and overcompensate in their skin care routine by using very thick moisturisers. The real trick is to use a combination of moisturising factors for maximum hydration. The aloe vera juice in the Rengernating Collagen Moisturiser helps to fight dehydration, which can exaggerate the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.
In cold months, it’s especially important to use creams that include occlusives and humectants. Humectants work by drawing moisture out of the air and into the skin, for all-day hydration. Humectants also pull water from deeper skin layers up to the surface. Glycerin, aloe vera, urea and hyaluronic acid are all examples of humectants.
While humectants are great moisturisers, depending on the environment they can actually dehydrate the skin. Say you’re all curled up under the blankets at home with the heating on full blast. Central heating pulls moisture out of the air, causing the air to become very dry. Using humectants in a dry environment can actually pull water out of the skin, causing dryness and dehydration. So, you need to couple humectants with occlusive factors.
Occlusives work by creating a physical barrier over the skin to seal in moisture. Occlusives also tend to be thicker formulas - examples include beeswax, mineral oil, petrolatum, olive oil and jojoba oil.
While occlusives are great for dry skin, there is some debate as to whether they are suitable for acne-prone skin. Some say that occlusives can trap excess natural oils and acne-causing bacteria into the skin, which leads to breakouts. However, others say that using occlusives along with acne-fighting treatments - like salicylic acid, benzoyl peroxide and tea tree - can help trap these ingredients in the skin, working more effectively to reduce acne.
If you are acne-prone, stay away from moisturisers with comedogenic occlusives like olive oil. Stick to non-comedogenic options like petrolatum and jojoba oil.
#4 - Embrace antioxidants
Free radicals are caused by a variety of environmental and lifestyle factors, including cigarette smoke, pollution and UV rays. One excellent source of antioxidants are plant extracts, which are brimming with phytonutrients like vitamin C, A and E. The Poko Correcting Eye Cream contains fig extract and raspberry extract, which are rich in vital antioxidants to fight damage and maintain the skin's vitality.
#5 - Try a sleeping mask
You might go to bed with perfectly plump, hydrated skin and wake up hours later looking dull, tight and dehydrated. Like we said earlier, being bundled up under several blankets with the heating on full might be all you want to do anymore, but it’s majorly detrimental for your skin.
One way to combat your skin becoming dehydrated overnight is to invest in a sleeping mask. Sleeping masks are meant to be slowly absorbed into the skin overnight, to nourish skin and prevent dehydration. Lather it on your face a few nights a week as the last step in your routine, and off to bed, you go. You’ll soon be waking up with baby-soft skin that’s still hydrated from your routine the night before.