Even though brands have already released their spring makeup collections, and announced their summer collections, and we are suddenly looking forward to dive into the fall trends…. Let’s take a break for a minute and let’s face it: it’s still February and it’s all snowy in Paris… and it’s still winter. Well, at least for the Northern hemisphere. (secretly being jealous of the Australian climate in February).
During this time of the year a lot of people start to suffer from the so called classic case of winter face. We’ve all been there: your skin lacks radiance, feels puffier than usual, has a pretty rough surface and let’s not even mention the under-eye area… ugh – and the more you try to “fix” it using all kinds of makeup magic tricks that you know it just doesn’t seem to get any better… right?
The winter face is a completely normal reaction of your skin to the extreme weather conditions during the cold season. The temperatures often drop below zero, there is usually dry cold wind when you go outside, and as you go home you mainly sit in an air-conditioned room and the changes in the temperature can dry out your skin even more and make it flaky and unmanageable. On top of that, we usually tend to neglect our diet during the cold winter months and instead of having plenty of fruits and veggies that would boost the vitamin supplies of our body, we tend to indulge ourselves with a nice, generous mug of hot chocolate and plenty of marshmallows on top. ? And no wonder it all reflects on our skin.
But no worries, you can very easily fix things by switching your skincare and adding a few more steps to your skincare routine. The results should come shortly. ?
Cleanse the right way twice a day
I know, I know… you already know that – you have to cleanse your skin thoroughly before going to bed. Yes. You must do that every single night. A lot of people tend to skip that step from time to time but it’s essential for keeping your skin healthy and beautiful especially during the winter.
If you wear a full face of makeup, a good cleanse means to use micellar water to remove the heavy makeup from your eyes and lips and then use an oil cleanser to remove the rest of your make-up. It might seem a little odd to use oils to cleanse your face but in time it would make a huge difference in how your skin looks. Using an oil cleanser is the only effective way to dissolve make-up without stripping the skin of moisture which is so essential for your skin especially during the cold season. Oil cleansers are perfect for all skin types because they easily remove all the dirt and dissolve the acne producing oils and sebum while at the same time conditioning your skin and leaving it soft and moisturized. Make sure that you massage gently the oil cleanser into your skin for at least 20 secs before removing it. Use a flannel to cleanse your face and don’t forget to be very gentle. Do not rub your skin because it might get irritated. Once you are done, do a second cleanse again using the oil cleanser to make sure that you’ve removed all the makeup off your face. When you’re done with the cleansing make sure that you moisturize your skin really well because cleansing removes essential moisture and oils from you skin, and by moisturizing you will help your skin to retain it’s natural moisture.
If you’re a person who doesn’t wear make-up, then you most certainly can get away just using a gentle micellar water and/or a foam or a gel cleanser. However, do not forget that even if you only applied moisturizer to your skin and you were staying all day at home, you should still cleanse your skin before going to bed. You can skip the whole oil cleansing process but you should make sure that your skin is nice and clean.
My favorite cleansing products are:
Bioderma Sensibio H2O Micellar Cleansing water
Clinique Take the Day Off Cleansing balm
Vichy Pureté Thermale Foaming Facial Cleanser
Avène Micellar Lotion
La Roche Posay Effaclar Purifying Cleansing Gel
Caudalie Instant Foaming Cleanser
Do not underestimate the morning cleanse ? Your skin will be grateful
A lot of people think that cleansing is something that you should only do only before going to bed. However, the morning cleanse is just as important. Your skin would be grateful if you take that extra minute to do a quick morning cleanse before applying your morning skincare routine. This is an essential step that you should not miss because it removes all the oils that you skin has produced during the night, and also gets rid of the remains of your nighttime skincare. To cleanse your skin in the morning you can either use a gentle micellar water or a gentle foam cleanser. Make sure that the product you use is suitable for your skin type to avoid any irritations and drying.
N.B. The products that you use to cleanse your skin should not irritate you skin. If a product makes your skin red or you have an itchy feeling, then the product is not right for your skin and you need to change it.
Exfoliate on a regular basis
Exfoliating your skin can get rid of all the rough and flaky skin that is so common during the winter season. It is a very important part of your anti-aging skincare as well, and last but not least exfoliating your skin on a regular basis removes all the dirt and the oils and helps to prevent breakouts, blackheads and milia. And the best part is that you can see immediate results. If you use the right products for your skin, you should be able to see instant results: smoother and more radiant skin. Did you know that your skin constantly sheds more than 30 000 cells every minute? ?
