The cold weather has arrived and our winter wardrobe has officially come back out again. We’re starting to pick up colds and the weather certainly doesn’t do our hair any favours. There really isn’t a lot about the winter months that make us feel like jumping out of bed in the morning – it’s the one time you really do want to just curl up under the sheets and stay there all day.
As well as all of these consequences of the change in season, you’ll no doubt know from experience that it also plays havoc with our skin. With cold winds snapping at our delicate skin, we can quickly feel the effects. Regardless of your skin type, winter is no friend to your skin and dehydration is a huge problem. When your skin is lacking water, it can lead to rough and flaky skin and painful, cracked lips. As well as causing you pain, it doesn’t look too great either.
In an interview with Refinery 29, ZENii Skincare founder, Johanna Ward, discussed her secrets for skincare success during the colder months:
After a day of combating the elements, your skin needs time to heal and the best time for the healing process to take place is when you’re sleeping and your face is out of the cold temperatures. Johanna Ward says, “[You need to] find [a night cream] that isn’t too heavy and congesting, but delivers skin beneficial vitamins like vitamin B3, C & E. Hyaluronic acid and jojoba oil are a great combination for hydration that are sebum neutral – so won’t cause any unwanted breakouts.”
There are many benefits to hyaluronic acid, but it’s ability to hydrate skin is second to none. Johanna Ward explains that it’s “a powerful humectant, which means it draws water up from the deeper layers of the skin into the more superficial layers. It uses the water that you drink and the water in your body to deeply hydrate the skin”, which means it’s ideal for protecting yourself against the onslaught of dry, flaky skin associated with the colder weather.
You have to be really careful when you are choosing what to apply to your skin, as many petroleum-based moisturisers can actually make your skin drier. Johanna Ward says, “opt for jojoba, argan or squalene oils for skin-smoothing and barrier protection.” She also recommends “boost[ing] your Omega-3 levels with an Omega-3 nutritional supplement to help target skin dryness from within” because “the skin’s barrier is made up of many types of fats (lipids), including phospholipids, cholesterol and free fatty acids. When the skin doesn’t have enough of these fats, as in the case of dry skin conditions such as eczema, then essential water can be lost through the barrier, causing skin dehydration.”
Try to avoid hot showers & baths
When it is cold, it is really tempting to crank up the temperature of the shower or bath water, but hot water actually dehydrates your skin. Johanna Ward says, “areas like London have a lot of issues with hard water, which can de-hydrate the skin. Stick to short showers and ensure they are not too hot if you want to maintain good water content in the skin.”
In the winter months, your skin can appear a little duller than usual. To combat this, Johanna Ward suggests using glycolic acid, which she says is “great or removing superficial cellular debris and can stimulate a brighter, more luminous complexion.” She also stresses not to “overdo the exfoliation in the winter months” as it can “lead to skin sensitivity and breakouts.” She says that “well-exfoliated skin will not only look brighter and dewier, but will hold onto hydration and nutrients more easily.”