Winter Skin: What The Weather Is Doing To Your Face And How To Stop It
The Debrief: Suddenly feel like you look 20 years older? Blame the weather
It’s dark by 4pm, most days there’s a 96% chance of rain and temperatures over 10 degrees are a pipe dream. Everyone say hello to Winter. It’s not surprising that our faces start to look a little worse for wear – grey complexion, crinkly skin, blotchy face, all the best stuff – when we’re battling these kind of elements.
As you get your umbrella out for the 16th time, it’s hard to believe that the air is drier in the winter. Except, it is. ‘It’s windy, it’s cold and the central heating is dehydrating the skin,’ Alicia Falero, Head of Education at Gazelli explains to me, ‘Your skin loses approximately 0.4 litres of water every day.’
The constant cycle of dry air, cold wind and the central heating (if you’ve succumbed to it) takes its toll on your face. Here’s all the ways it seems to freak out, and how to deal with it.
When you start looking like the weather – in other words, dull and grey – you know it’s bad. ‘This is down to dead skin cells building up. Increase your exfoliation to twice a week, or more if you have dry skin.’ Alicia recommends.
Look out for products that contain AHAs and BHAs; these are chemical exfoliants that will help get rid of that dull layer and expose the new, and brighter, cells underneath. The Gazelli Illuminating Perfecting Skin Polish, £35 for 75ml, contains tiny grains of rice powder as well as AHAs so it acts as a dual exfoliator.
Other good’uns are the Pixi's Glow Tonic, £18 for 250ml and Alpha-H Liquid Gold, £32 for 100ml, both of which I’ve spoken about before, but there’s loads out there so look for something that suits you best.
Again, the elements are to blame for this and moisture (from using products like the aforementioned) is key. ‘Don’t rule out SPF even though it’s winter, because it protects from the wind or if you’re in the snow,’ says Alicia. Plus, if you’re exfoliating you still need to apply SPF daily because it increases UV sensitivity. Here’s some good options.
If it feels irritated, make sure you’re using a moisturiser that’s for sensitive skin (like the ones mentioned before) and a face mist like the Avene Thermal Water Spray, £10 for 300ml.
Dry, Crepey Skin
If after cleansing your skin feels tights, it’s probably dehydrated and dehydration is probably why you suddenly look like you’ve aged 15 years, too. ‘When your skin gets dehydrated you get these criss-cross effect lines on your skin - especially on your cheeks and forehead. Over time, if you’re not addressing the hydration, these fine lines can become permanent and deepen,’ Alicia explains.
There’s loads of ways to introduce more moisture into your skincare routine. Using a balm or oil to take off your make-up will help retain moisture and won’t strip the skin. The Superfacialist Vitamin C Skin Renew Cleansing Oil, £10.99 for 200ml, is really nice as is Clinique’s Take The Day Off Cleansing Balm, £22 for 125ml.
A good moisturiser is really important too. ‘Look out for water binding ingredients such as your sodium hydrates, your glycerin, your ceramides and your omegas,’ Alicia recommends because they’ll help your skin to retain moisture.
The Eau Thermale Evene Hydrance Optimale Rich, £13.50 for 40ml, and La Roche Posay Hydreane Riche, £14.50 for 40ml are super hydrating and gentle on sensitive skin. Whilst Indeed Labs Hydraluron Moisture Boosting Facial Serum, £24.99 for 30ml, is a great source of hyaluronic acid.
It’s a good idea to include an oil like Pai’s Rosehip Bioregenerate Oil, £22 for 30ml as well because it’s full of anti-oxidants and omegas to keep the skin nourished. ‘For me it’s anti-oxidants, anti-oxidant, anti-oxidants. They basically protect and repair the skin,’ explains Alicia.
Keep a facial mist like the Pixi Hydrating Milky Mist, £18 for 80ml, on your desk to give your skin a drink every now and again. It’s full of Alicia’s winter hero ingredients like hyaluronic acid and glycerin.
Introducing masks into your routine is another good and easy way to boost moisture. The Origins Drink Up Intensive Mask, £23 for 100ml, is well know for it's hydrating effect and I love using the Too Cool For School Pumpkin Sleeping Pack, £18.79 for 100ml, as the last step in my routine because it locks in all the goodness that’s already on your face.
Oh, and don’t forget that’s important to hydrate skin from the inside as well. ‘Put vitamin C, like a slice of lemon, in your water. This will help your body to absorb the water more effectively,’ Alicia explains. Who knew?
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