Winter skin has different needs to summer skin, but often we don’t make any adjustments to our skincare regime between the seasons. Winter can also stealthily introduce new practices into your routine, like having extra-hot showers. Check this list to see if you’re making any of the most common mistakes with winter skincare.
Waiting too long before you apply moisturiser
After cleansing, your skin is exposed to the risk of dehydration. The sooner you apply moisturiser, the better. Always apply the one-minute rule; apply toner and moisturiser within a minute of finishing your cleansing. This rule can be applied year-round, but it’s particularly important in winter when the air is colder and drier. If you’re inclined to use the same moisturiser day and night, now’s the time to start using a specialised night moisturiser, like Okana's Berry Blend Night Moisturiser which has macadamia oil to create a natural protective barrier that helps to keep your skin hydrated.
Turning up the shower heat
When your bathroom’s chilly, it’s always tempting to have a shower that’s hotter than your summer shower. However hot water strips your skin of natural oils, which affects the efficiency of the skin barrier system. It’s better to install a bathroom heater than cook yourself until you’re crayfish-pink.
Forgetting to moisturise your body
You might not be wearing shorts or exposing much bare skin in winter, but don’t let up on the body skincare. As with facial moisturising, follow the one-minute rule. Get your body lotion onto clean skin within 60 seconds of turning off the shower. In fact, a really good tip is to keep your body moisturiser in the shower cubicle – as soon as you’ve patted your skin dry, apply body moisturiser from toes to neck.
Use a body cream with natural emollients, like avocado oil and apricot kernel oil. They both contain natural fatty acids to protect your skin, as well as vitamins to slow signs of ageing. For a real shower treat, use our scrumptious Avocado Smash Body Butter.
Going too long between exfoliations
Putting your exfoliation habits into hibernation is not an option. Scrubbing off dead skin cells is just as important in winter as it is in summer, because your skin is still busily building itself, layer by layer. It doesn’t slow down in winter.
If you don’t remove dead skin cells on the skin’s surface, the old cells pile up and give your skin a dull, rough appearance. Even worse, the build-up of dead skin cells can clog pores and cause acne breakouts.
Exfoliation can be achieved by mechanical means or chemical means. A really good exfoliator will do both. For example, Okana Bamboo Beads Remineralising Face Scrub uses bamboo particles to mechanically exfoliate your skin and apple amino acids for natural chemical exfoliation. So you get the best of both worlds.
What’s more, you’re not adding to the planet’s problems because bamboo is one of the most sustainable resources on the planet. Whatever you do, definitely avoid products that contain polymer microbeads. They end up in the ocean and become part of the food chain for sea life, even though they have no nutritional value.
Leaving your sunglasses at home
UV might not be as strong in winter, but bright light still causes you to squint and screw up your face – and that’s a major source of wrinkles. Ensure your favourite sunglasses are always handy for driving and walking. If you’re a skier, wearing proper eye protection is as important as remembering to apply sunscreen. At high altitude, UV is stronger and sunlight is even brighter.
Backing off on lip protection
Your lips are always exposed to the elements one way or another, and in winter you have the added insult of cold, drying winds. To keep your lips in good shape, it’s important to remember that the skin on your lips has a special, very thin top layer that doesn't accumulate dead skin cells. This means you shouldn’t exfoliate your lip skin; you need to repair the barrier, not scrub it off. Give your lips a light coating of natural lip balm before you apply lipstick or lip gloss. And always resist the temptation to lick your lips - when the lips are moistened by saliva, digestive enzymes can break down the skin and lead to cracking.
Not eating enough healthy fats
You might be determined not to gain any weight over winter, but don’t cut your fat calories. Dry skin and problems with eczema and dermatitis are more likely to happen if you eat a low-fat diet. But you should be super-fussy about your fats; aim to eat healthy high-fat foods like salmon, avocados, walnuts, olive oil, macadamia nuts and chia seeds.See: 4 'high performers' to look for in skincare ingredients lists