How To Update Your Skin Care for Winter




While it's easy to make hunting for the perfect ankle boot or new coat a priority come colder weather I personally like to spend a little time changing up my skincare, creating a post-summer routine that will take me through Autumn and Winter.

Regardless of skin type adjusting your skincare routine for a change in season to avoid dull dry skin isn't as simple as adding in a heavier moisturiser although it is still relatively straight forward. 

So I thought it would be good to break it down step-by-step, sharing a few tips and tricks along the way and of course my favourite products for this time of the year.




Cleansing for better barrier function 

After summer and with a change in temperature and the new addition of central heating your skins natural barrier function can be disrupted. This can cause the skin to be red, sensitive, dry, dehydrated and generally uncomfortable. 

The outer layer of the skin helps hold water and moisture into the deeper layers keeping it happy, smooth and radiant. So it's vital you support your barrier function come the colder months so that your skincare can retain and absorb into the skin

Along with treating your skin like you would a baby, it all starts with cleansing. Opting for a creamy cleanser over a foaming one so not to strip the skin of its natural oils everytime you wash your face.  

Side note - Stripping your skin or weakening your skin's moisturise barrier can result in excessive dryness in dry skin and excess oil products in oily/combination which will struggle to be remedied by other skincare products.

While you may want to change from a cream cleanser to a more nourishing balm or oil cleansing in the evening, it's your morning and 2nd step evening cleanser that you may want to think about swithing up. 

When looking for the ideal face cleanser for both morning and night it should be most importantly non-foaming and free from sulphates and ideally with a low pH. Not many cleansers state their pH level (you're looking for a pH 7 or lower) so I've included some recommendations below. 

Formulas to look out for are non-foaming gels and jelly type cleansers along with SLS-free and soap-free cleansing bars. 

Basically, after cleansing, skin should be perfectly clean but comfortable - whatever your skin type! 

Recommended facial cleanser (all SLS-free and low pH!)
Glossier Milky Jelly Cleanser (for normal-oily skin), La Roche Posay Effaclar Purifying Cleansing Gel (for oily and acne-prone skin), Alpha H Triple Action Cleanser (all skin types), Superfacialist Rose Hydrate Cleanser (normal to dry skin).




Tackle hyperpigmentation (sun spots)

While summer may be over you could be possibly dealing with the after-effects of the stronger sun rays on your skin, especially if you weren't vigilant with facial SPF.

Hyperpigmentation comes in many forms and for different reasons but I'm talking sunspots here that may appear as brown or dark patches or blotches on the skin that without the right skincare/treatment will stay put and may even darken over time.

The good thing is hyperpigmentation that is less than 6 months old can almost be cleared up in as little as a couple of months when using both topical vitamin c and retinol.

While Vitamin C (ideally ascorbic acid 10-20%) will help fade sun spots and reverse sun damage,
Retinoids will encourage cell turnover. Both are strong ingredients so will tackle stubborn sun spots and pigmentation issues.

AHA's solutions also help cell turnover which will aid fading of dark spots however with the use of Vitamin C and Retinol it's best to give your skin a one-off AHA treatment every few weeks with a high potency such as The Ordinary AHA 30% + BHA 2% Peeling Solution. But more on that later!

However as these products make the skin sun sensitive and UV exposure makes discolouration darker, a high daily SPF is a KEY. While I wouldn't advise anything less than SPF 30 I would simply suggest airing on the side of caution and opting for a SPF 50.

Recommended Vitamin C and Retinoids
Drunk Elephant C-Firma Day Serum, The Ordinary Vitamin C Suspension 23% + HA Spheres 2%, The Inkey List Vitamin C Serum, Lixir Skin Vitamin C Paste, The Ordinary Granactive Retinoid 5% in Squalane, The Inkey List Retinol Serum, Lixirskin Night Switch Retinol 1%.

