Winter - you either love it or you hate it right? Turns out, the same is true for your skin. Many people find that their skin feels dry or dehydrated during the cooler months. This is due to a number of factors such as the decrease in temperature and increase in wind chill as things such as the use of indoor heaters. It should be noted that there is a difference between dry and dehydrated skin. So what's the difference? Dry skin is a skin type in which the skin is not producing enough sebum or oil. Dry skin may feel flaky, coarse or rough in texture. Dehydrated skin on the other hand is skin that is lacking moisture. The skin may feel uncomfortable or tight.
The good news is there is a way to care for both concerns. Winter is a great time to give your skin a little extra TLC. I mean, you're inside on a Saturday night in your jammies watching Netflix anyway right? Making some small changes to your skincare routine will make a noticeable difference in how comfortable your skin is feeling. A great start is to begin using a good exfoliator, particularly for those with dry skin. Exfoliators are designed to basically remove dead skin cells from the surface of the skin. Cellular renewal usually occurs on an average of every 28 days so your skin needs a little push to remove those old cells in order to reveal your beautiful fresh, glowing skin underneath.
Exfoliators may be granular based meaning they physically contain small granules which are used to scrub the skin and remove the dead skin cells whereas enzyme exfoliators use an enzyme reaction using ingredients such as fruit acids which gently remove the skin from the reaction (imagine little Pac men gobbling up those dead skin cells!).
Another important addition to your winter routine should be the use of a good quality mask. There are numerous masks on the market all with differing functions and levels of quality. If your skin is dry or dehydrated, you should be on the look out for a hydrating mask which will nourish and repair the skin, soothing and calming the skin and refining its texture. Masks are either setting or non-setting - the difference being that a setting mask will dry on the skin after application. Setting masks often include ingredients such as clay which is used to draw out impurities from the skin. Non-setting masks on the other hand may include ingredients such as nourishing oils which will not dry on the skin and will remain wet until removal.
So now that you have a couple of additions to add to your skincare routine, what else can you do to hydrate your skin during Winter? Lifestyle factors definitely play a key role in improving your skin if dehydration is an issue. Factors such as excess caffeine intake, alcohol consumption, sun exposure and smoking are not great news for your skin.
Ways you can increase hydration include increasing your water intake in the form of well, plain old water or even herbal tea or fruit infused water as well as cleaning up your diet with just a couple of small tweaks to start - maybe try adding two serves of leafy green vegetables a day in a green smoothie for example. Also increasing the amount of exercise you do on a daily basis will help to increase blood circulation and therefore oxygen levels and nutrients to your skin, producing that healthy glow.
Do you find that your skin feels a little lack lustre in the cooler months? What do you find helps the most?