According to a recent survey by The Body Shop, half of Brits say their skin type completely changes between seasons. That’s why adopting a new winter skincare regime is so important. Like the coats that you wear or the sneakers on your feet, your daily routine needs to be updated pretty regularly depending on the temperature.
And now, it’s freezing. Harsh winds, sub-zero climes, sleet, snow, and a lower humidity in the air are factors that are going to have a major effect on your skin. Plus, your hair will also be in a kinda post-summer recovery process, so you need to give it as much TLC as you possibly can.
That’s why Alexander Johnston, general manager at John Bell & Croyden, David Connor, co-founder of Kanzen Skincare, and Diane Ackers, beauty expert for Doctors Formula Cosmeceuticals, are all here to share 10 simple steps on how to really upgrade your winter skincare routine.
How to perfect your winter skincare routine
#1: Top up your SPF
The UK is utterly sunless. Still, sun cream is still one of the most important parts of any winter skincare regimen. Not only is it an easy way to stave off sunburn, it also prevents signs of ageing and decreases the risk of diseases such as skin cancer.
“Believe it or not, the winter sun can still damage your skin,” says Connor. “Exposed areas like your face and your hands will be affected the most, so make sure that you apply sunscreen everyday. This is very important.”
“Daily skin protection is vital all year round, and slapping on a SPF of 30+ will help to keep your skin healthy, hydrated, and protected,” says Ackers. “After summer, you don’t want your skin in hibernation, but you do want to aid it’s post-summer recovery, and you certainly want a party season glow.”
#2: Stay moisturised
We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: staying moisturised is crucial for good skin, and that’s especially the case during the colder seasons. You can’t just use the same products that you used over summer though. Moisturisers that are suitable for winter skincare are a little richer in texture and a little thicker in formulation, giving your skin the long-lasting boost that it needs.
“Lower humidity levels, central heating, and getting cosy in front of the fire may have the thumbs up when the wind is howling and the thought of heading out feels like too much trouble,” says Ackers. “However excessive drying of the skin will result in premature ageing and cause dehydration levels to soar.”
“Upgrade to a richer face moisturiser for the winter months,” says Connor. “Check out the ingredients and look for ones with things like hyaluronic acid, peptides, or niacinamide.”
#3: Scrub up well
As well as upping your moisture game, you also need to exfoliate, exfoliate, and exfoliate. This will remove any skin cells that are clogging up your pores and lift trapped dirt. Afterwards, make sure you cleanse your face with a decent face wash and dry yourself with a nice, clean towel.
“Regularly exfoliating around one to two times a week is key, in my opinion, to preventing a dull complexion this winter,” says Connor. “Not only does it help to remove dead skin cells, it also allows your moisturising products to absorb better. I’d suggest a mild exfoliating scrub or a chemical exfoliant with AHAs (alpha hydroxy acids) and BHAs (beta hydroxy acids).”
#4: Care for your hair
It’s not just your skin that takes a toll over the wet and windy months, the hair on your head can take a battering too. When temperatures begin to drop, your locks can become very dehydrated and brittle very quickly, so it’s vital that you treat it before it’s too late.
“Your hair can become extremely dry and brittle over the freezing months,” says Johnston. “During this season, I would recommend alternating the days that you use shampoo, but always condition every time you shower.”
“Use shampoos and conditioners with hydrating properties,” says Connor. “Moroccan oil is an excellent ingredient for adding moisture back to dry hair, and if you want to take full advantage of your conditioner, consider using a leave-in one.”
#5: Focus on your eyes
During winter, you’ll feel like you’re ageing in more ways than one. Not only will you probably want to stay in bed for a lot longer, you’ll also feel the corners of your eyes getting wrinklier. That’s because the skin around them is significantly thinner compared to the rest of your face, making it more vulnerable to the wind and the rain.
“Get yourself an eye cream and apply it every morning and every evening,” says Ackers. “Something else that is very beneficial is marine collagen, which is excellent for replenishing lost moisture, luminosity, and lifting the layers of your skin, particularly where lines and crow’s’ feet around the eyes may be becoming more apparent.”
#6: Pucker up
Winter weather can be a right pain in the kisser, and it’s something that a lot of people (especially dudes) tend to overlook when reworking their winter skincare regimes. Dry lips don’t feel great, and honestly, they don’t look great either.
“The colder months can play havoc with your lips, leaving them sore and chapped,” says Johnston. “Choose a lip balm with nourishing ingredients like shea butter and vitamin E. Some products even have SPF built into them so you can protect your pout from harmful UV rays too.”
#7: Don’t fear the beard
To some guys, growing a big, bushy beard can be one of the most difficult things in life, so if you don’t want to let all your hard work from summer go to waste, you need to make sure that it’s fully protected this season.
“It doesn’t matter if it’s a hint of stubble or a fully blown Santa beard, hair care is essential if you want your facial hair looking its best,” says Ackers. “Hydrating serums and beard oils work best at reviving the hair, but they also do a great job treating the skin beneath.”
“Like your head hair, beards can get dry and super brittle in winter,” says Connor. “A quality beard oil keeps it looking soft and healthy. For cleansing, try using a beard wash that’s gentle to keep both the beard and the skin underneath soft and hydrated.”
#8: It’s all in your hands
As mentioned in the very first step, exposed areas like your hands are one of the most affected parts of your body during the shorter days and longer nights, and even though you’ll probably be wearing gloves most of the time, it’s very important that you look after them as much as you can.
“Hands often get overlooked in winter skincare routines,” says Johnston. “Be sure to use a rich hand cream regularly, especially after washing your hands, to prevent dryness and cracking”
“Reduce your chances of getting rough hands by using an extra pump of your moisturiser,” says Ackers. “After applying it to your face and neck, rub the remnants of your serum into the back of your hands. Alongside your face, hands are one of the most exposed body parts to pollution and environmental damage, so keeping them protected is vital.”
#9: Keep hydrated
Staying hydrated is, without a doubt, one of the best things that you can do for your skin. Not only does it flush your pores of toxins, it promotes a healthier, clearer complexion, and regulates your body temperature, keep your achy winter joints nice and lubricated.
“Internal hydration is as important as external,” says Connor. “You should be drinking around eight average-sized glasses of liquid every single day. This keeps your skin and hair hydrated.”
#10: Stock up on supplements
If you want to take your winter skincare routine to the next level, you should consider switching up your diet and maybe taking supplements. “A diet rich in Omega-3 fatty acids, vitamins A, C, and E, and antioxidants can significantly improve skin and hair health,” says Connor.
“A lack of vitamin D can be a problem for your skin and hair in the winter, as well as your energy levels,” says Johnston. “So I would recommend taking take one vitamin D supplement per day for a “sunnier” disposition.”
“Taking a daily collagen drink can also be beneficial,” says Ackers. “Collagen makes up over one third of our body’s structure, and this natural resource depletes as we age. A daily dose can help to combat the winter aches and pains, whilst strengthening skin. Whether it’s your hair, beard, or nails which are feeling brittle, a daily collagen boosting drink can work wonders when it comes to reinvigorating and revitalising your health from the inside out.”