Recommended Facial SPF (lightweight & ideal for under makeup)
The Body Shop Skin Defence Multi-Protection Essence SPF 50, Alpha H Daily Essential Moisturiser SPF 50, Nars Smooth & Protect Primer SPF 50, Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Dry-Touch Sunblock SPF 55, Bioderma Photoderm Max Cream SPF 50+, Frezyderm Sun Screen Color Velvet Face SPF 50+ (tinted).



Chemically Exfoliate

If you aren't needing or wishing to tackle skin pigmentation but you still want to keep your skin bright, smooth and soft then exfoliating with a chemical AHA liquid exfoliator 2-3 times a week is perfect.

This will keep dry patches at bay come the colder months and the skin looking bright, healthy and even in tone!

Glycolic Acid
Derived from sugar cane Glycolic Acid is the most popular alpha hydroxy acid (AHA) used in skincare today with the smallest molecule size that will really penetrate the skin. Suitable for all skin types, although working best for dry or mature skin it's generally applied topically like a toner after cleansing in either the am or pm. Overuse can cause skin sensitivity so building up usage is advised, however a few times a week should be enough.

Recommended Glycolic Acid Treatments
Mario Badescu Glycolic Acid Toner (2%), Pixi Glow Tonic (5%), Alpha H Liquid Gold (5%), Superdrug Natural Radiant Glycolic Toner (5%), The Ordinary Glycolic Acid 7% Toning Solution, Pixi Glow Peel Pads (20% - wash off treatment).

Recommended Lactic Acid Treatments
The Ordinary Lactic Acid 5 %, The Ordinary Lactic Acid 10% + HA, THE INKEY LIST Lactic Acid Serum




Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate! 


All skin types require hydration - fact. It's also a fact that central heating and colder weather can dehydrate the skin so as we head into Autumn upping the hydration in your skincare routine is key. 


An amazing way to hydrate the skin without adding more creams into your routine is with a simple Hyaluronic serum. These are lightweight and water-like and soak into the skin in seconds of application. If you have a simple routine you may want to apply after cleansing and before moisturising or for a more product heavy routine, after any actives or treatments.

To seal in hydration a water gel cream works well for oily skin and a lightweight moisturiser even in two layers for normal to dry skin or simply your favourite moisturiser. Adding in hydration in multiple layers is especially great if you are wanting a glow or really feel your skin requires more hydration. Simply press each layer into the skin with your hands and don't feel like you need to stop at 1-2 layers.


Recommended Hyaluronic Acid products 
Neutrogena Hydro Boost Water Gel Moisturiser, Fresh Rose Deep Hydration Face Cream, Origins Energy-Boosting Gel Moisturiser, The Ordinary Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5, Vichy Mineral 89 Serum, L'Oreal Hydra Genius Aloe Water Moisturiser Serum





For extra hydration and to plump up the skin a little, especially in the colder months, a nourishing face mask can really help. These can be used whenever the skin needs a pick-me-up or even is some cases left of the skin overnight.  

While I do enjoy a hydrating face mask when my skin needs it, I find them best to be used after a clay-based mask to balance out my skin. My own personal favourite face mask for adding water/hydration back into the skin without a sticky feel is Fresh Rose Face Mask and Glossier Moon Mask.
 
As an extra step, a hydrating toner can be applied to the skin before using a face mask, to really double up on hydration. 
 
Recommended Hydrating Face Masks 
Fresh Rose Face Mask, Glossier Moon Mask, Origins Intensive Overnight Mask, Vichy Mineral Quenching Mask, Glamglow ThirstyMud Hydrating Treatment, Neutrogena Hydro Boost Hydrating Mask Pod



So there you have it, the four key ways you can update your skincare routine specifically for Winter! 

While this post has definitely been packed with information and product recommendations I hope I've offered some guidance of what you should be thinking of adding into your routine especially if you feel like your skin starts to suffer or go 'downhill' in the colder months. 

Fee xo.
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