Our guide to switching up your winter skin care routine
The Daffodils are starting to make an appearance and the evenings are getting lighter – this can mean only one thing – Spring is on its way!
However, before we get too ahead of ourselves, it’s important to remember that a change in season should mean a change in skincare routine, too.
To ensure a fresh and dewy look this spring, Dr Shaaira Nasir, Consultant Dermatologist at sk:n, reveals her secrets to help protect your skin from dryness, sun damage and premature ageing.
First things first – get your skin prepared
With the warmer weather coming in, we’re likely to go outside more. Being outside means your skin will collect additional dirt throughout the day so even if you forgo make-up in the warmer months your skin still needs a good clean in the evening.
I would also recommend exfoliating once or twice a week. This will not only keep your pores in top tip condition but will also remove the dead skin cells that can prevent your skin from getting a uniform glow. Exfoliating washes or creams containing salicylic acid (which is a beta-hydroxy acid) are best for oily skin types.
For drier skin types, chemical exfoliation containing alpha-hydroxy acids such as lactic or glycolic acid are best. SkinCeuticals Glycolic Renewal Cleanser is a gentle daily exfoliator that visibly clears and brightens the complexion, making it perfect for dull or discoloured skin.
At sk:n, we offer a variety of industry leading Skin Peels that involve applying a non-toxic chemical solution to the skin that removes the top layer of dead skin cells and encourages new ones to grow, revealing the softer, smoother skin beneath. The perfect spring clean for your skin.
Secondly – up the moisture
Seasonal changes such as increased exposure to sunlight can have a drying effect on the skin. Moisturising after exposure will give your skin the hydration it needs to repair itself. It’s best to opt for a light moisturiser in the daytime and a thicker, more hydrating one for the night-time.
Don’t forget the neck and décolletage when applying as this area of the skin is thinner, therefore particularly susceptible to wrinkles. As a bonus tip, apply moisturiser as soon as you’re out of the bath or shower, whilst your skin is still damp. That way you’ll lock in extra moisture!
I’ll be using the sk:n CU3 Intensive Moisture Cream. Not only does it moisturise, it has anti-ageing properties too. It contains copper peptides which helps with elastin and collagen production.
Number three – keeping using retinol, with care
Retinoids such as retinol are great collagen inducers which help to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. They also help to even-out irregular pigmentation caused by sun damage. It is actually a myth that you can’t use a retinoid during the warmer months.
While true that skin becomes more photosensitive due to the exfoliation and removal of dead skin cells, provided you use retinol by night and sunscreen during the day you can both protect your skin and repair it at the same time.
Tip four – make SPF your best friend
As soon as the sun appears many of us will want to ditch the thought of SPF to top up our tans. But it’s essential that you wear protection. UVB rays cause sunburn and UVA rays can lead to premature ageing with both also contributing to skin cancer, so it’s important that you wear a sunscreen which contains protection against both.
You should always apply SPF after your moisturiser and before any foundation or make-up, while remembering to reapply regularly throughout the day. Although helpful, make-up with SPF should not be used as a substitute for sunscreen. This is because it’s more likely to be removed by water or rubbing and we tend to apply it a lot more thinly than sunscreen.
In terms of your routine skincare products, it is best to go for fragrance-free products as fragrances can irritate your skin, and always choose the right product for your skin-type:
- For those with a normal skin type you may find selecting a moisturiser with SPF 30 gives you the protection you need without being too heavy on your skin.
- If you suffer with dryer skin, opt for a separate moisturiser and SPF to give your skin the hydration you need.
- If you have acne-prone oily skin, then go for oil-free gel.
- Remember, if you’re fair or prone to burning you should always use SPF 50.
Finally – Look after sun damaged skin
Whilst sun damage can occur all year round, as we move into spring it can intensify so be mindful of protecting yourself even if the sun does not feel hot on your skin. Regardless of whether you look burnt – if your skin has become dry, or feels warm to the touch, chances are it needs a little TLC at the end of the day.
Take a cooling shower and cover yourself in a soothing body lotion while your skin is still damp. There are many natural skin-loving ingredients that can help soothe sun-damaged skin. Aloe vera has moisturising and cooling properties which are particularly comforting for sunburnt skin, or dry, flaking skin caused by sun exposure.
This spring, my go to product will be Avène Skin Recovery Cream. It has a minimum number of ingredients, therefore is gentle on the skin and contains Parcerine which calms irritation and redness.
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