I’ve said it before, and I will likely say it hundreds of times in the future: skincare is absolutely crucial in the winter. Skincare is always important, but even more so in the winter. If you live in a particularly cold or harsh climate like I do, the skin faces aggressors on a daily basis.
In the winter (especially in climates that get a lot of snow and freezing temperatures) the skin’s moisture barrier can majorly suffer (you can read all about the skin and moisture barrier here!) The skin can become majorly dehydrated and dry as it’s exposed to freezing cold, harsh wind, and indoor heating. All of these things wreak havoc on our skin, and its ability to balance itself and regulate moisture.
As a result, the skin can suffer from redness, flaking, dehydration, dry patches, sensitivity, and more. The good news is that there are a lot of products that can actually really help your skin. Working in cosmetics and skincare over the last 3 years has really helped me learn a lot not only about skincare, but about what products are truly effective and worth the money.
- La Roche Posay Thermal Spring Water: a lot of people think that thermal sprays are a huge gimmick. And truthfully, some are. Some, however, like the La Roche Thermal Spray, actually have amazing benefits for the skin. This particular one is my all-time favourite. It helps to hydrate, soothe, and stabilize the skin. (Full review here!) This is seriously a life saver for anyone with sensitive, dehydrated, dry, or unbalanced skin. It’s even safe for diaper rash! I love to apply this after cleansing, and before my serums.
- Hydrating serums – Serums are another often disregarded step in skincare. Many people don’t understand the science behind why serums are truly so effective. Serums have a different molecular structure than creams – the molecules are smaller, allowing them to be absorbed deeper into the skin to help treat the deeper layers of the epidermis and dermis. Serums should be chosen to target your primary concern. In the winter, this is usually hydration. My absolute favourite hydrating serums (and what I’ve seen to be the most effective) are the Bioderma Hydrabio serum, the Clarins Hydraquench, the Skinceuticals Hydrating B5, and the Cliniderm hydrating serum. Hydrating serums help hydrate deep down, and improve your skin’s ability to hold on to moisture!
- A Moisturizing Mask: To give our skin an extra boost, masks are fantastic. There’s a mask for nearly every skin concern, but the most common mask during the winter tends to be a hydrating mask. These are great to apply before bed to help lock in moisture and keep the skin hydrated and protected as you sleep (did you know that our skin can lose a lot of moisture throughout the night, especially during cold months when we have indoor heating turned on?) Some really great moisture masks are the Clinique Moisture Surge mask, Origins Drink Up Intensive Overnight Mask, Peter Thomas Roth Cucumber Gel Mask, The Body Shop Vitamin E Sink-In Moisture Mask.
- An Exfoliating Scrub/Revitalizing Mask – during the winter, our skin can become dull and flaky. Exfoliation is crucial all year long, but especially in the wintertime to help combat those pesky flakes. Exfoliating or brightening masks are a great way to help restore some radiance and glow to the skin. For masks, the Clinique Turnaround instant facial is seriously incredible. The Lush Catastrophe Cosmetic is a great option for very dry or unbalanced skin. Bio Beaute (a double certified organic brand!) has an incredible exfoliant called the Comfort Exfoliant that is microbead-free! They also have a mask called the Vitamin Rich Detox Mask that adds a gorgeous radiance and smoothness to the skin! One of my all time favourite treatment/masks is the Darphin Aromatic Purifying Balm. It’s a oily/balm that you apply to the skin at night maximum 3 times a week. It’s full of amazing natural ingredients that balance and replenish the skin. While it’s great for all skin types to add radiance and smooth texture, it’s also amazing for those with unbalanced or blemish-prone skin. When my skin is freaking out or experiencing a breakout, I’ll pop this on and it’s dramatically improved overnight. Seriously, it’s basically witchcraft.
- Oils – oils are definitely one of the best ways to replenish and protect the skin. I recently did a full post about oils, which you can read here!
- Spot Treatments: While most people figure the cold, dry winter would mean less breakouts, all skin is different. When the climate changes and causes our skin to become unbalanced, this can result in breakouts or blemishes for some people. A spot treatment is a must-have. My current favourite (and what has been the most effective spot treatment I’ve ever used) is the Mario Badescu Drying Lotion. This seriously shrinks your blemish overnight. Another good one is the Lush Grease Lightning Cleanser. Don’t let the name fool you, it’s actually a spot-treating gel and breaks down dirt and oil to clear up a spot or clogged pores.
- Lip Balms: this is a seemingly obvious one, but many people forget to take extra are of the their lips in the winter. I wrote all about the best lip balms and treatments a couple of days ago, which you can read here!
As well as protecting and treating the face, don’t forget about your body and hands! The hands especially can really suffer during the cold winter. Some of my favourite hand creams (as an eczema-sufferer with severely dehydrated skin) are the Skinfix Ultra Rich Hand Cream, the O’Keeffe’s Working Hands hand cream, Aveeno Eczema Care hand cream, and the RoC Enydrial hand cream. All of these are fragrance-free and suitable for even the most sensitive of hands.