I always notice a big difference in my skin during the winter. Living in Canada, we go through many harsh weather conditions but the cold always makes my skin the most sensitive.
Here is my guide to get your skin through the winter months without looking dry, flaky and chapped.
You have to exfoliate your skin minimum once a week, but most people will benefit from exfoliating 2-3 times per week. For extremely oily and/or acne-prone skin types I recommend exfoliating every other day. There are two types of exfoliation, the first being physical exfoliation.
Physical exfoliating products may include sugar, salt, coffee grinds, apricot shells and other textured raw materials to physically scrub away your dry skin. This method should never be used on the face or neck as the skin there is significantly thinner than the skin on other areas of the body.
Chemical exfoliation, the second of two types, is better suited for the face and neck area. Chemical exfoliants use a low pH (acidic) to remove dead skin. This is way more effective and way more gentle on the face and is really great for keeping pores clear of build up, reduce the appearance of pores, fine lines and texture. Chemical exfoliants include lactic acid, glycolic acid and salicylic acid. I prefer lactic acid because it is the most gentle of those three and is great for sensitive skin while still being effective.
Always follow the directions on exfoliating products as they are all formulated differently and have different dosage recommendations.
2 LAYER WITH AN OIL.
When our skin shows signs of dry skin (patchy, flaky, irritated, red) it means our protective lipid barrier is destroyed and needs to be replenished. The best way to do this is with oils.
There are many kinds of oils that you can use. I prefer using a vegetable-based facial oil under my moisturizer to enhance the moisturizing properties. You can also use skin identical lipids such as squalane and ceramides. The benefit of vegetable based oils is they generally contain anti-inflammatory fatty acids including omega 3 and 6. Most vegetable oils also contain antioxidants such as Vitamin E which protect the skin from harmful free radicals produced by environmental hazards.
3 USE A HEAVIER CREAM
Be sure to use a heavier cream in areas where you experience extreme dry skin. If you find that you have a specific part of your face that tends to get eczema or extreme dry skin, try using a slightly heavier cream only on that area of your face. Once or twice I have used the ECZTREMA Hand Cream on a patch of dry skin instead of the InflorEssence Moisturizer because the hand cream contains shea butter which is ultra emollient and moisturizing, but is normally too heavy for my sensitive and acne-prone skin.
4 USE HYDRATING MASKS.
Are you a mask lover? A clay mask lover? Clay masks are great but they tend to draw a lot of the moisture out of the skin. Try to stick to hydrating masks during the winter months. Hydrating masks may include hydrating plant extracts, hyaluronic acid and aloe vera extract to add water back into the cells and plump the skin.
5 DRINK WATER
I know this is super cliche and everyone talks about drinking water.. But it really does make a world of difference on the overall appearance of your skin. Try to drink at least 8 glasses of water a day (coffee and tea don’t count). On top of that have your tea, coffee, juice, pop, whatever, but that shouldn’t go into your water count for the day.
Water is needed to flush the body of pollutants, toxins, drugs, unnecessary nutrients, etc. but when your water is already saturated with coffee particles or tea particles or sugar, it has less power to do that.
Do you find if you drink more water - you just end up peeing more? Try this trick.. when you drink water you should visualize it hydrating every cell in your body to ensure that your body is actually paying attention. Mindlessly fuelling our body is a waste of time but is so easy to do in our extremely distracting, fast-paced society. We need to actively focus on refuelling and hydrating our body to uptake nutrients and water to its fullest potential.
I hope these tips are helpful to get your skin through the winter! Stay moisturized and hydrated beauties.