In the previous Beauty Talk I looked into choosing a cleanser for winter. The most important tip for choosing a cleanser is to go with a mild and gentle option ( read more). Now it is time to look into selecting the right moisturizing product for winter.
As mentioned in the winter skin care post, during the cold season -in those parts of the world where the weather does get cold- our skin changes and skin type can shift. Of course, it is not necessarily that your skin type will change. However if you start to experience one or several of the following symptoms: skin tightness, burning sensation, irritation, itchiness, redness, flaking skin, appearance of dry lines, break outs – it means your skin type must have changed and your skin care products do not satisfy your skin’s needs. Some of the symptoms like irritation, redness and itchiness can also mean your skin has developed sensitivity.
What exactly is happening to the skin and why does skin type shift in winter?
Our skin simply reacts to the changes in its environment. In winter our skin reacts to the following environment conditions:
The above listed conditions cause (and are not limited to) the following reactions:
Finally, the following skin symptoms set in:
*Worse blood circulation results in less nutrients and oxygen getting to our skin which, in its turn, causes all healthy skin processes to slow down and results in dull, pale, grey complexion.
* Sebum and lipids are both responsible for lubricating the skin, creating and keeping up the protective barrier on top of it. This protective barrier keeps it sheltered from the environmental aggressors and helps skin to keep moisture locked in the top skin layers.
** When skin’s protective barrier is weakened it is more susceptible to free radicals and irritants which results in its sensitivity.
** In addition, skin cannot keep its hydration in balance and starts to lose moisture. It sort of “evaporates” from the skin. This results in its dehydration, burning sensation, dry lines, flaking etc.
To prevent and treat the symptoms, you need to deal with the main reasons.
Skin Care Strategies for Winter
- keep to a healthy vitamin charged diet and take a quality vitamin supplement
- give yourself a face massage and at-home facials regularly (massage: every other day or even every day when applying your daily moisturizer, at-home facial: 1-2 times a week)
- exercise on a regular basis as it effectively stimulates blood circulation
- use skin care products which contain Vitamins and ingredients stimulating blood circulation: Ginseng, Manganese, Magnesium, multivitamins A, C, E etc.
- improving hydration
- restoring and keeping balanced skin’s protective barrier
For your skin care routine to be effective, these two have to go together!
Let’s look into more details on how you can adjust your skin care products and regimen.
I have already mentioned such ingredients in skin care products as
humectants – attract moisture to the skin (e.g.: Butylene Glycol, Glycerin, Hylauronic Acid, Honey Extract)
emollients – soften, lubricate, moisturize skin. Emollients build protective film on top of the skin to prevent dehydration. (e.g.: Cyclomethicone, Glyceryl Stearates, Lanolin, Jojoba Oil, Shea Butter)
occlusives are other important ingredient for winter moisturizers. They create a thicker and stronger film on skin’s surface to help protect it from the environment and to prevent loss of moisture. (Beeswax, Dimethicone, Mineral Oil, Paraffin, Petroleum)
Skin care products based on just humectants are not enough for winter skin care regimen. You need not only moisturize your skin but also help it to restore its protective barrier to keep this moisture. Normal, Mixed and Oily skin types should go with a combination of humectants and light emollients. Dry, Very Dry and Normal-to-Dry should go for products with occlusive ingredients in addition to humectants.
Winter Skin Care: Moisturizers
Quick Tip: When researching for this post I came across several recommendations for a quick winter skincare adjustment: just switch your night skin care product to the day one and vice versa. This recommendation is based on the fact that night products are richer than day ones. It actually can be a way out if you cannot invest into another set of products for the upcoming 3 months. But remember day products often have SPF which you do need in winter during the day as well. In addition, at night skin goes through a regeneration processes which will not benefit from additional unnecessary SPF chemicals on its surface. (good, if they do stay only on the surface!)
I looked up some moisturizing products that help to restore skin’s protective barrier and create a “controlled microclimate” for your skin.
So, here is what you can consider for winter skin care:
A minus for most of the products mentioned above is that they do not have SPF protection. I really don’t understand when a day-time moisturizer does not provide sun protection. However, the fact is you will have to either use foundation with SPF or use sun protecting product on top of your day moisturizer. Each brand mentioned above has a choice of sun screens. If you are not spending too much time outside in the snowy weather SPF of 15-25 should be enough.
Coming soon: I will look into additional solutions for Dehydrated, Dry and Very Dry Skin Types and a separate post will be dedicated to skin care product for those suffering from an increased sensitivity… just like me…
Read more on Winter Skin Care
- Cleansing Products for Winter
- Post on general Winter Skin Care Tips
- More detailed “Skin Care in Winter” Article
- More on Skin Care Ingredients
- Click for more information on skin care products for winter.
- Feel like shopping? You can buy skin care products for winter online right away.