Whether you’re going on holiday to somewhere with a cold climate or the temperature has dropped at home, you’ll need to adjust your winter skincare routine accordingly. After all, the chilly weather, dry air and changing weather conditions can seriously affect the look and feel of your skin.
Why You Need a Winter Skincare Routine
Let’s face it, the outdoor environment can make your skin feel dry, chapped and in need of TLC in winter. But did you know that your indoor environment can upset your winter skincare routine too? Hot baths, showers, central heating and big changes in temperature can all leave your skin feeling dry, flaky and red. Not cool.
Even oily skin can get dried out in winter thanks to the lack of sun leaving our skin with a dull and tired appearance. Then this starts to impact how well our makeup goes on and how we feel when we look in the mirror every day.
Sound familiar? Not to worry — switching up to a more nourishing, intentional skincare routine can make all the difference.
The Winter Skincare Routine Recommended by Experts
Along with some skincare experts, I’m here to help you get your glow back, whatever your skin type and wherever you are in the world. Here’s what happens to skin in cold weather and the top winter skin routine recommendations to help your skin to look and feel its best going forwards.
Use Nourishing and Hydrating Skincare Products
Sonia Bainbridge, natural beauty and wellness expert and co-founder Of Raw Beauty Lab, says: “The main aim of your skincare products in winter should be to keep your skin hydrated.
Use a thicker moisturiser filled with ceramides and spend a couple minutes rubbing it into your skin. Not only will this help warm your skin up and increase circulation, but it’ll help the moisturiser penetrate deeper into your skin.”
Also, if you haven’t already, Sonia recommends introducing a hyaluronic acid serum into your winter skincare routine: “Hyaluronic acid essentially works as a moisture magnet, helping your skin absorb as much moisture as possible. Apply your serum to wet or damp skin and then follow with your favourite moisturiser to stop your skin drying out through the day!”
The winter season can generally give our skin a dull, lifeless look that’s almost grey in colour. To bring back your skin’s natural glow, skincare expert Hollie Simpson from Our Skin Academy suggests adding antioxidants into your winter skincare routine.
“Antioxidants are key for maintaining healthy skin. They help the skin barrier to repair itself and protect and fight free radicals.”
She also recommends using ingredients such as vitamin C, which is known for its skin-brightening properties. “Serums, moisturisers and cleansers that add vitamin C into your routine will keep skin hydrated, boosted and protected.”
Supplement Your Skincare Routine
A healthy, balanced diet is key to great skin all year round, but sometimes we need a little extra help. This is even more important in winter where there’s less sun and we spend less time outdoors in the fresh air.
Piroska Cavell, medical director of Clinic Sese, suggests taking supplements to nurture skin in winter. “My top tips to combat the effects of winter on your skin start from the inside out. If your diet is not brilliantly balanced, your skin can reflect this and that’s why supplements can be incredibly beneficial.”
In terms of which supplements to take, Piroska tells us that “glutathione is a master antioxidant and skin brightener, whereas vitamin C and B12 help to boost energy and the immune system.” When taken orally, vitamin C can even repair skin from damage.
Then there’s good old vitamin D too, which many Brits are deficient in thanks to our rainy weather the majority of the year round. This tends to affect your mood as well as your skin, so it couldn’t hurt to supplement with vitamin D daily to start noticing results.
Cleanse and Exfoliate Gently To Avoid Flakes
Deborah Mitchell, the creator of Heaven Skincare, says there’s another way to avoid dry, flaky skin in winter: be mindful of your cleanser and exfoliator.
“When it comes to cleansers, it’s certainly not a case of one-size-fits-all. In fact, swapping a foam for a more gentle cream to avoid stripping the skin of its essential moisture. When washing your face don’t use hot water. Instead, make sure it’s lukewarm so it doesn’t irritate skin and pat dry with a soft towel.”
Then there’s the little matter of exfoliation. Some beauty mavens may choose to shy away from this, thinking that it does more harm than good for dehydrated skin. However, Deborah says it’s important to include a regular exfoliation in your daily routine.
“Gentle exfoliation can remove the build-up of dead skin cells, protect the skin’s natural protective barrier and help banish dullness and flakes.”
Add in a Facial Oil
Lastly, Sonia suggests using facial oil to your winter skincare routine. The idea is “to really pack in the hydration, given that facial oils are essentially an occlusive and stop water or moisture from escaping from your skin.”
The truth is, the air can become very dry in winter at night, but adding a facial oil as the final step in your nighttime skin routine will stop trans epidermal water loss. This is otherwise known as water loss from the dermal layers of your skin.
Sonia adds: “Facial oil will keep your skin nourished all night. You may end up looking like a glazed doughnut when you go to bed, but trust me, your skin will be super soft and hydrated the next morning!”
Should You Update Your Winter Skincare Routine?
Based on the recommendations of these skincare experts, updating your skincare routine when the colder weather arrives is a no-brainer. As well as adding a much-needed glow and stopping flakes, it can help your skin to feel healthier and more balanced.
Not to mention, taking care of your skin is the perfect way to give yourself a little me-time and adopt some self-care into your day. Updating your winter skincare routine can go way further than just skin deep.