An Expert Guide To Caring For Your Skin This Winter
Posted by Samantha Nice, Dec 13, 2021
Skin not playing ball right now? You’re not the only one. In fact, most of us are likely to notice changes in our skin since the weather has turned. If you’re unsure why this is and how best to get your skin looking it’s best, carry on reading as we’ve spoken to Dr Ifeoma Ejikeme, skin expert and medical director at Adonia Medical Clinic to hear her best advice…
Why Does Our Skin Change With The Seasons?
“One of the main functions of our skin is to protect our body from the outside world,” says Dr Ejikeme. “The skin ‘barrier’ is made up of cells, lipids and microorganisms that live on the skin’s surface and help to support it. The wind and cold weather as well as fluctuating temperatures moving indoors and out can often mean you are likely to notice changes in your skin.”
What Skin Concerns Are Most Common In Winter?
“Colder weather can draw moisture from your skin which can cause it to feel dry,” she says. “In some extreme cases, you may also notice irritation and increased sensitivity. At Adonia Medical Clinic, I also see a lot of dull-looking and irritated complexions over the winter months.” If you’re prone to inflammatory conditions such as rosacea or eczema, you are likely to notice that these may also flare-up.
How Is Best To Counteract These?
Like with most specific skin issues, it’s about treating them with an efficacious skincare regime and learning what works well for your own skin. “Everyone’s skin is different so identify how yours reacts to the weather and then turn to products which will help achieve your skin goals,” says Dr Ejikeme. “If your skin is feeling dry or irritated, try skipping your exfoliating step and instead opt for a something more hydrating like a good moisturiser.” When it comes to specific ingredients, Dr Ejikeme says to turn to ones which help to support the skin’s natural barrier such as hyaluronic acid and ceramides as well as glycerine and panthenol. “Whilst good skincare is crucial, you should also be mindful of boosting your skin’s health internally too. Try to drink plenty of water and ensure you’re eating a healthy diet as this will enable your body to further support your skin’s vital functions.”
What Should We Avoid Doing To Our Skin During Winter?
As mentioned, exfoliating dry or irritated skin can make matters worse but Dr Ejikeme warns using too many products and overloading your skin can also be a no-no. “My preference is to always keep a lean skincare routine, adding in products and ingredients only when they add value to your routine,” she says. “I’d also suggest staying well away from skin fads and trends as these will only disrupt your skin further.”
What Does A Good Skincare Regime Look Like?
With a skincare market saturated with so many products and new ingredients popping up as the latest must-use, it can be very overwhelming to know what to use and when. “Start by getting the basics right and build your routine from there. Look to invest in a cleanser, moisturiser and SPF of 30 or above,” she suggests. Talking of SPF, let this be a gentle reminder to you that this should be a non-negotiable all year round – not just in the summer. It may take a little trial and error to find products which work for you, but once you’ve got these, Dr Ejikeme says you can then start to add in targeted treatments which are suited to your skin type.
Should Our Routines Differ Morning And Night?
The short answer? Yes. This is because your skin has different needs in the morning compared to at night. In the morning, your skincare routine is likely to be more basic so a light cleanse, followed by a serum or moisturiser and then sealed in with that all-important SPF. At night, a double cleanse may be necessary to remove any makeup as well as to cut through any other traces of the day. “At night, a retinoid or treatment step can also- be added in so this can get to work whilst you sleep,” she says.