Even though exfoliation can be very beneficial for your skin, make sure that you are being gentle to your skin and do not over-exfoliate because you might irritate your skin and make things even worse. Read carefully the instructions and the ingredients of the products that you use on your face because some of the creams that you use might be exfoliating and you could end up using too many exfoliating products. Keep in mind also that using a towel or a flannel to remove your make-up at night also has a mild exfoliating effect because you are rubbing the washcloth against your skin.
Try to stay away from grainy exfoliants during the winter especially if you have dry or sensitive skin because they tend to strip the moisture off your skin. Choose exfoliants that contain lactic acid or glycolic acid because they are gentle and “eat” the dead skin cells without irritating the skin.
One of my favorite exfoliating creams during the winter is Filorga Sleep and Peel. It is a very gentle night cream that exfoliates the skin and leaves it very moisturized in the morning. Caudalie have a great exfoliating mask as well Glycolic Peel. It leaves the skin very smooth and it is not irritating. Another option is the L’Oréal Pure – Clay Exfoliate & Refining Face Mask which is more suitable for normal to combination skin.
N.B. Exfoliating creams and masks can give you a mild tingly sensation when you first apply them, and this is completely normal. However, these sensations should go away in a couple of minutes. If you feel severe burning or itching, remove the product immediately and do not use it again.
Even though it’s the end of the winter your skin still needs to have a rich nourishing cream that would restore the balance and bring back the youthful appearance of your face. When the weather is cold and the air-conditioning is on all day long, your skin starts to suffer from the lack of moisture and it’s no surprise that it might looks dull and lifeless. Look for creams that contain vitamin E. You can even crack a little capsule of vitamin E and mix it in your hands with your moisturizer. You can do that once a week. I find that it nourishes the skin and makes it smoother over time.
Don’t underestimate the power of oils especially during the winter season. Using facial oils (but just a couple of drops) before applying your moisturizer can instantly transform your skin and make the makeup application unbelievably smooth. You can use oils as a part of your day or nighttime skincare routine. There are plenty of options to choose from on the market. Choose the one that best suits the needs of your skin. My personal favorites are NUXE Huile Prodigieuse and L’Oréal Paris Extraordinary Rebalancing Facial Oil. I use the one for combination skin.
Drinking plenty of water during the summer is a no-brainer. However, we often forget how important it is to drink enough water in the cold winter months too. If your skin is not getting the sufficient amount of water, it will start looking dry and it will be more prone to wrinkling. Make sure you get enough water every day and keep in mind that it is a good idea to drink a glass of water with each cup of coffee. ? Coffee is a life-saver for most of us and has many benefits but don’t forget that your favorite latte is a diuretic too and makes you loose water.
Wake up & Make-up ?
I don’t know why brands usually tend to come up with their matte heavy coverage foundations during the fall/winter and then they decide “to go all glowy a and shiny as the spring approaches”. I respectfully disagree with these campaigns. Full coverage mattifying foundations are the worst idea for the winter season. There is nothing wrong in using a full coverage long-lasting foundation for a special occasion but most certainly not on a daily basis. Your skin is already dry and exhausted and needs something more nourishing and lightweight. Full coverage foundations usually contain a blend of silicones and a high amount of alcohol which make them more mattifying and long-lasting, but these ingredients won’t do any good to your skin. Try to choose foundations that are lightweight and ones that contain some skincare ingredients such as vitamin E and hyaluronic acid. This will keep your skin smooth and hydrated all day long and will help your skin to look a lot better during the winter.
If you don’t have a light foundation or if you are struggling with the smooth application of your foundation, you can mix a drop of facial oil with some foundation on the back of your hand and then apply it to your skin. The oil will help your foundation to blend a lot easier and will keep your skin hydrated.
Eat your veggies ?
It’s hard to keep a healthy diet during the winter because we usually have less choices of fresh fruits and vegetables but there are some vitamins that are essential for a healthy-looking skin. Always make sure that you eat sufficient amount of fruits and vegetables because they supply your skin with the necessary elements. Try fresh juices such as carrots, beets, apples, oranges, pomegranates etc.
Share with me your favorite skincare product that saves your skin during the winter? ?