It’s safe to say winter has well and truly kicked in. While the cooler months definitely have some perks (yay for track pants!), no one is immune to a case of the post-summer blues…even your skin.
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The skin cycle
Have you ever found your usual moisturiser turns on you suddenly and stops delivering results or worse, causes a negative reaction? There’s a reason for that: seasonal change.
It turns out our mood isn’t the only thing affected by the weather. Just like the seasons, our skin goes through different phases and as a result your routine may need some seasonal tweaks.
Skin requires different types of support through the cooler months. Learn what’s happening to your skin as seasons transition and key changes to implement for healthy, glowing skin.
What happens: As we shift from summer to autumn, the skin enters a transitional phase and is highly reactive to changes in the atmosphere. You’ll start to observe increased dehydration due to less humidity and moisture in the air. During autumn, that glow you sported in summer starts to fade and your complexion can look ‘drained’.
What your skin needs: This is the time to feed your skin with antioxidant-rich skincare, LOTS of water and vitamin B – preferably in both skincare and supplement form. This will ensure your skin is as strong and resilient as possible heading into winter.
What happens: In the winter, rapidly changing temperatures, from heated indoors to cold outdoors, are harsh on the skin and capillaries. The prolonged exposure to wet weather also slows down cell renewal and circulation, as well as strips the skin’s barrier function. Overall, you’ll notice your skin just doesn’t operate like it used to – not to mention the effects of winters ills and chills on skin performance! As your skin gets put through the ringer expect to see more dryness, redness and irritation than usual. While tempting, try to reduce frequency of super-hot showers and tone down the central heating.
What your skin needs: Winter is all about retaining as much moisture as possible.
- Up the ante in the moisture department through a fluid-rich diet with foods like cucumber, carrots, tomatoes and beetroot.
- Switch out light lotions for heavier creams brimming with humectants – these draw moisture in the air back into your skin. Honey is a great natural humectant as well as hyaluronic acid and niacinamide.
- If you’re skin is looking dull and tired make friends with vitamin C. Known as the skin “miracle worker”, vitamin C is a proven brightening agent when applied topically and taken in supplement form. Plus, taking vitamin C will help defend against the winter ills and chills – win win!
- The biggest misconception people make in winter is forgetting to apply sunscreen. Just because you can’t physically see the sun shining doesn’t mean it’s not quietly there wreaking havoc. If you’re hitting the slopes it’s especially important to take extra care as reflected rays from snow and ice are particularly damaging. If the cold weather has caused sudden sensitivity, invest in a gentle formula specifically for the face.
Yes, we’re getting ahead of ourselves but spring will be here before we know it!
What happens: Spring is the safest and most skin-friendly of the four seasons. The chills of winter are replaced with a happy medium warmer temperature and less wind. However, allergies are out in full force and hay fever sufferers may find their skin extra sensitive.
What your skin needs: Pollen does not do wonders for the sinuses or skin, especially around the nose area that often ends up itchy and dry following sneezing fits. Thankfully, there are plenty of anti-inflammatory remedies available to reduce redness and relieve irritation. If you’re prone to allergies, opt for sensitive skincare formulations and take anti-inflammatory vitamins like fish oil, which have omega-3 fatty acids vital for optimum health. And obviously, keep antihistamines close by!