Changing your skincare for Autumn and Winter for the most part isn’t a huge deal. On the scale of how important it is, it falls probably in the same place as ‘ironing your pillowcases’. With some minor tweaks, your skin will recover from the effects that these colder months may have on it.
Skincare For Autumn And Winter Skin Problems
You probably don’t need to ask too much about the difference in life between Summer and Autumn. It. Is. Cold. The temperature and humidity has dropped and we’re starting to crack on that heating – minimally, obviously.
Maybe you’ve never connected the dots between your flaky, dull or red skin, the increased skin irritation and how your lines and wrinkles suddenly look way more prominent with the fact that it’s colder. Well, newsflash, because they are most certainly connected.
So, what’s happening in our skin to cause this? A whole harem of things. Windy weather and low humidity means that our skin is struggling to adapt. As a living organ, it is adaptable but like with us as hoomans, constant change can be difficult to handle.
Gusts of wind and the bitter cold can basically knock that sebum right off of your face and reduce the levels of lipids in your skin’s natural moisturising factor, made up of ceramides, urea and cholesterol.
Low humidity is the enemy of humectant ingredients like hyaluronic acid, a favourite of ours, when they are used without an occlusive or emollient moisturising ingredient (we’ll explain that in a bit, hang tight). This is because humectants pull moisture towards them, including moisture from the air, and low humidity can cause humectants to have the opposite effect, pulling moisture outwards from the skin. Now, don’t bin your Skin Veg (please) as this is easily fixed with one simple step.
Why You Need Emollient And Occlusive Ingredients
When your skin is becoming very easily dehydrated, you need to up the ante with hydrators and spread your hydrating ingredients wings.
There are three main types of hydrating ingredients you’ll find in skincare:
- Humectants: binds to water, drawing moisture deeper into the skin (depending on the molecular size of the humectant) – examples include hyaluronic acid, honey, polysaccharides and glycerine
- Emollients: softening, soothing and can have mildly occlusive benefits (film-forming)
- Occlusives: create a physical barrier on the skin to lock in moisture and protect
If you find that your skin can’t hold onto its moisture no matter how hard it tries, it’s time to check if you have enough emollient ingredients in your skincare routine! Emollients sound like something you want only for very dry skin but realistically, oilier skins need them just as much and there are tonnes of non-comedogenic (non-pore-clogging) emollient ingredients.
In Skin Protein, you’ll find sunflower seed oil, triglycerides and sorbitol, which is both an emollient and a humectant, as well as many other emollient ingredients.
So using your humectant hyaluronic acid serum, like Skin Veg, alongside your emollient Skin Protein, or another emollient serum or moisturiser, makes sure that moisture is less likely to be pulled out from your skin in times of low humidity!
If you still feel a little tight, flaky, liney or irritated, you need to kick it up a notch to something more occlusive. Meet Skin Good Fats, a barrier balm that simultaneously locks in moisture, feeds your skin delicious lipids that are native to it and protects it from the harsh environment. Use a small amount of Skin Good Fats prior to your SPF to boost your skin’s barrier and prevent your skin from losing its own moisture, and slather it on at night as your skin’s cosy blanket.
Exfoliating In Autumn And Winter
If you find yourself in the great outdoors a lot during the summer, you may have exfoliated less frequently because you are super sun savvy – gold star! If so, now is the time to kick it up a notch and bring those acids back in to play. As per the usual, we don’t recommend overusing exfoliating acids either – keep your Sally Cleanse or A-HA Cleanse to every third night and every night respectively.
If your skin is over the top, ‘crying at ads about puppies’ sensitive as the weather cools down, you may find that exfoliating acids are bugging your skin more. In this case, bring down how often you’re exfoliating for a while, maybe to once a week for a week or two.
We know, we know – it’s confusing for us to say to both increase and decrease how often you’re exfoliating. The fact of the matter is that only you can know what your skin is telling you, you just need to know how to interpret it!
SPF in Autumn And Winter
Sun’s out, SPF out, right? Wrong. Your SPF is an everyday affair, even though you might not actually see the sun for another 6 months. UVB rays are the ultraviolet rays we associate with heated sunlight but UVA rays, a sneakier form of ultraviolet ray, can get to us all year round – even on your birthday, it’s like “hey, buddy, here I am to potentially damage your skin”. A big phrase in the skindustry is “UV-A for ageing” because UVA is considered to cause premature skin ageing, especially considering that many neglect to wear protection on the daily.
“But I work in an office,” you say proudly. Once again, UVA does not care. It actually travels through windows and clouds. It can get you on the bus and in your car. Big oop. Our opinion is that you should wear SPF every single day of the year (and we feel that because Skin Shield SPF 50 +++ is so lovely, it’s not a problem). So when you are changing your skincare for Autumn and Winter, don’t drop that sunscreen.
Another Big Tip: Facial Massage
Ever notice you don’t look as bright and bubbly when it’s colder? Colder weather means your blood vessels become narrower, making circulation more difficult and meaning that it’s possible that not as much oxygen or nutrition is getting to your skin as quickly as it usually would. Without that oxygen and nutrition, your skin may look a bit grey (and your dark circles may look worse too).
We like a hands-on approach so get kneading. Using a light, non-comedogenic carrier oil like jojoba oil or a facial oil, very gently knead your face for 2 to 3 minutes in the morning prior to cleansing. Why prior to cleansing? You’ll need to thoroughly remove the oil to allow your serums to penetrate and to keep your SPF from breaking down and being less effective!
Follow these easy-peasy tips for changing your skincare for Autumn and Winter for skin that feels more like cashmere than scratchy wool… And consider investing in a humidifier – they really work.