10 Winter Skincare Tips for Natural Beauty
Taking care of our skin in winter should be different than summer just as the seasons are different to each other. But who is changing out bathroom shelves with beauty products necessary for every season? We might think that’s time consuming and cost prohibitive. I don’t think it’s necessary to have a complete seasonal changeover, but there are some changes that should be made.
Lower levels of light, generally less exercise, diets heavier in carb-rich comfort foods, and bodies clad in thick layers compound our winter skincare woes. However, you can play to the strengths of the season and make the most of more enforced time inside to pamper yourself (yay!) so your skin can not only flourish in winter but also be easier to get in shape for spring and summer.
By understanding how winter affects our skin, we can choose appropriate ingredients and products to nourish and protect our face, body and hair keeping them in excellent condition. This will make us feel good about ourselves in winter too!
I’m going to discuss some of the skincare science behind skin’s changing needs for winter and offer 10 tips for natural winter skincare. They are all easy to implement and won’t require a whole new beauty product range to carry you to spring.
I’ve created a video if you’d like to watch it or you can continue to read on. This is a longer read. After all, winter is the time to curl up with a good book (or in the case, a good read). 🙂
Winter Skin Science
Just as you change your wardrobe in a changing climate, you need to change your skincare. Our bodies strive to stay in a state of homeostasis, which requires equilibrium of blood sugar levels, body temperature, and other physiological processes. It’s almost an autopilot of sorts and kicks in when things get out of wack and attempts to right unbalances.
Capillaries in the dermis contract with the cold and are less efficient at providing our skin with much needed oxygen and reparative nutrients. The plus side is our bodies conserve more heat but our skin takes a beating and needs some external help to perform its barrier role.
In winter, our skin is exposed to low temperatures and harsh winds that wick moisture from the epidermis. As a result, our skin, particularly our face and hands, can feel dry and irritated. Hands and lips can suffer from periodic rawness and even severe painful chapping. Psoriasis conditions are aggravated by harsh winter weather.
The cold reduces the skin’s lipids (a mix of triglycerides, wax esters, fatty acids & squalene), which form a protective moisturizing barrier found on the epidermis (stratum corneum). The skin needs help from external moisturizing and occlusive, barrier skincare products such as chap sticks and heavier hand creams in order to prevent trans-epidermal water loss (TEWL) and further dryness.
Let’s go inside. Our hot-house interiors reduce humidity levels that are useful at keeping skin moist. Flyaway hair and dry skin are caused as much by winter heating as the cold weather outside.
As you can see from this brief overview, it’s imperative we make changes to our skincare routine in winter to lend a helping hand to our body’s own mechanisms.
10 Winter Skincare Tips for Natural Beauty
- Use Nourishing masks for winter radiance
In winter, our facial skin can seem dull and pallid; partly because those capillaries restrict with the cold. We don’t want to strip the epidermis of its natural oils by using buffing exfoliaters. A good way to cleanse and bring radiance is to use specially-formulated masks. These are the types of masks that you would leave on your face for 15-20 minutes and then clean off. Heavier, oil-based masks work best. Look for ingredients like antioxidant-rich superfruit extracts or beneficial clays.
- Go gentle on the cleansing in winter
Swap sebum-stripping cleansers for gentler versions. Gentler cleansers can be our natural organic handmade soap bars, gel or foaming cleansers (look at ingredients). Micellar water also makes a great cleansing product for the face. Micellar waters have a small amount of oil content that does the cleaning while the larger water proportion is pH neutral and can help hydrate.
- Wash in luke-warm water
When hands and face are under siege from harsh weather, they become more prone to chapping. Hot water will only exacerbate this. Cooler water can increase overall circulation and blood flow to the skin’s capillaries. Also, using in-shower lotions can speed up body care when applied to damp skin (Lotion stick/balm, body butters, etc.)
