This article will tell you how to take care of your skin during the cold season, and how much they cost.
What happens to your skin during the cold season
The skin’s main function is to protect the body from external factors, such as temperature extremes, ultraviolet light and germs.
The stratum corneum, the top layer of skin that we can see, does most of the work of protection. The stratum corneum needs moisture to function properly, so the surface of the skin is covered with a mixture of water and fats. It hydrates the skin and keeps moisture from evaporating. The integrity of the mixture depends on the work of the skin cells and sebaceous glands, the cosmetic products we use, and the humidity of the air.
In winter there is less moisture in the air, especially in rooms with radiators and heaters. The skin loses more moisture than usual, there is a feeling of dryness and tightness, there are areas of redness and peeling, itching.
The lack of moisture disturbs the stratum corneum, making it easier for harmful substances and microbes to penetrate. In people with chronic skin diseases, such as acne, atopic dermatitis or rosacea, it can lead to aggravation.
In normal air humidity, the skin does not lose moisture and makes up for the loss from the outside. With dry air, the skin loses more moisture and becomes permeable and dehydrated
Dehydrated skin can be confused with a dry skin type. However, dry skin lacks fat and dehydrated skin lacks moisture. Dehydration can come and go in everyone. Even people with an oily skin type can feel uncomfortable, even though their skin looks oily.
No matter what your skin type is, you can check for dehydration in front of a mirror. Pinch a small patch of skin on your cheek with your thumb and index finger, hold for a few seconds and then release. If the skin smooths out quickly, there is no dehydration. If it returns to its original appearance slowly and wrinkles form when squeezed, there is probably dehydration. It is not a dangerous condition that you should see a doctor about. Three winter care products can handle the problem: a moisturizer, a mild cleanser and a sunscreen.
What products are needed to take care of your skin during the cold season and how to use them in winter
- To help with dehydration and dryness.
- After washing your face and 15 minutes before going outdoors
- Apply to damp skin.
- Cleanse the skin without damaging the protective layer
- Lather in hands, apply to damp skin, rinse off
- Protects from UV radiation
- 15 minutes before going outdoors, if the UV index is higher than 3
- Apply a third of a teaspoon of sunscreen over your moisturizer 15 minutes before going out. On clean skin if you’re going to exercise
Hygienic lipstick or lip balm
- To prevent cracked or dry lips
- Before going out and at night
- Apply to the lips
How to identify your skin type
All products should be chosen according to your skin type. For example, dry skin lacks moisture and oil in winter, and oily and combination skin produces enough oil, but not enough moisture in winter. The principles of care in this case do not depend on gender, the same products will suit both men and women.
Determining your skin type
Skin looks oily and shiny, has pimples and black points.
Skin looks oily and shiny on forehead, nose and chin. Normal No shine, tightness, redness or itching sensation
Not shiny, no tightness, redness or itching sensation
Dull, often with a feeling of tightness
There is frequent itching, redness and flaking
How to choose a moisturizer to take care of your skin during the cold season
A good winter moisturizer contains ingredients that draw moisture into the stratum corneum from the surface or from deeper layers of the skin, saturating fats and creating a protective film. The former help moisturize the skin, while the latter and third help slow the loss of moisture.
Products for normal, dry and sensitive skin should contain more film-forming ingredients. In this case, the texture of the product is denser. Some of these include CeraVe or Clarins Intensive Moisturizing Cream. But there are also light, rich creams such as Kiehl’s or La Roche-Posay. Products that suit oily and combination skin, like CosRX oil-free lotion or The Ordinary moisturizer, have more moisture-attracting ingredients and a lighter texture.
Dense, rich creams give the illusion of warmth. It seems that a layer of thick cream will keep your skin warm and you can stay outside longer. But the product will not protect against frostbite. To avoid unpleasant consequences, apply the cream to damp skin after you wash your face, and 15 minutes before you go out if the temperature is below zero degrees Celsius. The product will retain water, preventing it from evaporating. If you apply the cream to dry skin, it will have less moisturizing effect.
What ingredients to look for in a cream
Moisturizing – Hyaluronic Acid, Propylene Glycol, Alpha Hydroxy Acids (AHA), Urea, Glycerin, Aloe, Panthenol
Rich in fat – Ceramides, silicones (Dimethicone, Cyclomethicone), Cholesterol, Jojoba Oil, Castor Oil, Shea Butter, Cocoa Butter, Isopropyl Palmitate, Triglycerides, Propylene Glycol, Squalane and other lipids
Сreate a protective film – Mineral Oil, Petroleum Jelly, Lanolin, Squalane, Shea Butter, Jojoba Oil, fatty alcohols (Cetearyl-, Cetyl- and Stearyl Alcohol), silicones (Dimethicone, Cyclomethicone), Cholesterol, Stearic Acid, Lanolin Acid, Propylene Glycol
Read also: 5 best creams with lifting effect
Should you moisturize your skin with thermal spring water to take care of your skin during the cold season ?
Thermal spring water has no proven effectiveness. It is just one of many cosmetic products that may work for someone.
