How to protect your skin during cold, harsh weather

Misia at Soothe

Is your skin often exposed to cold temperatures and harsh weather conditions?

if you’re someone who enjoys outdoor sports, if your job requires you to be outside a lot, or if you simply like to get out in all weathers – here’s how to look after your skin!

What skin changes and skincare issues might you notice during colder, harsher weather?

When the humidity drops, when harsh winter winds become more frequent and when temperatures plummet your skin will almost certainly react. It may:

  • seem drier & more dehydrated
  • appear duller & flaky
  • exhibit increased redness

Why does this happen?

Colder, harsher weather conditions, along with pollution and central heating cause dehydration; in turn, a build-up of dry skin cells causes a lacklustre, dulling appearance.

In response to this dehydration, your skin produces more sebum, which should keep your skin moist & healthy, but too much can cause skin sensitivity.

Your skin’s natural protective barrier is compromised and needs to be gently rebuilt and nurtured. Thankfully, that’s easier than it sounds – there are plenty of simple steps you can take to protect your skin against the effects of a cold, harsh winter!

In this article:

How to boost hydration & fight dryness

How to improve dull, flaky skin

How to treat skin redness

How to boost hydration & fight dryness

Cleansing your skin

During the autumn and winter months, a frothing face wash can be very drying. Sodium laurel sulphate (SLS) is the ingredient that makes your face wash frothy; unfortunately, it also tends to strip the skin of essential natural oils that exist to protect and lubricate the skin.

Consider switching to an oil or cream cleanser which helps to protect the skin’s barrier function and is gentler and more nourishing. I recommend SKNRG Super Rich Creme Cleanser. It’s a luxurious deep cleansing creme, packed with medicinal extracts to defend against pollutants, whilst purifying, hydrating and moisturising. Alternatively, our AlumierMD range is absolutely fantastic – your skin may really benefit from using the HydraBoost Cleanser. AlumierMD is a medical grade brand that cannot be purchased online without a consultation, but it’s really worth looking into, so why not arrange a no-obligation consultation?

Avoid hot showers: they can strip oils from our skin, causing them to become even drier; enjoy a 5-10 minute shower at a warm, pleasant temperature.

After washing or bathing, use a body oil or a moisturiser containing hyaluronic acid to seal in moisture.

The same is true when it comes to washing your hands and body. Use a soap with glycerin or organic Argan oil, wash in warm not hot water and pat dry rather than scrubbing.

Moisturising your skin

The light moisturising cream you used during summer might not feel right for you in the winter. Now is a great time to introduce a richer moisturiser or serum for a powerful, concentrated boost of hydration, which is just what our thirsty skin needs at this time of year.

Occlusive moisturisers are best applied before you venture outdoors. This type of moisturiser works by creating a barrier which prevents water loss and locks in hydration. Look for ingredients like shea, squalane & sweet almond oil.

Emollient moisturisers are a powerful way to soften skin, rehydrate and strengthen the skin’s barrier function. They can be used in conjunction with occlusives for an even greater effect – look for ingredients such as ceramides and niacinamide. The SKN-RG Cellular Repair Moisturiser is powerful yet gentle on your skin; it boost hydration whilst also treating signs of ageing. Other favourites include SKN-RG C3 Ceramide Moisturiser and AlumierMD HydraDew.

For lips and hands, look for products containing shea butter or jojoba oil, for an added moisture boost. Always wear gloves when you can and take care over your cosmetic choices – some lipsticks can be very drying! The luxurious, rich serum in our Rosy Hands Instant Manicure provides much-needed TLC for your hands. If you use this at-home manicure weekly I promise you’ll have soft, smooth and more youthful-looking hands all winter!

Soothe Treatment Recommendations

The Deluxe Hydrafacial – to boost hydration, protect from environmental damage & leave your skin texture greatly improved.

How to Improve dull or flaky skin

A good exfoliator – whether for your face or body – will brighten dull skin by removing the topmost dead layer of cells & enable your skin to absorb the rest of your skincare more easily. See my exfoliation tips in this blog post for a breakdown of exactly how to exfoliate your face & body safely and effectively.

A brightening at-home face mask for dull skin: our Seoulista Super Brightening Instant Facial is a lovely mask which treats uneven and dull skin; it includes enough serum to spread across the neck, chest and down dry arms and hands too!

Soothe Treatment Recommendation

Alumier Enzyme Peel – effectively exfoliates dull, tired and pore-congesting dead cells for a smoother, more radiant and revitalised appearance.

How to treat skin redness

Cleanse using a gentle, non-abrasive product. Look for soothing ingredients such as aloe vera.

Moisturisers containing niacinamide and ceramides will help boost your skin’s protective barrier and azelaic acid is a fantastic ingredient to fight inflammation and redness.

Soothe Treatment Recommendation

Cryo Facial – uses ice-cold temperatures to improve skin’s tone, firmness & elasticity and to contour and oxygenate the skin for a healthy complexion.

Dermalux Photo Facial for Redness – a pain-free, non-invasive treatment which is clinically proven to rejuvenate and treat red, flushed skin and sensitive skin conditions.

Last but certainly not least!

Always use sunscreen, even in winter. Use an SPF – UVB rays are weaker but UVA (ageing) are still present and can have an ageing affect on skin. I would always advise using a separate SPF, rather than relying on a moisturiser that contains SPF; they can be relatively ineffective, often not containing UVA protection and being impractical to reapply once you have put on your make up.

Daily SPF can be very light (I don’t advise using a holiday-type product) – ask us about Noon and Alumier options, which are only available to buy in the spa.