Get your skin Winter Ready

Winter Skin

The winter months can be hard on our skin as cool temperatures outside and extra warm temperatures inside mean low humidity levels even in our rain forest. This is combined with hot showers and soap-based products that also pull moisture from the skin. In the mirror skin looks dull; it feels tight, dry and itchy.

Our skin is built of layers of cells surrounded by oils that keep it water resistant and protect against invading bacteria. It sort of resembles a wall of bricks surrounded with mortar; when we get holes in the mortar things we want to keep out can easily get through and cause damage. With our skin, the lack of moisture and oil we experience in the winter weakens your skin’s natural protective barrier, allowing ingredients to penetrate the skin too fast & too deep causing redness, irritation and sensitivity.

Let’s look at a few key ways to tweak your skin care routine to treat this seasonal dryness and leave your skin glowing all season long.

We always want to choose a cleanser that is free of harsh surfactants (ingredients that act as detergents, emulsifiers, or foaming agents) as they cause skin irritation. In the winter we may want to forgo a foaming cleanser all together and try an oil based version instead. These cleansers work on the principle that oil attracts oil. So as you gently massage it into your skin the oil cleanser pulls the excess oil and dirt to it and is removed with a warm cloth. The oil left on your skin works to rebuild your protective barrier leaving your skin soft, nourished and calm.
My faves include: Beautycounter’s Countertime Lipid Defense Cleansing Oil and Counter+ Lotus Glow Cleansing Balm

Not ready to give up your foaming cleanser? Try adding an oil serum into your routine! Beauty oils are great to use in the day to give that dewy look and at night to repair your skin’s barrier while you sleep. Beautycounter has three oil serums to choose from depending on your skin needs (pick your fave here) or let me know in the comments if you’re interested in a workshop to learn how to make your own.

Hydration, Hydration, Hydration!! And I’m not talking about drinking more water, although that is good for you. Water is found inside our cells and is important for keeping the skin plump (think of skin cells like grapes versus raisins) but it’s also required by skin enzymes to complete processes like desquamation or shedding dead skin cells. Without sufficient water these processes don’t happen the way they’re supposed to and can lead to rough, flaky skin and irritation.
The unfortunate thing about water and the skin is that it’s the last organ to get the water from our diet and it’s the first place to have water removed if the body needs it. The best way to get water into our cells is through water binding ingredients like Hyaluronic Acid (read that blog post here), aloe, squalane, cucumber or chia seed extracts. They work by attracting water from the air and holding on to it within the skin.
Try layering these serums underneath your moisturizer to add a boost of water into your routine: Beautycounter’s Countermatch Intense Moisture Serum or Countermatch Hydra-Gel Radiance Toner
There is never a better time to use a moisturizer than in the winter, but you may need to switch up your face cream for something a bit richer. In the summer months (or warmer climates) our skin produces more oil which keeps the skin naturally nourished and protected. With the cooler weather our oil production slows while at the same time it is being stripped away by environmental conditions like low humidity, harsh wind, or forced air offices. Moisturizers work by being the essential layer between your delicate skin and the world.  
A good moisturizer will do at least two things for your skin. It will provide calming and nourishing elements through ingredients like Vitamin C & E, Aloe, Sunflower seed oil, or Plum oil. While ingredients like Shea butter, Cocoa butter and Coconut oil help seal in all the goodness of your serums and oils. These heavier butters and oils help prevent the loss of water and keep your skin’s natural barrier intact.
The key to finding the perfect moisturizer for your skin is balancing how much nourishment you want and how much protection you need with how much oil your skin normally produces. As winter weather has more drying tendencies you may need to opt for a moisturizer that is heavier (aka has more protection).
Try out Beautycounter’s Countermatch Adaptive Moisture Lotion if your skin is more oily, Countertime Tetrapeptide Supreme Cream if your skin is dry, or Countertime Antioxidant Soft Cream if you’re somewhere in between.
Still not sure what’s going on with your skin? Book a virtual skin consultation to chat with me one-on-one and get your skin care questions answered.