And the IDEAL ways to remedy them.
The onset of the festive season usually heralds a shopping spree; we buy Winter woollies, cosy coats and thick tights, and charge off into the night insulated and excited. This year, as we’re sure you’ve heard, it’s looking a little different. We’re buying candles, cosy loungewear and subscriptions to all the online streaming services instead, hunkering down for a period of hibernation which has no apparent end date decided.
But all this time spent indoors, with central heating and comfort eating, may well not be the best thing for our skin. Yep, it’s time to invest in our Winter skincare routines, and that effort starts here, with a little learning. Here are 6 Winter skincare mistakes you could be making, and the IDEAL ways to remedy them.
FORGETTING TO ADAPT
While we all want to break out of lockdown, rush into the open arms of strangers and snog as many of them as possible (erm, just us?), for now, and for so many, it’s our skin which is having a breakout instead.
Spending most of our time at home, with routines up in the air, means that many of us have abandoned our skincare routines. Any sense of normality has left the building, don’t you think?
Indeed, for many of us, our faces have already forgotten the outside world, something that Elle.com are dubbing the ‘indoor face’. It seems that lockdown has affected our skin; from heightened stress levels to using too many facemasks, all the way to not getting enough Vitamin D…and it’s all having a detrimental impact on our visages.
Don’t neglect to adapt to these new times to compensate. Indeed, working from home doesn’t mean forgetting your skincare routine; don’t forget to cleanse and moisturise as you normally. Just because you’re not going out and braving the elements doesn’t mean your skin is protected from environmental factors. Indeed, inside your home, your skin is still exposed to dust, central heating (more of that later) and even steam and grease from cooking which can play havoc with all skin types.
Be cautious when using toners which alcohol; they strip the skin of natural lipids and proteins that moisturise our skin. Ideally, prioritise clean beauty brands; in these turbulent times there’s comfort to be found in taking back control of the products we’re using.
Speaking of alcohol, it’s wise to invest in a nourishing hand moisturiser to protect your hands from sanitiser and the constant washing which the new normal demands, too.
NOT GETTING ENOUGH SUNLIGHT & SKIPPING SPF
As we spend more time indoors, our exposure to that vital Vitamin D is falling. This isn’t something to be taken lightly; we need Vitamin D most at this time of year, and during these turbulent times. Indeed, the NHS suggests that due to coronavirus, ”It’s important to take vitamin D as you may have been indoors more than usual this year. You should take 10 micrograms (400 IU) of vitamin D a day between October and early March to keep your bones and muscles healthy”.
Vitamin D is also incredibly important for our skin, to boost its repairing qualities, prevent skin prematurely aging, and more. According to the Insider, ‘’healthy vitamin D levels might help prevent skin from prematurely aging but too much sun leads to accelerated skin aging. Some studies have found that vitamin D can help treat skin conditions like dry skin, psoriasis, or eczema’’.
During the darker months, consider taking a supplement should you not be getting enough sunlight. Along with taking supplements, you should read some tips for improving skin radiance, which will really help in the winter months.
On the flip side, if you are getting outside sufficiently, for exercise, strolling or even illicit socialising, do make sure you remember to wear sunscreen – yep, even in Winter – as UV rays can lead to premature aging and skin damage at any time of year.
LETTING STRESS GET THE BETTER OF US
We’re sure we don’t need to reiterate, but reiterate we will; it’s a stressful time to be alive. And Winter has a tendency to make matters work, with many suffering Seasonal Affective Disorder and low mood to varying degrees as the colder, darker months roll into view. In fact, in 2014, the Independent reported that 1 in 3 people suffer from SAD. We’d imagine that ratio is significantly higher right now.
But what does this mean for our skin? Well, low mood, anxiety and stress can cause us to have breakouts. Stress can cause your body to produce more of the hormone cortisol, which in turn causes glands to produce more oil. All of this leads to breakouts, acne and other skin problems.
Prevention is most certainly better than cure, here, and it’s best to keep on top of stress (and the causes of stress) to prevent the subsequent skin problems. Fortunately, we’ve got you covered; check out our tips on free stress relief strategies you can try at home.
DRINKING TOO MUCH COFFEE, ALCOHOL & SNACKING
We’re all opening the fridge door a lot more than usual, making that extra coffee to distract us from current events, comfort eating a little more often, and pouring that extra glass of wine to smooth over the cracks of another fraught evening. We all need these simple pleasures right now in our life. Our skin, unfortunately, doesn’t.
You may think that hydration is only important during the hotter months; however, it’s crucial that you hydrate just as much during the winter season, too. Not only is water good for your health overall, but, in wintertime, it can often be even more necessary as water vapour is lost through your breath, causing you to lose valuable moisture. And guess what? Coffee and alcohol are diuretics, leading to dehydrated skin. And all that sweet, salty comfort food? You guessed it; that’s also leading to dehydration.
Make sure you balance out diuretics like caffeine and alcohol with plenty of water, and opt for decaffeinated coffee or tea when possible, too. Doing so will keep your skin hydrated and glowing.
It’s not just drinking pints of water which will help. Endevaour to hydrate from the inside out, getting plenty of vitamin C and omegas. You can also moisturise from the outside in, and protect your skin using an oil based moisturiser with vitamin A, C and E if the skin is particularly dry.
CENTRAL HEATING HASTE, HOT SHOWERS & BATHS
Your environment also plays a major role in keeping your skin properly moisturised, so as the conditions outside change, the environment in your home must shift as well. Heating systems used during the colder seasons blast hot dry air throughout our homes making it difficult for our skin to maintain moisture. Sustain a sufficient amount of moisture in the air in your home with a humidifier or dehumidifier, and prevent your skin from drying out.
And despite the fact hot showers and warm baths have helped us massively reduce our stress levels recently, the heat isn’t always ideal for our skin, with prolonged exposure to hot water irritating and drying us out. According to Dr. Jacqueline Schaffer, ‘’hot water causes damage to the keratin cells that are located on the most outer layer of our skin — the epidermis. By disrupting these cells, it creates dry skin and prevents the cells from locking in moisture’’
On the flipside, a cold shower can bring benefits, since cold water ‘’tightens and constricts the blood flow which gives your skin a healthier glow’’. Whilst we’re not saying you should forgo those hot showers and warm baths entirely, it might be worth dialling down the heat a couple of notches if you’re concerned about your skin.