How to Combat the Effect of Winter Stressors on Your Skin
The effects of winter on our skin often leaves us plastering as much cream on as possible. This is not the worst thing if your main concern is dryness or dehydration. However, it is very important to first identify the stressor and skin concern if you want to treat the skin effectively. Here are a few skin concerns and possible causes bellow. Also, listed a few ways to combat them.
Dryness and Dehydration
This is often due to a lack of moisture in the skin cells or lack of oil in the epidermis. Polluted air, insufficient water intake, heaters and prolonged hot showers and baths during winter times all play a role in drying out our skin.
Combat: you can treat dryness and dehydration together or you can treat them separately depending on the concern. It is important to drink enough water. Reduce your shower and bath time and try not to use scolding hot water as this dries out your skin. Use a good anti-oxidant that helps to protect your skin against pollutants. Use a good hydrating serum. The best would be a hyaluronic acid-based serum. A good mask 1-2 times a week is also a good addition.
Sensitivity and redness is a big concern during winter times. As your skin becomes dry and its barrier compromised, your skin can also become red and aggravated as a defence mechanism. This can lead to red vascularities popping up, red and cracking skin, sensitive or sore skin, fine acne like rashes etc.
Combat: you can combat this by using products that protects the barrier function of your skin and that contains actives to keep your skin calm, soothed and hydrated. Also reduce the use of heaters, extremely hot bathes/showers as the heat from this also compromises the barrier of your skin.
Often dry and irritated skin can cause breakouts. Due to the lack of moisture, oily skin types can produce more oil to compensate for this lack of moisture. This in turn can cause build up and blockage in the sebaceous glands.
Combat: it is important to use good nourishing home care that hydrates. Oils need to be avoided as oily skin types produce enough oil but not necessarily enough hydration/water. Serums with actives like hyaluronic acid is usually the best option. Monthly skin peels are also recommended and a scrub 1-2 times a week to help unclog those pores.
Dull and rough complexion
Due to the lack of moisture and sun exposure, our skins become dull and rough. Other contributing factors are the build up of dead and dry skin cells and loss of hydration in the skin.
Combat: use a good antioxidant (Vitamin C) serum. This helps to brighten and restore a lovely glow to the skin. Also use actives that are good resurfacers. Glycolic acids break the bonds of the dry and dead skin cells to help improve the texture. Retinols help to speed up the cell turnover which also prevents excessive dead cell build up.
Heaters, fires, saunas, hot tubs etc. all lead to dehydration in the skin. Some of these also dry out the air that would be more humid in summer times, which also compromises the integrity of your skin’s barrier.
Combat: make use of good nourishing home care and limit excessive use of heaters, fires, saunas, hot tubs etc. This isn’t always possible in winter times as we like to stay warm, but avoid sitting right by the heater and fire, avoid excessively hot baths, showers and saunas for prolonged periods. Also, wash your face with luke warm water, in stead of the hot bath/shower water.
Its safe to say that a hydrating product is always necessary. Whether you are dry, combination or oily, you might also benefit from a good hyaluronic acid-based serum. Contact us to find out more about how we can help you combat these stressors this winter.
Written by Danike Bouwer
©The Aesthetics Centre July 2018