Our lifestyle and general state of health both play a role in the way our skin behaves and looks. Equally, the climate and weather we live under can also impact our largest organ in a positive or negative way, winter being a particular harsh season for our skin. For this reason, it is crucial to modify and supercharge your skincare regime during the colder months, so it brings you extra care and protection:
1. Adapt your cleanser to your skin’s seasonal needs
Choose a cleansing milk or cream over a gel cleanser so as to counteract the drying and dehydrating effects of winter (as a general rule, the richer the texture of a cleanser, the more suitable it is for colder days as it will maintain the integrity of the skin’s protective sebum and its precious epidermal oils that are, together with its epidermal cells, essential to the barrier function of our skin. A good way to know if your facial cleanser is right for you is to observe your skin after cleansing it. If your skin feels tight, uncomfortable and/or looks irritated, you can be sure that you are using a cleanser that is currently too harsh for your skin.
2. Choose a richer moisturising cream
Moisturisers are emulsions with various degrees of oil and water soluble ingredients, giving them different levels of hydrating and nourishing properties. Regular application of a face cream will control and even reduce the amount of water lost through the skin (this water loss is called TEWL: trans- epidermal water loss). Creams can have either emollient or humectant properties and in some cases, both at the same time. In winter, choose a moisturiser rich in emollients: these ingredients tend to make the skin feel softer and more supple, as well as aid the prevention of moisture loss from the skin (read the ingredient listing of your products and look for ingredients such as dimethicone, grape seed, avocado oil, sesame seed, jojoba, cocoa butter, shea butter or stearyl alcohol).
3. Use a facial mask twice a week
I am a big fan of masking! In fact, using a facial mask is a bit of a tradition amongst French women. I grew up watching the two generations of women before me applying all sorts of homemade concoctions on their skin! Facial masks can make a noticeable difference to the way our skin looks, improving it considerably. Depending on their ingredients, masks can achieve a broad variety of effects, including purifying, soothing, healing, hydrating, nourishing and stimulating. In colder weather, favour facial masks with hydrating, repairing or/and nourishing properties. Although many great masks are commercially available, making your own can be an enjoyable experience and encourages you to take time out for yourself. You will find most of the ingredients you need in your kitchen! Here are a few you could incorporate in your signature winter mask recipe: almond oil, avocado, banana, coconut oil, egg yolk, grape seed oil, jojoba oil etc… So, get your blender out and give it a go! So, no need to look like a dried prune or irritated mess in winter!
You will quickly see how following these straightforward tips can improve your skin’s resiliency and health during the colder months, leading to a glowing and younger looking you! Rug up and enjoy winter!
Christine Clais is a French-born skin expert, award-winning facialist, educator and author of “Transform your skin without a needle”. Christine educates women on the importance of skin care and the fundamentals of caring for your skin from the inside out. To find out more about Christine, visit www.thefrenchfacialist.com