It’s the most wonderful time of the year–but not for your skincare! Winter can be a joyous time full of fun, but it also causes extra headaches when it comes to your skincare routine. Regardless of your age your skin is at risk throughout this time of year.
First of all, the winter weather is prone to severe swings that can have an impact on your skin The temperature drops and changes in environmental conditions also means your skin’s health may become damaged.
In order to avoid the weather outside from frightfully affecting your comfort or health, you will need to understand what cold weather does to your skin.
How Does Cold Weather Impact Your Skin?
First and foremost, you will need to have some general knowledge about how various cold weather conditions affects your skin. This understanding helps you to figure out how to create a skincare routine that achieves the best results. Keep in mind that there are differences in weather and environment based on the region that you live in. You will also want to consider the weather of anywhere if you are traveling.
Low Temperatures and Dry Air
The severity of drops in temperature and differences in humidity levels have a lot to do with your location. However, cold conditions lead to a significant drop in air humidity which makes it easy for your skin to dry out.
Additionally, the temperature makes it difficult for the air to maintain the moisture level in your skin. This leads to much drier skin that flakes and cracks. These compromises to the integrity of your skin can be uncomfortable and unattractive. But they can also be dangerous because your skin is a strong defense against disease and infection. Tears and cracks in that defensive barrier can open you up to illness and skin irritation.
The drops in temperatures have a significant effect on air pressure. These changes in pressure can create everything from pleasant breezy winds to the kinds that create blizzards and snowstorms. The impact of wind on your skin is devastating around this time of year. It strips the moisture from the top layers of your skin with ease and does actual wind impact damage such as chapping and burning.
Near-Constant Indoor Heating
Even when we are safe and warm away from the harsh conditions of the cold outdoors the winter weather is still taking its toll on our skin. Most of us are lucky enough to have indoor heating sources to keep us comfortable and safe during the freezing months. These sources of heat are necessary for our safety and survival, but they also take a toll on skin. The constant air flow and sharp difference in air temperature between indoor and outdoor air can help create a constant havoc for your skin.
Bundling Up Means Bacteria Build-Up
Bundling up can be part of the charming fun of the season. Coats, scarves, sweaters, hats, gloves and earmuffs are just some of the many winter fashion components that are stylish seasonal fun. They should also be carefully considered. If you under bundle you leave parts of your skin overly exposed to harsh environmental conditions. If you over bundle, then you risk sweat and bacteria build-up on your skin. So, it is important that you consider function when making your winter fashion decisions.
A Sneakier Sun Factor
Just because the sun isn’t creating the same kind of heat that it does in the summertime doesn’t mean that it isn’t capable of doing serious and significant damage to your skin. Outdoor activities can be wonderful ways to bond and create memories, but they can also put you at greater risk for exposure to ultraviolet rays from sunlight. The low temperatures and reflective landscape can make it difficult to immediately recognize the threat of winter sun damage, but it is there whether you realize it or not.
How to Adjust Your Skincare for the Winter Season
Now that you have a general sense of the ways winter can do damage to your skin you will need to make the appropriate changes to your skincare rituals in order to combat the cold. However, these changes aren’t always obvious or necessarily intuitive. Even those of us who have a passion for skincare need refreshers and reminders around this time of year. Let’s take a look at the ways you can help prepare your skin for the months ahead and protect it no matter where you find yourself through the season.
Know Your Area
First of all, you’ll need to identify what your specific location’s weather concerns are and how it impacts your skin. Where you are physically located has a lot to do with the condition of your skin. Make sure you take stock of your surroundings before making plans for or changes to your skincare.
If you are looking for environmentally specific skincare suggestions, you may want to talk to your esthetician for informed suggestions and product recommendations. If you are planning to travel somewhere with significantly different weather than your skin is used to, you should book a consultation to appropriately prepare for your trip.
