Cold weather can completely wreck havoc on your skin as it tends to dry out very quickly. If you don't adapt your skincare routine accordingly, this could lead to tightness, flakiness and/or itchiness. So here's a few tips on how to change your skincare routine for winter season and prevent dry skin.
- Exfoliate - Just a Little Bit
- Avoid Having Long Hot Showers
- Practice the "Two-Minute Rule"
Exfoliate - Just a Little Bit
Exfoliating is a good idea for everyone to do if their goal is to have fresh, glowing skin. Exfoliation has many benefits, including enhancing circulation, promotes lymphatic drainage, and rejuvenates by removing excess dead skin cells. Anther reason to continue exfoliating is that dead skin cells reduce the amount of absorption you get from the products you apply. This means that if you're applying moisturizer to skin with dead cells, you're not getting as much out of that product as you could be. Thus, in order for products to properly penetrate, that top layer of dead skin buildup must be broken down via exfoliation beforehand.
That said, winter is not the time to do it too much. How much you need to do it really depends on your own skin and skin type. If you're unsure, a good rule of thumb is to do it 1-2x per week - but no more than that. Of course you are the best judge whether you're doing it too much or not. If you feel your skin is becoming more moisturized, stick with what is working! If you feel you're drying out more, then reduce the amount you exfoliate.
One thing to think about when trying to determine your own skin's need for exfoliation, is the skin's cycle of rejuvenation and your stage in life. This cycle doesn't change during the different seasons, but it does change depending on your age.
Below is a general timeframe for the skin's cycle by age:
- - Teenagers: about 10 – 21 days
- - Young adults aged 19-21: about 14-21 days
- - Average middle-aged adult: about 28 days
- - Maturing women in their 40’s and 50’s: about 45-60 days
- - Mature women and seniors in their 50’s and 60’s+: about 60-90 days
The type of exfoliation you do in the winter matters also. It's often recommended to decrease use of chemical and physical peels/scrubs. These can disrupt the skin's protective barrier and cause micro-tears, causing increased sensitivity and irritation. Instead, switch it up for enzyme-based exfoliants. Particularly those containing extracts of pomegranates, pumpkins, papayas, pineapples, and figs, because these fruit enzymes are considered to be the fastest-acting with regards to their ability to dissolve dead skin cells.
Avoid Having Long Hot Showers
Not much is more tempting than a steamy, hot shower after a long, cold day. Unfortunately though, hot showers can dry out your skin, disrupt its natural balance of moisture and rob you of the natural oils, fats, and proteins that keep your skin healthy. So besides having dry skin, what's the deeper problem with this? Well, dry skin can increase your chances of infection and cause breakouts/flare-ups due to an over production of oils as it tries to compensate for the lack of moisture.
Cooler or lukewarm showers - even just a few times a week - can hep to keep skin hydrated and hair stay strong and shiny. Captain Obvious says: "if your skin appears red after a bath or shower, your water is too hot."
While we're on the subject, if you're a big bath fanatic (who isn't?), well this falls into the category of "too much of a good thing"... There is a point where a bath can end up leaving you with reverse benefits. When your skin starts to prune, you've been in the water for too long. Like we've said before - and will likely say again - everything in moderation.
Do You Want a Cold Shower?
We're not fans of anything cold (#beachplease), but being a BC born and bred team - where the water is always cold and dark but full of life - having experienced the benefits of submerging in cold water first hand, it's hard not to sing its praises. If you've ever done a "polar dip" or "ice bath", you would know.
But let's backtrack for a hot second... forget about skincare... what if there was a quick way to achieve an immediate energy boost? A boost so powerful that you felt so alive and filled with joy. And what if this boost had a profound effect on the way your body functions - in the most optimal way. Would you do it? Would you do it if it hurt a little for a moment? Would you do it if you knew it may sting for a moment but would bring so many physical and mental benefits
Welcome to the benefits of taking a polar dip/ice bath/cold shower.
It's hard to do. There's no doubt about that. But the rewards you will reap - as with so many desirable accomplishments in life - greatly outweigh the temporary pain.
And the thing is, it doesn't take much to reap these rewards. Start with a warm shower and when you're ready to get out, take a few deep breaths, turn it to cold and allow yourself to be in the present moment of the cold for a minute or so.
Speaking from experience, we promise that you will emerge feeling more refreshed, alive and rejuvenated than you ever have before. And your skin's cells will be on fire - in a good way - as your entire body lights up to do what it does best naturally - reclaim it's own health.
Practice the "Two-Minute Rule"
The 'two-minute rule' suggests that applying your moisturizer within two minutes of leaving the shower or bath will lock in the moisture before it has a chance to evaporate. This is because your skin is fully primed to absorb moisture. So by applying moisturizer while your skin is primed, this will effectively soak up those good, natural ingredients.