We all know that the winter can be harsh to our skin. The cold, low humidity weather can really dry out your skin, not to mention wearing masks all the time!
Making sure you protect your skin during the winter months will make sure that the skin barrier is kept healthy and you're not faced with any major skincare concerns.
How is the climate different in the winter, and how does it affect our skin?
It's obvious that in the northern hemisphere it gets colder in the winter months - but that's not the only concern our skin faces.
Because of the low temperatures, the humidity (amount of water in the air) drastically decreases. This means that there are fewer water molecules in the air, which causes water to be drawn out through the skin into the environmental at a faster rate. This is what we call trans-epidermal water loss.
We can prevent trans-epidermal water loss through the use of natural hydrating factors.
Humectants are molecules which help retain water on the surface and in the epidermal cells by drawing moisture from the environment and deeper layers of the skin. This results in water being stored in the outer layers of the skin, keeping it hydrated and healthy.
Some examples of humectants include hyaluronic acid, glycerin and lecithin.
Most likely, you will be sat in a nice warm place whilst the temperature drops outside, which is lovely - but did you know that the air pollution inside the house is considerably higher than outside? (Apart from London, stay inside kids).
Your skin is a living and breathing organ, and air pollution (such as dust) can clog your pores.
I would advise you take a daily stroll if you can, and ventilate your living quarters as much as possible. In the summer we are so used to having the windows wide open, which allows fresh air to freely flow into our homes - but this is rarely the case in the winter.
You should use a lighter cleanser during the winter to retain some natural oils which will help build up the skin barrier and prevent your skin from drying out.
You can exfoliate just as frequently as you would during the summer, cell turnover will not change.
Particularly in the colder months, make sure to use hyaluronic acid serums/essences to retain moisture in the skin.
During the winter, it is imperative that we use a slight heavier moisturiser than usual. The added oil in our creams will keep our skin moisturised as it's more prone to drying out in the winter.
You can use moisturisers with added benefits such as glycerin which will retain water in the skin.
It is very important that we use sunscreen even in the winter, even if we are staying indoors.
Additionally, wearing lip balm can really help prevent our lips from drying and cracking up, important for that New Year's Eve kiss. Lip balms with vaseline and lecithin (lecithin is not vegan) are great at creating an occlusive film over the lips and trapping water in the skin.