- Give your lips extra TLC
If you wear lipstick it’s easy to think lips are protected. They’re not really. Lipsticks are made up of petroleum, mineral oil, and hard waxes. And while they provide an occlusive layer for preventing moisture loss, they do very little in moisturizing the lips. Using a lip scrub can keep lips smooth, removing flaky peely skin. Lip scrubs also leave a nice film behind. Follow with a good moisturizing lip balm, not a waxy one.
- Use hydrating face serums
It’s natural to reach for a heavier, oil-rich moisturizer to aid both hands and face. Adding a serum under your regular winter moisturizer can give your face a nourishing treat to beat winter blues. Again, look for active ingredients that will supercharge your skin. Serums come in numerous forms from oils and gels to emulsions, creams, and even as a solid.
- Combat dry interiors
Heaters dry out the air inside our homes. Unless you have an humidifier attached to your furnace. If not, you can find portable humidifiers to place in rooms you spend the most time in: common room, family room, and certainly the bedroom.
- Don’t forget your feet
My feet are covered up in winter! Yes, and nicely forgotten at the same time. Feet need regular maintenance, exfoliation, and moisturizing too, otherwise they can develop callouses, ridges, and dry patchy skin. By giving your feet some love, say on a weekend a time or two a month, will have them totally ready for toe rings, painted nails, and ankle bracelets when summer arrives!
- Protect your hair
Cold temperatures and wind are hard on hair. We tend to think summer as being the challenge for hair care because of the sun, salt, and heat. Ways to protect our hair is simply by wearing a hat and to keep split ends appropriately trimmed. Hats can aggravate the scalp too so wear a hat that’s scalp breathable. Going outside in the cold with wet hair can create split ends. Use milder shampoos and wash in warm water, not hot. Extra conditioning is vital so using a deep conditioner or hair mask will help.
- Remember body care isn’t only for summer
Dry skin can be prevalent on shins, feet, and elbows. Usually where skin is itchy is also dry flaky skin. Scrubs can be exfoliators slewing off dry, flaky skin, and stimulate circulation. Always exfoliate with caution in winter as it can be easy to overdo it. Body polishes work similarly to scrubs except their ingredients are finer particles and designed to leave a moisturizing film when washed off. Using heavier lotions, body butters, or lotion sticks/balms are excellent choices. When the skin is still damp from a shower apply your choice of moisturizer to trap the water.
- Enjoy the great outdoors in winter too
Winter provides an abundance of outdoor activities. If you don’t have one, consider getting one. Think about Nordic countries, where frigid temperatures are often well below zero. Yet they still get outside. We tend to move less in winter so it’s important to keep moving. Moving provides circulation and circulation provides oxygen and nutrients to skin. Wear the proper clothing. There’s no such thing as bad weather, just bad clothing. Dress appropriately!
Here is the BLUF (bottom line up front—as we say in the military): Swap out your facial skincare products for those that won’t strip away natural facial oils and affect your skin biome. Wash your face in tepid water using gentle cleansers (like our soaps) or micellar waters. Apply nourishing serums under your moisturizer to give skin an extra boost of radiance. Apply richer day and night creams to give your face deep nourishment and prevent the skin’s water loss.
Dry skin can be common on shins, feet, and elbows in winter months. Use body scrubs to exfoliate and slew off dry, flaky skin and stimulate circulation. Body Polishes with their finer particles leave a moisturizing film even when washed off. Body butters lotion sticks/balms provide excellent skin hydration in winter. Apply on dam skin to lock in moisture after showering.
I realize this was long and I hope you made it to the end. Embrace the beauty of simplicity in your skincare routine. Like nature, your skin flourishes when nurtured with kindness and adorned with the purity of natural ingredients. Let your radiant glow be a reflection of the care and authenticity you invest in your self-love journey. True beauty is found in the gentle embrace of a mindful skincare ritual, where each nourishing touch unveils the timeless elegance of your natural radiance.
Keep looking up!
Forever Your Champion,