You may think that the beauty industry’s push for thicker, winter-friendly skincare is simply a scheme to squeeze even more money from beauty lovers’ already cash-strapped wallets, but the truth is, your skin needs different care in the winter than the warmer months.
Both the Canadian Dermatology Association and the American Academy of Dermatologists recommend switching up your skincare routine to avoid dry, irritated skin when temperatures drop. Both associations recommend using humidifiers to keep moisture in the air, avoiding really hot showers — which can be drying — and applying moisturizer immediately after cleansing to lock in moisture. Other tips include using thicker creams and ointments instead of lotions and avoiding products with fragrances, which can be irritating to sensitive, dry skin.
We talked to Arbonne Senior Vice President and Chief Scientific Officer, Dr. Peter Matravers about his tips for keeping your complexion bright, healthy and moisturized this winter. “The potential for skin to become more sensitive or irritated during the winter exists. Cold air, harsh winds and dryness can all lead to changes in the skin. By implementing some simple changes in your skincare routine, plus choosing products that are non-comdogenic or fragrance free, skin can stay healthy looking all year round,” he says.
The Loop: Is changing your skincare routine in the winter necessary for everyone?
Dr. Matravers: Yes, it is important to change your skincare routine during the winter. The particular changes may not be the same for everyone, but there are some key points to consider during the winter when cold air and wind set in.
TL: What products should people swap out in the winter?
Dr. M: Adding an exfoliating step into your skincare routine is a must. Either a cleanser or masque with gentle exfoliation will help to remove dead surface skin cells. Your moisturizer is able to hydrate skin more easily when the top layer of dead skin cells is removed. Dry skin can be a concern during winter. Switching from a lotion to a cream moisturizer can help protect skin from the cold, dry air. Using a heavier moisturizer during the day or at night can help to hydrate dry spots, soothe irritation and restore radiance.
TL: Are there extra products that should be incorporated in the winter?
Dr. M: An eye cream is a great addition to any skincare routine during the winter. The skin around the eye is very thin and harsh weather can be extra tough on the eye area. Extra moisture around the eye will help to keep the skin hydrated and soothed. Plus, many eye creams offer additional benefits such as reducing fine lines and wrinkles, puffiness and dark circles. It is also important not to overlook an SPF product in the winter. Even though it is cold, UV rays from the sun can continue to cause damage. Regardless of the weather, an SPF product should be worn every day.
TL: What moisturizing ingredients should people be looking for?
Dr. M: Butters and oils are ingredients that are known to moisturize dehydrated skin. However, oils or products containing oils should be appropriate for use on the face. Arbonne products contain nourishing oils such as Sea Buckthorn Oil, Sunflower Oil and Sweet Almond Oil, all known to help condition and moisturize the skin. Products containing oils can be beneficial because they can help to create a layer on the skin that helps to retain more moisture on the skin by creating a protective barrier. We also recommend looking for ingredients such as Aloe Vera or Chamomile extract, which are known to sooth and calm skin. Aloe Vera or Chamomile extract not only moisturize, but help to soothe red, dry skin caused by extreme cold and harsh wind.
TL: What ingredients should be avoided in the winter or for those with dry skin?
Dr. M: It’s best to look for products that are non-comedogenic meaning they will not clog pores. Products containing fragrance should also be avoided, if possible, because there is the potential that fragranced products can further irritate skin that is already irritated due to winter weather.
Winter Skincare Dos and Don’ts
Do: Use an exfoliator to remove dead, dull skin and allow your moisturizer to work more effectively.
Don’t: Use a harsh exfoliant. Choose something gentle and use it only as instructed.
Do: Swap out your usual cleanser for something creamier.
Don’t: Use products with fragrance, which can be irritating for dry skin.
Do: Add an eye cream into your routine.
Products to try:
Clockwise from top left: NeoStrata Eye Contour All-In-One Serum, $47 at Murale; Origins Checks and Balances Frothy Face Wash, $25.50 at Sephora; Pure and Simple Sensitive Skin Face Oil, $32.95 at Pure and Simple; Arbonne RE9 Advanced Cellular Renewal Masque, $78 at Arbonne; Arbonne Intelligence Rejuvenating Cream, $48 at Arbonne.