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Winter is Coming: Tips for Seasonal Skincare Changes

Photo: Shutterstock

Skin reacts innately to its environment. In winter, it frequently reacts with dryness, tightness, inflammation, and irritation. So, while we can’t control those temperature drops, there are steps we can take to prevent severe changes to our facial skin. 

What about the winter causes these changes?

Our skin changes in the winter, because with the weather shifts, we lose humidity in the air. It begins drawing moisture from our skin as a result. The chilly wind is also rough on the skin barrier. We then exacerbate the dryness with habits like spending more time indoors with the heat turned up and longer hot showers. Not to mention, are you guilty of licking dry lips? All the fun (and frequently unhealthy) holiday food and booze can also have an impact on the skin. 

You may also see an increase in breakouts in the winter as the skin can end up overproducing oil to make up for the dehydration and dryness caused by the elements. If you see a breakout coming on, cleanse your skin and dab it with a spot treatment. 

How can we combat this dryness and irritation?

Moisturizing will be the key to maintaining healthy and glowing and skin. Try adding a few drops of hyaluronic acid serum to your moisturizer. 

The one product you don’t want to cut out of your fall regime? Yes, you guessed it! SPF! 

The number-one mistake people make when adjusting their skincare routine? Not giving it enough time. Transforming the skin is like most things in life, it takes time and consistency. It takes 28 days for skin cells to turn over, so you need to give a product at least a month to see a difference. Though you should notice a difference in hydration much quicker. 

Another mistake I see is overusing a product or over-exfoliating. Maintaining the skin barrier is key, and I recommend exfoliating one to two times per week, especially with how rough winter weather is on the epidermis.

An overlooked piece of the skincare routine no matter the season

One thing that should stay consistent year-round is how cleanse your skin. A good cleansing practice is vital and the foundation of any good skincare routine. Removing buildup like oil, sweat, sunscreen, and environmental pollution twice a day is key to clear and healthy skin. Clean skin allows products and treatments to seep past the facial barrier and work properly. It helps maintain the proper pore size and prevents excess oil production. 

I always tell patients how this is such a critical element of our skincare routine, and it’s beneficial to find an at-home device that can really help. Nylon brushes can be too rough on facial skin, so look for something with silicone bristles, like FOREO’s LUNA. Silicone is also more hygienic than nylon, which creates an environment where bacteria thrive. Silicones are best known for their occlusive properties, a fancy way of saying that they form a barrier-like coating that’s resistant to both water and air. They’re easy to clean, too.

Finding the right cleanser and routine is so important, as different types of skin can build up more oil than others. It can take a bit of trial and error, but remember to give a product time to work—at least a month—and only add in or remove one product at a time so you can see what’s working and what’s not. However, if a product causes an immediate reaction like a rash, discontinue immediately. Any burning for more than a minute or two can signify a negative reaction. 

Looking for ways to keep your skin hydrated and healthy this winter? Don’t miss 22 Nourishing Hyaluronic Acid Products That Help Skin Feel Spectacular and 12 Transformative Face Oils That Hydrate and Protect.

About The Author
Lizette Ludwing

Lizette, founder of BEAM Skincare and Aesthetics, is an aesthetic nurse specialist who has been in the medical aesthetics and beauty space for more than 12 years. Lizette works with clients and followers to find the right skincare regimen and customize the best skin treatments for them. Through education on maintenance and prevention, she targets simple yet effective approaches that deliver confidence.