Beat the winter blues with these 5 simple skincare hacks for healthy, glowing skin all year round!
During winter dry skin types often suffer from flaking and rough patches as a result of dehydration. The cold temperatures, drier air and more time spent indoors with the central heating cranked up can quite literally suck the life right out of dry skin types!
A little dramatic, I know, but it's important to pay attention to your skins' seasonal needs and adjust your beauty regime accordingly. Here are 5 tips to keep your radiant and glowing this winter.
Dry Skin Vs Dehydrated Skin
First of all, let's quickly clear up the confusion between dry skin and dehydrated skin.
Dry refers to a skin type, and dehydrated refers to a skin condition. The reason it's hard to differentiate between the two is because they have very similar symptoms —but one big difference; dehydrated skin lacks water, while dry skin lacks oil and lipids.
All skin types can suffer from dehydration, but it's especially common in dry skin because lipids are a key component of the “brick and mortar” like structure that form the skin's barrier.
The skin barrier, also known as the stratum corneum (the outermost layer of your skin) is responsible for protecting the internal system from environmental stressors, and preventing trans-epidermal water loss (TEWL) keeping your skin soft and hydrated.
Unfortunately, when it comes to dry skin types the structural integrity of the skin barrier is easily weakened due to this lack of lipids. So, dry skin inherently leads to a dehydrated skin.
If your skin is dehydrated it may feel tight after washing, especially if your face wash or cleanser contain harsh surfactants and alcohols.
It may also feel dry and rough in texture, no matter how much you moisturise!
Regular exfoliation means healthy, glowing skin.
Especially during winter when dry skin tends to get rough and flakey. Exfoliating acids to include in your skincare routine;
Beta-Hydroxy Acid (BHA)
Derived from willow bark, salicylic acid a BHA commonly used to treat oily and acne-prone skin because it is an oil-dissolving acid. And it has a smaller molecular size than other acids, meaning it can penetrate deeper unclogging pores.
Alpha-Hydroxy Acids (AHAs)
AHAs are a group of naturally occurring acids, derived from sugars in particular plants and fruit. For example; Glycol Acid (sugar cane), Lactic Acid (fermented milk, fruits), Citric Acid (citrus fruits), Mandelic Acid (bitter almonds), Tartaric Acid and Malic Acid (grapes, apples, pears and cherries).
Exfoliating acids resurface your skin by dissolving the proteins and lipids that create a "glue-like cement" which holds dead skin cells together on the surface of the skin, giving a smoother, more glowing appearance.
Glycolic acid also has a couple of other proven anti-aging effects too. This active ingredient causes a regenerative action within the skin, speeding up cell renewal and stimulating collagen production. Resulting in plump, glowing skin!
It is also made up of water-loving molecules —meaning they can attract and retain water (think Hyaluronic Acid!) so has the ability to hydrate the skin. Along with the collagen boost this too gives the skin a more youthful plump appearance, reducing fine lines and wrinkles.
How AHAs help dry, damaged skin;
RESURFACE - dissolves "glue-like cement" that hold dead skin cells together on the surface of skin
PLUMP - stimulates collagen production + hydration
HYDRATE - AHAs have the ability to attract + retain water (think hyaluronic acid!)
GLOW - increases cell renewal, i.e. shiny, new skin cells
Enzymes are also naturally derived active ingredients found in fruits like Pomegranate, Pumpkin, Papaya, Pineapple and Figs. Just like AHAs and BHAs they are known to break up dead skin cells on the surface of the skin to reveal smoother, softer and healthier skin. Enzymes are potent, but considered gentle and more suitable for easily irritated and sensitive skin types. However, they still combat a number of major anti-aging skin concerns.
2. HYDRATING SERUM
Now you've sloughed off your dead skin cells, it time to hydrate!
Humectants are magical skincare ingredients that attract moisture. Scientifically classed as hydrophilic (water-loving), they hydrate the skin by attracting water like a magnet!
Some, like Hyaluronic Acid can hold up to 1000 times their weight in water. This has an incredibly youthful effect on the skin by plumping and reducing fine lines and wrinkles.
Humectants to look for in skincare;
Humectants to avoid in skincare;
3. NIGHT CREAM
For dry skin types, night cream is a crucial part of your bedtime regime. Especially during winter!
Besides containing nourishing and replenishing ingredients, a good night cream will also contain occlusive ingredients.
Occlusives stop the skin from becoming dehydrated by creating a barrier on top of the skin that seals and locks in moisture, preventing it from escaping.
Commonly used by clean beauty brands, natural occlusives such as oils and butters are wonderful skincare ingredients because they also have the ability to nourish, moisturise and repair your skin while you sleep.
They are particularly soothing and healing for dry, sensitive skin types that suffer from eczema or other dermatitis related skin conditions such as psoriasis.
They are also necessary for protecting the lips and hands in extreme weather conditions.
Macadamia Nut Oil
Sweet Almond Oil
Coconut Fatty Acids
Synthetic occlusives to avoid;
Antioxidant-rich ingredients —in both skincare and food, protect your skin from premature aging caused by free radicals.
Free radicals are produced naturally by the body as a result of cellular metabolism. But, they can also be triggered by almost everything around us.
Although free radicals are produced naturally in the body, lifestyle factors can accelerate their production. Some common free radical triggers are the sun’s UV rays, pollution, cigarette smoke, processed foods, certain medication and pesticides/toxins.
These lifestyle factors have been linked to diseases such as cancer and cardiovascular disease. So, oxidative stress might be a reason why exposure to these substances causes disease.
Free radicals are molecules with an uneven number of electron. Electrons like to be in pairs. So, free radicals scavenge the body seeking to steal an electron from healthy molecules in order to stabilize themselves.
This action causes oxidative stress. A process that damages the skin’s structural layer —collagen, lipids and proteins— adversely altering our skin's DNA.
Over time, oxidative stress leads to premature aging; wrinkles, sagging, pigmentation marks, uneven skin tone, and lackluster skin.
Free Radicals Defence
Antioxidant-rich skincare and foods are the solution to fighting oxidative stress!
Antioxidants have the ability to donate an electron without making themselves unstable. This causes the free radical to stabilize and become less reactive, thus preventing aging.
Add an antioxidant serum to your skincare routine to prevent premature aging.
5. ORGANIC BOTANICAL OILS
Heal, repair, protect and prevent: through nature..
The benefits of botanical plant oils never cease to amaze me. I've made some —squalane, sea buckthorn and marula oil a part of my skincare regime all year round.
Choose oils high in Oleic Fatty Acid (omega-9). These oils are very moisturising and aid in skin cell regeneration. They also offer strong anti-inflammatory properties —meaning they have soothing & healing benefits for sensitive skin types that suffer from eczema or other dermatitis related skin conditions.
Look for oils high in oleic acid;
Brazil Nut Oil
Camellia Seed Oil
Sweet Almond Oil
Shea Nut Oil
Buriti Fruit Oil
Apricot Kernel Oil
Macadamia Nut Oil
Sea Buckthorn Oil