During the colder months, the moisture level in our skin decreases, making our skin flaky, dry, and irritated– you know the drill. Therefore, it goes without saying that it’s vital to choose your skincare wisely, to avoid all of these horrific side effects of winter. We’ve already told you how to care for your body, so (naturally) we’re moving on to caring for your face, as every skincare-driven beauty site should do. Winter is coming, folks – better buckle up tight with your favourite moisturisers in tow.
A gentle scrub
Before we begin the everyday steps to your skin care routine, one key step for smooth & hydrated skin is exfoliation. During these months, people tend to avoid exfoliating because they don’t feel dirty or sweaty (unlike in summer) or believe that it strips natural oils off your skin.
However, as experts in beauty (if we may say so ourselves), we know for a fact that exfoliation is more vital than you think. Certain skin types, such as dry skin, don’t shed dead skin cells as well as oiler complexions, so exfoliating once a week is great for a brighter complexion. It also allows face products to deeply absorb into your skin.
Exfoliation is better done at night, since it can leave your skin for vulnerable to UV. If you feel like a scrub is too much, you can always opt for an organic peel, instead.
Not one, but two cleansers
CBCO readers should already know that we’re strong believers of double cleansing – so it should come as no surprise that, even here, we’re carrying that mantle forward.
Dry and sensitive skinned babes – opt for a oil-based cleanser and a hydrating cream cleanser, that not only cleanses the skin thoroughly but also moisturises as you go through every step. If you’re sensitive or oily, cleansing lotions are also good call, as they’re gentle enough not to irritate, super light and yet effective enough to rid you of all that grimy London dirt and makeup from the day.
Here’s a bonus tip: try to wash your face with cold or lukewarm water. We know it might be stupidly cold out and all you want to do plunge into the a hot tub, but trust us: colder is better than hotter. Feel free to indulge in a hot shower while you exfoliate (it opens up the pores!) but keep to the cold tap as you cleanse. Hot water only dries out your face because it strips the natural face oils and damages your skin’s moisture barrier.
A toner, like it or not
If you’re cringing at the sight of this subtitle, then we bet you’ve had some sort of mishap with toner (probably in your teens too). Further breakouts, stinging sensations and extreme dryness sound familiar? Sad to say, but toners have earned themselves a pretty bad rep over the years.
In reality, the best toners only help to cleanse any remaining bits of dirt and grime, balance PH levels and prep your face for the rest of your routine – without compromising the health of your skin. They’re also a great way to deliver water-friendly ingredients straight into your skin – something we all need in this miserable grey winter.
Oilier skin types might prefer using ones with more astringent ingredients, such as witch hazel or tea tree oil, but should still be careful to avoid ones that strip away so much oil it turns your skin dry.
Dry or sensitive? Look out for these magic words: Aloe Vera, Cucumber and Vitamin C. They help to lock in moisture, soothe and help to brighten your skin. Dreamy.
A concentrated serum
A serum is so essential during winter. It’s might go in the middle of your routine, but it’s your skin’s major source of nourishment. Pick a serum that’s specifically tailored to your skin concerns – whether that’s hyaluronic acid for dehydrated skin, pomegranate extract for anti-ageing, or both (or more…)
Another thing to keep in mind: serums can do amazing things, but that only means that the ingredients in these winners can be quite concentrated. Therefore those with sensitive skin might struggle with the potency or even the presence of some of these ingredients. We say: it’s best to go for formulas made specifically for sensitive skin (definitely ask if you’re not sure) and always – always – patch-test before slathering it all over!
Cream or oil?
Serums are great, but they’re not as effective without a good night cream to lock in the moisture. Serums hydrate the skin but if you don’t put a rich moisturizer afterwards, the hydration may not last. The best type of night cream absorbs into your skin and doesn’t just sit on top! Night Creams with chamomile (for sensitive skin), Rose Hip Oil (for dry skin), hyaluronic acid, and Vitamin A are best!
Also, if your serum is already oil-based, we recommend topping it off with an all-rounder facial oil. Cream are water-based, so it’s definitely not going to get through to your skin!
Don’t forget: eye cream
The most delicate part of our face is our under eye area and besides our hands + neck , it’s usually the first signs of ageing, so let’s moisturise, moisturise, moisturise! There are some great eye creams out there, but the best ones have nourishing ingredients such as jojoba oil, argan oil or Vitamin E. Your eye cream should have minimal amounts of essential oils, as these can irritate the sensitive skin there.
Make sure you apply eye cream both night and day, especially if you wear makeup during the day because crusty eyes aren’t cute!
And your lips too
This last step is often neglected, but dry lips are often the most reliable tell-tale sign of dry or dehydrated skin. During winter, they are one of the first to dry out, getting chapped and cracked easily, because they don’t have active oil glands to keep them hydrated and protected. In order to avoid painful dry lips, always add a lip oil or balm at the end of your night time routine for added hydration, to keep your lips super smooth while you sleep, and try to top up throughout the day when you can.
– Selena Arroyo & Jennie Lim