Why Does Our Skin Suffer in Winter?

Tis winter of course! Chaos for complexions everywhere. For our skins it’s like living in a fridge. Picture this, make a sandwich from beautiful fresh bread, place it in the fridge without cling-wrap. After 2-3 hrs what you are left with is a dry crusty piece of bread, the cold air and low humidity has literally pulled the moisture out. Put on the cling wrap and it lasts for days.

Hold on to that thought as I explain…

Our skin has its own natural clingwrap, it’s called the acid mantle: a mixture of oils, free fatty acids, sweat (water) and bacteria that is excreted from your pores, sweat glands and hair follicles and it sits just above the top of your skin.

This super blend is your first line of defence and protection especially during the winter months and is vitally important to the way the skin functions. Happy acid mantle, happy healthy skin.

The drying effects of a wintery lifestyle

Cold weather and low humidity levels leave our skin feeling tight and dry as the dry air saps the moisture from it. Not only on our faces but on our hands, and other parts or our body. If you are prone to eczema you will find that this will tend to flare up during the colder months.

Add in the heat pumps in our offices and the central heating in our homes, and we’re essentially fanning dry warm air on our skin. Drier and drier!

If  you work out doors, you’re likely going from hot to cold , cold to hot. Most likely you’ll see broken veins and redness due to capillaries in the face to expand quickly.

If this sounds like you, you’re possibly thinking, have I lost the battle against the elements? Thankfully there are ways our skin can survive and thrive over Winter.

Top Winter Skin Care Tips

  • Don’t put your face under a hot shower. Tempting on a cold day. Turn the water down. The hot water melts or strips off the acid mantle (your cling wrap) . Take it away and you’ll get squeaky dry tight skin. If your skin feels like that its dehydrated. 
  • Keep on top of your skincare routine and tweak if necessary. If your skin gets especially dry you may have to change your cleanser. Foaming cleansers have a stripping action so not good on unhappy dry skins. Maybe only cleanse in the evening if you have skin problems. Wash your face with warm water in the morning, use a micellar water or wipe over with a lotion instead. Continue to moisturise twice daily but if you feel that is not enough consider incorporating a serum into your routine. If you’re unsure, don’t self-prescribe. Find yourself an incredible skin therapist!
  • Don’t Forget to Exfoliate but…not every day. Every 7-10 day on a normal skin. Choose a gentle mild scrub that is blended with mask. This will replace precious oils.
  • Drink Water: Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate,….Just drink it! I promise you it works! 
  • Protect you skin from UV rays: It might be winter but the sun is still out. Wear sunscreen on exposed areas Top tip, don’t rely on sunscreen in your products. (That is a discussion for another day) There aren’t as many UVB (burn) rays in winter, UVA the long ray that penetrates deep into the skin are still significant enough at this time of the year to cause damage. Remember that accumulated damage breaks down our collagen. Never to late to start. 
  • Eat Well: The connection between gut and skin health is well researched. Up your intake of healthy fats, walnuts, avocados and olive oils are a good start. Remember your five-a-day vege and fruit intake in winter too.
  • Manage your mental health. This can be really difficult in the gloomy winter days. I know from experience. Just getting out for a regular walk can be a mental ball game of excuses! It will never happen unless you mindfully make the time for yourself. Your whole body will reward you with good vibes and good vibes help skin to glow.
  • Be kind to yourself: Love what you see in the mirror and do the best you can to protect that precious, natural layer of hydration and oils. Try not to look for perfection – it’s an unattainable mantle. Just do the best you can. If we look after our skin, it looks after us. And if you are unsure, don’t forget we’re here to help. Whether you just want a quick consult and some tips and tricks or a little more, our team of skin therapists are adept at giving you the advice that’s right for your skin. Your beauty.

Stay hydrated people and happy winter. 

X Gay