If you use thermal water for moisturizing during the day, spray it from a distance of 10-15 cm and blot it with a tissue after a minute to remove the excess. Otherwise, you can, on the contrary, dry out your skin, especially in conditions of dry indoor air. Applying thermal water over makeup is theoretically possible, but it is unlikely to help with dryness. In this case, it is better to give preference to decorative cosmetics, which additionally moisturize the skin, and products that gently wash off makeup.
There is no reason to use mineral water or tap water instead of thermal water. The mineral content of the water affects its hardness, and instead of moisturizing, you risk drying out your skin.
How to choose a mild cleanser to take care of your skin during the cold season ?
To choose a good product that will not dry the skin, you should pay attention to the surfactants in the composition and the information on the pH level on the package.
Surfactants. All cleansers contain surfactants. They wash away some of the fats that protect your skin from the environment.
Surfactants can be aggressive or mild. Aggressive ones break down fats more and damage the skin barrier.
❌ Aggressive surfactants: Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS), Sodium Laurate, Sodium Cocoate, Sodium Tallowate.
✅ Soft surfactants: Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLES), Cocamidopropyl Betaine, surfactants with the ending Sarcosinate or Succinate.
Aggressive substances are best avoided, especially if the product does not contain any mild surfactants. The more surfactants listed, the gentler the product is. The order in which the ingredients are listed does not matter.
Aggressive surfactants are found in very foamy products like shower gels and cleansing foams, so it is better to give preference to creams, oils or milk. They often contain softer surfactants that don’t foam as much and don’t dry the skin. If you don’t want to give up foam, try a cream gel. The key is to make sure that there are more mild surfactants than harsh ones listed.
Choose gentle cleansers even if you have oily skin. Aggressive cleansing products interfere with the protective barrier, and your skin responds by producing even more sebum. That’s why these products won’t dry it out.
pH. Human skin is slightly acidic: pH 4-5. Good bacteria feel comfortable in this environment, while potentially harmful bacteria do not. Plain hand soap has an alkaline pH greater than 7. Washing with it changes the pH of the skin to more alkaline, which is good for dangerous bacteria.
Instead of alkaline soaps for cleansing, it is better to choose products with a slightly acidic pH of 4-5. Sometimes manufacturers add information about the level on the package, but in the Russian market it is rare. It is not possible to determine the pH by its composition, either. Before buying can be guided by the label “mild cleansing,” “does not violate the protective barrier” or “contains no soap,” and then – to check the pH of the product with test strips, which are sold in pharmacies and hardware stores. To do this, lather up the product and apply it to the strip. If the color remains yellow, the pH is weakly acidic.
Here are some cleansers with a slightly acidic pH: Eucerin Shower Gel, CosRX Gel, Don’t Touch My Cleanser.
How to choose a sunscreen to take care of your skin during the cold season?
The effects of the sun’s rays on your skin are just as dangerous in winter as they are in summto take care of your skin during the cold season when your UV index is 3 or higher.
The sun’s A and B rays affect the skin. The former are responsible for skin aging, the latter for sunburn. Both types of rays increase your risk of skin cancer. For sun protection, choose a cream that protects against both types of rays.
The SPF marking on the package means that the product protects against UVB rays. An SPF 30 cream is sufficient in the city in winter. Water-resistant sunscreens with SPF 50 marking make sense to use if you will be in the sun for a long time and plan to sweat: playing sports outdoors, snowboarding or skiing.
Manufacturers refer to UVA protection in different ways. Products from the U.S. and Australia have a UVA mark in a circle, Asian brands write PA+++. It is also possible to meet an inscription Broad Spectrum – protection from all types of rays.
Sunscreens, as well as moisturizers, should be chosen according to your skin type. Dry skin should prefer firm textures, while oily skin should prefer light ones. Sensitive skin types should prefer creams with Zinc Oxide or Titanium Dioxide, as they are sunscreens that won’t cause irritation.
Before leaving home, check your UV index through any weather app or website. If the index is 3 or higher, apply sunscreen to clean or moisturized skin beforehand. If you are going to play sports, your skin will sweat profusely and applying sunscreen over moisturizer may not give you lasting coverage. If that’s the case, it’s better to just use it on clean skin.
The American Academy of Dermatology recommends applying one-third teaspoon of sunscreen to the face 15 minutes before going out. This should allow time for the product to be absorbed and take effect. It may be necessary to reapply sunscreen every two hours of exposure to the open skies to take care of your skin during the cold season.
How to choose a lipstick to take care of your skin during the cold season?
The skin on the lips is very different from the face and body: the horny barrier is thinner, and there is no hair, sebaceous and sweat glands. The only source of moisture for the skin of the lips is saliva. Because of this, your lips are quicker to dry and crack.
A hygienic lipstick or lip balm can help avoid dryness. Beware of ingredients that can make dry skin worse. These include camphor oil, menthol, and eucalyptus. If your lips have already become dry and chapped, use film-creating fats in pure form: petroleum jelly, beeswax or lanolin, if you are not allergic to it. Apply lipstick or lip grease before going out and before going to bed.
