Updated: Feb 6
If you haven't already, it's time to think about the changes you'll make in your skincare routine for colder temperatures, outside as well as dry indoor heating. As the weather gets colder your skin tends to become more dehydrated and more easily sensitized. There are steps you can take to ward off cold weather changes to your skin.
The first consideration should be to look at your current skincare routine and switch over to products that will protect your barrier layer, supply greater hydration and be less likely to irritate your skin.
Check out your gel cleanser. Make sure it does not contain sodium lauryl sulfate or other detergents that will dry out your skin. Instead choose a detergent free, low foaming gel cleanser. If your skin is on the drier side and you are using a gel cleanser in the morning you may want to consider changing to your milky cleanser both morning and night. Look at the milky cleanser formulation you are currently using. Is it rich enough for winter? Peruse our Cleanser Page and see if there is a formulation that is a bit richer for the changing season. My favorite for very dry skin is Kukui Cleansing Milk and dry sensitive skins might choose Calming Chamomile Cleanser.
You may think toners are all the same, but they are not. You should never choose a toner containing drying (isopropyl) alcohols or commercial witch hazel (which is mostly alcohol) or products containing menthol. Actually anything that gives you that cool, tingly feeling after you swipe it over your face means you are feeling the moisture evaporate out of your skin. This time of year you should change your toner to one that has higher amounts of humectants (ingredients that hold water in the skin). If you get particularly parched in winter you may even consider a gel toner containing spin factors that drive humectants deeper into the skin.
Many of us know that Vitamin C is the gold standard serum for anti-aging, collagen boosting and reducing hyperpigmentation, but are you using the right formula for your skin? Most Vitamin C products use L-Ascorbic Acid as their Vitamin C. This version is popular because it has been highly tested for efficacy. The problem with L-ascorbic Acid is that it's very unstable and can actually become pro-oxidative after a few weeks of use. This means it can start to break down and your new expensive serum may actually contain pro aging free radicals after just a few weeks of opening the container. L-Ascorbic Acid is also highly acidic. The low pH in L-Ascorbic Acid Serums increase the sensitivity of your skin. The way to get around this is to choose an ester version of Vitamin C. Ingredients like Magnesium Ascorbyl Phosphate, Tetrahexyldecyl Ascorbate and Ascorbyl Methylsilanol Pectinate are all stable, ester versions of Vitamin C that won't cause irritation, go rancid or cause breakdown of the barrier layer.
We love the smell and the idea of using botanicals in our skincare. The problem is, essential oils are very powerful and can have counterproductive and irritating effects when not carefully incorporated into products using precise amounts. More is definitely not better. What's even worse is using synthetic essential oils that are ineffective and alcohol based. So before choosing these ingredients make sure you are using a reputable formula that is not just something doused in fragrance, natural or otherwise.
Prescription Retin-A is known for over sensitizing the skin. Some people have a no pain, no gain attitude when it come to products like Retin-A (tretinoin). Although this Vitamin A derivative exfoliates which leads to better skin by reorganizing cell layers, yet overuse of this aggressive version of Vitamin A can lead to "inflammaging". This is where inflaming the skin tissue over time will not only break down the barrier layer but induce premature aging. Going slow with a starter retinol then stepping up to a slightly stronger formula is the way to go. Of course every skin is different, but if you are having any signs of dryness or irritation you should rethink you retinoid program. In the case of very sensitive skin, you may need to bypass retinoids altogether. Those skins should focus on reducing inflammation first!
BEYOND THE BASICS
Once you get your cleanser and toner up to speed check out my top picks to arm yourself against the chill. These products are aimed at reinforcing the skin's protective lipid barrier from seasonal aggressors. If your skin is feeling dry, tight or irritated your skin’s protective moisture barrier is damaged and needs to be corrected.
Take a good look at what you are using? Can your skin handle the exfoliation routine you've adopted? You may need additional armor to protect your valuable lipid barrier as the colder weather sets in. Here are my top picks to banish dry skin over the winter:
Phytolipid Recovery Cream is a moisturizing repair cream that makes skin less dry and less sensitive over time by repairing the skin's natural defense barrier. It employs advanced moisturizing lipids and calming botanical extracts. Polyphenol in these botanicals are antioxidants that soothe and deeply hydrate parched, stressed, blotchy, or dehydrated skin. This emollient age-defying formula helps correct dryness, flaking and redness to increase comfort over time.
Environmental Protection provides the perfect protective barrier against dryness and irritation for parched or compromised skin. Just a drop of this soothing blend of Omega 3 rich oils will help rebuild a damaged lipid-barrier and banish dryness. This skin softening serum conditions and comforts your skin while imparting a beautifully smooth finish when worn alone or under foundation. It flawlessly protects against dry winter elements when applied over moisturizer or sunscreen. Think of it as an overcoat for your skin.
Good Nite Sleeping Mask is a luxuriously rich skin conditioning overnight masque for mature or drier skin types. It provides excellent renewal as a part of an at home facial treatment. This hydrating masque is a hybrid sleeping masque and moisturizing night crème that infuses the skin with powerful antioxidants as it encourages skin barrier restoration. While you sleep it hydrates and conditions using liquid crystals that lock in moisture. It detoxifies by removing irritating pollutants and impurities by using detoxifying Swiss garden sprouts. It works particularly well at protecting against dryness caused by arid air in your home after the heat goes on. Good Nite helps restore a well-rested, renewed glowing skin by morning with a healthy dose of omega 3 fatty acids and shea butter that perfectly recondition dry skin.
This lip treatment is absolutely amazing. Years ago I used to use chapstick all the time but I felt like my lips only got drier if I didn't use it constantly. They never became plump and healthy. After changing to this Lip Treatment I noticed a huge difference in the smoothness of my lips. I now wear it all winter and carry it in my pocket or purse. It's especially effective when I take daily walks outside in the colder weather. It can't compete with anything else I've tried for wintertime lip care.
These four simple wintertime changes can save your skin and keep it feeling comfortable and looking fresh and smooth all winter long.
Please comment below if you have questions or feedback you'd like to share.
Elizabeth believes in "Longevity Skincare", the idea that beautiful skin can endure throughout one's lifetime when utilizing the best that science and nature has to offer. LONGEVITY is a science-based skincare line that appreciates skin of all ages. LONGEVITY by Elizabeth Renee provides hydration, nutrition and protection from environmental aging. Your skin will receive high performance ingredients to help energize and repair its cells, resulting in a healthy skin with an enduring, vital glow.