As the nights begin to draw in and the early, pitch-black mornings make us snooze our alarm one too many times, little do we know but the changing weather is affecting more than just our Friday night plans. Winter can bring skin suffering to the masses. The colder months are not only filled with Christmas festivities but also bitter weather which blasts our skin with difficult conditions.
But what’s actually going on under the surface? We asked our skincare wizard, Daniel Isaacs, for the lowdown on the science behind winter skin, and how to remedy it…
Hi Dan! Please explain why winter weather is our skin’s worst nightmare?
The changing seasons bring with it vast changes in weather and environmental conditions. The air humidity drops, so the concentration of water in your skin is actually higher than that in the air. This creates a concentration gradient, which means that water is very easily lost through a process called trans epidermal water loss. Basically this means that your skin’s natural barrier allows water molecules to escape more easily, so your skin becomes dehydrated. Central heating can also exacerbate this issue as it also decreases the humidity in the air, leading to even more water loss! The lipids in your skin’s barrier are also reduced during the colder months, which can lead to even more transepidermal water loss, and even more dehydration… it’s a never ending cycle of dry, sad skin!
So what can we do to cure the flakiest skin of all?
When it comes to winter, your skin has completely different needs. You need to drench it with water, but also help to restore its barrier to help it retain more water as well. Humectants are ideal for this job, as they are molecules which draw water to themselves. Hyasoft® contains three differing weights of hyaluronic acid (the mother of all humectants). The smaller weights can penetrate deep into the skin and draw water up from the lower layers, and the larger weights can sit on the surface of the skin acting as a water reservoir. I’d also recommend turning to facial oils at this point in the year as they are amazing at helping keep that water in the skin where it needs it the most. And these days they aren’t all oily and gross to wear. Glow Drops® is ideal if you want a dry touch oil to wear in the daytime, and to protect your skin from the harsher weather. Layer it on top of Hyasoft® for double the hydration and protection.
So we’ve figured out the problem of dry skin for the face… but how do we protect our hands from the dreaded dry skin?
Your hands are some of the most exposed to the elements of all, as they are constantly being battered by wind, rain and cold. Hand dryers, central heating and winter sun are constantly attacking the skin on the hands and this can leave them dry and dull looking. The best way to overcome this problem is to wear gloves when outside constantly, and apply a good quality hand cream to work as your skincare gloves. HERO Hand Rehab contains aloe vera and hyaluronic acid to deeply nourish the skin of the hands, while its broad spectrum SPF 20 helps to keep any free radical damage, or even winter sun damage, at bay.
Perfect – our dry skin probs are solved! Now please help us tackle the dull skin that needs a ton of highlighter to look remotely alive?!
Dull and lacklustre skin is a common side effect of a lack of vitamin D, which is more difficult to get in winter when sunshine is pretty non-existent in England. Vitamin D plays a key role in the skin cell renewal cycle, which is slowed down in winter. Therefore it is massively important to help it along by using exfoliators to help slough of the dead skin and reveal the fresher skin cells beneath. Resurfizz™ is ideal for this; it combines both mechanical and enzyme based exfoliants to break down the bonds between skin cells to help remove that layer of dead skin. This not only lets your skin shine but also helps any skincare on top sink in so much better, and work optimally.
What skincare actives are the most important in the winter months?
I’d definitely say Vitamin C is a key active to incorporate around winter time. It is super brightening and tackles any pesky pigmentation which may have reared its head from overexposure to sun during the summer months. Vitamin C is also an amazing antioxidant and even stimulates collagen production, which is ideal for prepping your skin throughout winter. Vit C-30™ is the ideal vitamin C product for winter as it super stable (unlikely many other vitamin C products on the market) and so you never have to worry about it becoming inactive.
Thanks Dan. The skincare wizard strikes again.