Winter skincare: survive the chill with sk:n
There’s no doubt the colder weather can affect our skin – and not for the better. Central heating dries it out, scarves suffocate it and harsh weather irritates it, leaving us with dry, angry and flaky skin. But with a little bit of TLC (and ok, some expert help) it’s easy to banish the dull and dry look.
With guidance from sk:n’s Group Medical Director Dr Daron Seukeran, we share our top tips for combatting winter skin woes:
Gently exfoliating once or twice a week to remove a build-up of dead skin cells, makeup and oils, will reveal a fresher complexion and help your skin to better absorb topical products. And did you know it also helps minimise the appearance of pores? But exfoliation only works if you actually do it. Throw away those out-of-date scrubs sitting virtually untouched in your bathroom cabinet and try DermaQuest’s Algae Polishing Scrub. Wondering why you should be putting pond scum on your face? Algae has natural anti-inflammatory properties, helping to soothe redness and irritation caused by cold weather. That’s why.
If scrubs aren’t really your thing, try a gentle exfoliating cleanser, like sk:n 200ml Facial Exfoliating Cleanser All Skin Types, instead.
CHANGE YOUR MOISTURISER
You wouldn’t don your bikini in the winter and your thermals in the summer, so you should really be using seasonally appropriate skincare products, too. Look for moisturisers that support your natural skin barrier and contain hyaluronic acid, such as SkinCeuticals 30ml Hydrating B5 Gel, or DermaQuest Essential Moisturizer 2oz, as it holds onto moisture, helping to prevent skin from drying out. If you’re flaky, opt for a heavier, rich-textured moisturiser as we head into winter. And PLEASE, resist the temptation to pick at dry crusty patches - when has that ever ended well for you?
You’re unlikely to need the oil-fighting ingredients you used in summer, so choose hydration-boosters instead. If the mere mention of ‘natural oils’ brings you out in spots though, try a tailored product like sk:n Hydrator for Oily/Blemish-Prone Skin. And don’t neglect the rest of your body. What good is a glowing face if you’ve got legs like a lizard? sk:n Calming Body Lotion is a must have for all-over hydration this winter and is great for soothing chapped skin.
To keep your skin looking fresh, healthy and evenly toned, wear an SPF every day. Even in the winter months, UV rays are still harmful and can cause hyperpigmentation, wrinkles and skin cancer. If you’re heading to the slopes this ski season, avoid the panda-eye look with a good quality sunscreen, like sk:n Sunscreen SPF 30, for nourishing protection. If the damage is already done, don’t despair: invest in some sk:n Advanced lightening and brightening cream to effectively lift and fade dark spots and pigmentation caused by sun damage.
TURN DOWN THE HEAT
A hot shower on a cold winter’s morning may sound heavenly, but think twice before reaching for the thermostat. Very hot water strips the skin of essential oils, creates a mild burn and leads to dehydration and flakiness. This also applies when washing your hands, so avoid cracked knuckles by keeping a heavy-duty hand cream with you on the go - and refusing to do the washing-up. Ever.
Beyond self-help? Call in the experts
Sometimes, even with every last ounce of skincare-related enthusiasm you can muster in front of the bathroom mirror, your complexion is simply beyond the reach of a decent moisturiser and exfoliator. But don’t despair: sk:n’s Dr Daron Seukeran recommends these three professional treatments for when it’s time to bring in the heavies:
- Microdermabrasion: using special microcrystals, this treatment disrupts unwanted tired skin cells to unveil fresh cells underneath.
- Glycolic Acid Peel: a great way to exfoliate dull, discoloured skin and stimulate cell regeneration and collagen production. Your moisturiser will work better after, too.
- HydraFacial: a multi-step treatment that cleanses, exfoliates and extracts impurities. With added antioxidants and peptides to combat dullness, for an enviable winter glow.