If you do not have handy hygienic lipstick, you can as an emergency measure to apply a thick moisturizer. But it’s better not to do it all the time. So manufacturers of creams design their products so that they don’t come into contact with your body, but only on your skin.
Read also: 10 BEST MOISTURIZING LIPSTICKS
What to Change in Lifestyle to take care of your skin during the cold season
Get a humidifier. A humidifier fights the main cause of dry skin – dry air. It’s a good idea to keep indoor humidity between 30-50% for your health.
My skin feels comfortable at about 45-50% humidity. At lower humidity, I start to feel tightness. Humidity above 50% is also harmful: it’s a comfortable environment for mold, dangerous bacteria and dust mites. For the same reason, we recommend cleaning your humidifier every three days and changing the water in it regularly.
Keep warm. Moisturizer will reduce irritation from cold and wind, but it won’t protect you from them completely or keep you from frostbite. Do not neglect a warm scarf and hat, or even a balaclava, if in your area there is a severe frost. The main thing is to choose a material that will not prick and irritate the skin, such as cashmere or merino.
The masks that we wear to protect against infection also keep our skin warm and protected from the cold, but they should be changed regularly, as they are a good environment for the growth of bacteria.
Limit the time in the shower and avoid hot water. The longer we shower and the higher the water temperature, the more protective fats are washed from the skin and the higher the chance that the skin will dry out. Therefore it is recommended to take a shower under warm, but not hot water and not longer than 5-10 minutes. After showering wash your skin with a towel so that it remains slightly damp, and then apply cream.
How often you wash depends on your needs and lifestyle. But this does not apply to washing your hands, you should wash them thoroughly before eating, after contact with animals, and after visiting public places. Apply cream after each wash to keep your skin from drying and cracking.
Read also: How to begin practicing meditation? And why?
What you should not do
Drink too much water. It seems logical to drink lots of water when your skin is dehydrated. However, there is no evidence that drinking too much helps hydrate your skin. Drink when you feel thirsty and as much as you want. There is no universal norm.
Moisturize your skin with improvised remedies. You should not put cucumbers or other fruits or vegetables on your face. They can not replace the cream, can not moisturize your skin and nourish it with the right substances. But they can cause allergies.
Moisturize your skin with oil or grease. Some oils are good for dry skin that lacks fats. However, they can’t cope with dehydration, because they don’t saturate the skin with moisture.
Use only moisturizing tissue masks and patches. Moisturizing masks and patches are a good way to quickly moisturize your skin, but they will not replace basic care. They should be viewed as a supplement to your basic skincare regimen.
How to replace body scrubs to take care of your skin during the cold season
Exfoliating your body skin is not a basic function, but in some cases it may be necessary. For example, after the depilation procedure in the case of dry skin, hair can ingrown. In this case, products with acids can prevent hair ingrowth. To do this, you need to apply them in the inter-depilation period.
Means with acids must be introduced gradually, guided by your own feelings. If burning, redness or peeling occur, stop using acids for 3-5 days until it has passed. Then you can reintroduce them. If irritation reappears, try applying the product less frequently, choose a different one with a lower percentage of acid, or stop exfoliating altogether.
How much does it cost to take care of your skin during the cold season?
If you use care products every day, about 200 ml of moisturizer, 450 ml of mild cleanser, 50 ml of sunscreen and 2-3 hygienic lipsticks will suffice for the winter. In winter, the UV index is rarely higher than 3, so sunscreen will remain for summer as well. A humidifier is a one-time purchase that you will use for at least a few seasons.
For the calculations, I took products for normal skin and average price.
This is an approximate cost, it may vary depending on how often you will use products, what type of skin you have and what brands of skincare you prefer.
One winter skin care – 90$
Hygienic lipstick 10$
It is better to choose a foundation on the same principle as a nourishing cream – more oils and less water. It is optimal to combine a tone and a caring product in one product.
“Now there are cosmetics, which are based on creams with fats and tinting products (for example, BB-cream). They are great for winter. And water-based moisturizing foundations are better to postpone until summer.”
General advice to take care of your skin during the cold season
- Winter skin care requires a moisturizer, a gentle cleanser, sunscreen and Chapstick.
- Choose all products depending on your skin type.
- Apply moisturizer only to damp skin.
- Choose a cleanser with mild surfactants, which are most often found in products that do not foam well.
- Instead of alkaline soaps, it is better to choose a mildly acidic product with a pH of 4-5.
- Apply sunscreen before going outdoors, if the UV index is 3 or higher.
- Get a humidifier and keep the humidity between 30-50%.
- Try to shower no longer than 10 minutes under warm, but not hot water.
- Keep yourself warm in cold weather. Cosmetic care will not save your skin from frostbite.
- See your doctor if you have pimples, red spots and peeling that won’t go away and cause discomfort.
How should your care change if you go on vacation to warm countries in winter?
Flights, a change of climate is a stress to the body in general and to the skin in particular. Means that the reasons for dehydration become much more. There is also the threat of signs of fatigue on the face. Complementary products, such as concentrates, can help to avoid trouble and provide a fresh, healthy look to your skin.