Figure Out Your Personal Physical Vulnerabilities
Aside from environmental factors, your diet and genetics play the biggest part in how your skin handles harsh, cold conditions. Any time you are planning to take care of your skin you need to remind yourself of the challenges and strengths of your skin. This will help you plan for healthy, beautiful skin no matter what season you find yourself in.
Having a regular esthetician can be helpful in these areas. If they are already familiar with your specific skin sensitivities and qualities, they can quickly and effectively give you suggestions when you encounter problems or change your environment by taking a vacation.
Moisturize, Moisturize, and Moisturize
There are a lot of conditions that zap the moisture right out of your skin. It is important that you are restoring that lost moisture with a moisturizer that won’t irritate or damage your skin. You may even want to try skin conditioners and barrier moisturizers if you are somewhere that the weather is particularly extreme. These will help protect your skin between the times that you moisturize throughout the day by creating a moisture rich foundation in your skin. However, these kinds of products and treatments can potentially be overkill if conditions are more on the mild side of the winter weather spectrum (another reason having an esthetician to consult can be handy).
Always Remember Your Face and Hands
Winter weather means more coverage and heavier clothing for the vast majority of us. There are two areas of your body that this increase in layers doesn’t always protect: your hands and your face. There are winter face masks and gloves that you can wear to protect yourself throughout some of your day, but eventually your face and your hands become exposed to the cold. These two areas receive the least amount of barrier protection which means they are susceptible to the most damage. Keep a hand and face lotion with you to combat immediate impacts throughout the day. That way you aren’t playing skincare catch-up when it comes to balancing the moisture of your exposed extremities.
Pay Attention to Your Lips
Lips often get left out of skincare considerations, but they take a serious beating from cold weather damage. Having a good lip balm, Chapstick, or moisturizer for your lips is crucial. It’s hard to get in the mood to take pictures and have fun when it hurts to smile and laugh.
Your internal moisture balance has an effect on your external moisture balance. There are all many fun warm drinks and cocktails to be enjoyed around this time of year. However, no matter how tempting the festive beverages are it is important that you make your hydration a priority. 6-8 glasses a day, no matter what time of year it is. If you are someone who has trouble getting enough water, you might want to consider infused waters or teas to help get you started. Having an easily accessible, filtered water bottle handy can also go a long way in helping you hydrate.
Layers are a good idea for this time of year. The thickness of these layers will depend on where you are, but you will need to remove and apply layers as you go from place to place. Going from indoors to outdoors and back again means you will need to bundle to varying degrees in the span of a single day. Staying somewhere safely between sweating and shivering can be a challenge. Not to mention trying to look your best for parties and events. Considering how you look is an important part of fashion and expression, but those expressions are diminished if you are physically uncomfortable and putting your skin health at risk. Make sure you are careful about the protection and breathability of your winter wardrobe.
Think About A Shake Up to Your Makeup
If you have skin that is sensitive or seriously affected by change you might want, try looking into makeup that suits your seasonal needs more specifically. You may need makeup that is more durable because of hoods or face masks. You may need makeup that pumps up the moisture because you live in a particularly windy area. You may want to stick with balms over glosses for more durable lip moisture. If you are someone who thinks you might benefit from a shake up to your makeup, an esthetician is a good place to start. They will give you professional, informed opinions and recommendations because they are certified in the subject. They’ll be able to inform you about the ingredients and benefits of various brands and products with more authority than an Instagram endorsement or a product review section. Not to mention they will be able to consider your skin, specifically.
Want to Learn More?
Did learning cold weather skincare techniques interest you? If you have a passion for skincare, you could begin your career as an esthetician at the Minnesota School of Cosmetology (MSC). Our Esthiology Diploma Program is designed to be completed in under 5 months (600 clock hours) with full-time enrollment. Our esthiology diploma program has been developed by talented, caring, real-world professionals, many of whom still work in the field. We give our esthiology students experience in skincare, waxing, make-up, application of facials, and more.
Contact us today to learn more about becoming an esthetician and starting a rewarding career in the beauty industry.
*Completion time for this program is defined by 35 hours per week.