Winter Facial Care Basics 101
The cold, dry winter months can be tricky to navigate when it comes to skincare. Keeping it simple and cutting back to the basics can offer more relief for your skin in the harsher months than a lengthy, complex routine that’s hard to keep up with. We’re here to guide you through the essentials you need for your best winter skin so you can jumpstart the new year with a healthier complexion. By making a couple of adjustments to your normal routine, you can keep dry, cracked skin at bay and protect your skin’s barrier. Here are our recommendations for comfortable skin during winter:
A Delicate Cleanser
If you haven’t already checked out our Cleansing 101 blog, we highly recommend giving that a read when you’ve finished this Blog.
Cleansers are a common culprit behind dry skin, and there is a lot of misconception about acceptable ingredients in a cleanser. Alcohols, acids, and petrochemicals never belong in a cleanser. We don’t want to strip our skin of its natural oils. The goal is to gently remove dirt and impurities. In the winter, our skin is already more prone to dryness since the cold winds from outside and harsh artificial heaters inside contribute heavily to dry or chapped skin. While cleansers don’t get as much praise as a serum or moisturizer, they play a crucial role in how your skin reacts to the rest of your routine. If you’re experiencing tight, dry, cracked, or itchy skin in the winter, your skin is lacking moisture, and the first step you should take is to evaluate your cleanser’s ingredients and make sure it’s not drying your skin out even more. If your skin is too dry and flaky, or your pores are clogged, your skin will never get the moisture it needs because your serum and moisturizer will sit on the top of your skin instead of being absorbed. This is why a safe, gentle cleanser is crucial. If you prefer something soap-based, make sure it has been properly PH adjusted so that it isn’t too alkaline for your skin’s liking. PH-wise, something in the low 7s would be best for a cleanser. We also recommend oil cleansers that use the right, non-comedogenic oils, because this is a great way to dissolve dirt settled deep into the pores and help restore moisture to the skin in the process.
A Balancing Toner
Toning is a step often skipped, but toners are the helping hand your skin needs to balance itself and maintain its natural state. The job of a toner is to restore your skin’s PH, but they also offer cleansing properties. After showering or washing our face with hard water (mineral-rich water), our PH is impacted. By applying a toner immediately afterward, you are helping your skin remove minerals absorbed by your skin that were present in the hard water. Your toner even preps your face for the day. By reducing cell gaps and tightening the pores ever so slightly, your toner helps reduce and prevent environmental contaminants from penetrating your skin. Look for a toner with natural astringent properties, and never use an alcohol-based toner. Alcohol and chemical-laden toners are top contributors to dry skin. Toners don’t need a laundry list of ingredients. They just need a base, and essence to enhance the benefits of the base. An essence can be a bloom like lavender, rose, or orange blossom. Try a base that uses reverse osmosis water instead of witch hazel or alcohols. Your skin will feel more hydrated than with the dehydrating latter.
A Nourishing Serum
The best way you can provide optimum hydration for your skin is by adding a serum to your routine, applied after your toner and before your moisturizer. Serums are a targeted method of adding hydration and delivering a concentrated dose of nutrients to your skin. They’re more potent than a moisturizer because they’re designed to nourish the deeper layers of your skin. Look for nutrient-rich oils, such as avocado or sunflower oil. You can also use a serum to help target skin concerns, such as acne or fine lines. For acne, you’d look for a serum containing tea tree oil. If you’re looking to reduce the appearance of fine lines, consider a collagen-boosting serum that contains peptides. Friendly tip: spray your face with toner again after applying your serum, you’ll encourage your skin to absorb more of it.
An Ultra-hydrating Moisturizer
A deeply hydrating moisturizer is going to lock in the previous steps you’ve just completed in your skincare routine. Your moisturizer is your best friend for combatting cold weather dry skin and helping to relieve chapped or itchy skin. The best facial moisturizers for winter months are facial moisturizers rich in non-comedogenic oils and fatty acids. Fatty acids (think Omegas) strengthen your skin’s barrier and help reduce water evaporation, thus sealing moisture in your skin. Look for ingredients that are nut or seed-based, such as kukui oil, sunflower oil, and sesame oil. Using a moisturizer composed of richly nourishing ingredients instead of drying synthetics is the key to maintaining a hydrated complexion; especially since the windy, cold weather is less forgiving to our skin than the warmer months. Don’t be afraid to apply some on your neck and hands. A good moisturizer contains essential nutrients that can help relieve dry hands in winter.
There you have it! Our best tips for winter skincare. We hope these tips will help eliminate itchy winter skin and leave you feeling hydrated and glowing.