The cold weather can wreak havoc on our skin, causing dryness, ashiness and sometimes irritation, of which are more visible on darker skin tones. It’s important for us to take extra precautions with protecting our skin during the harsh cold of winter.
Here are our top tips for keeping your skin looking and feeling its best throughout the winter season.
1.Cleansing and Moisturizing
While moisturizing seems like an absolute no-brainer, retaining moisture throughout the day can be a challenge in cold, dry weather. While you might reach for single component moisturisers such as shea butter, which is a great skin softener, it's beneficial to use a moisturiser that contains ingredients which also repair the skin's barrier. If you have oily skin, look for an oil-free moisturiser as they are less likely to cause breakouts
Using harsh cleansers should also be avoided because they can deplete the natural skin barrier, make sure your water isn't too hot and choose a body wash that is less likely to strip the skin.
2. Rethink the way you exfoliate your skin
Another thing to think about cutting back on in the winter is exfoliating. Over-exfoliating actually causes the skin to appear and feel even drier which can lead to inflammation and on darker skin types this can cause skin tones to become uneven with areas of hyperpigmentation.
Gentle exfoliators are best, as they don't penetrate the skin as deeply.
3. Moisturise even on oily days
A common skincare misconception is that your skin isn't oily in the winter. However, it is said that darker skin tones actually end up being more oily in the winter, but oily does not mean moisturised. So even if this does occur continue to slather on your butters and creams, even when you're feeling oily.
Lets not forget about your hands, we’ve all fallen victim to the ash attack at least once. Second to the face, our hands tend to be the most exposed body part to winter’s chilling temperatures. For the hands and extremities, dermatologists agree that shea butters, cocoa butters, coconut oil, argan oil, avocado oil and heavier creams are all great options for protecting your skin.
4. Avoid irritable materials in your clothes
Wool and thicker fabrics can be irritating on the skin, especially if you're prone to eczema. Layer up or try to wear coats, gloves, and scarves that are as close to 100% cotton as possible, as synthetic blends and polyester can make your already- dry skin feel even worse.
5. Sunscreen / SPF
Sunscreen is important, even in the winter. Though it may not be top of your mind – SPF is a fundamental instrument for protecting the skin. While the days may be gloomier, sunscreen is a must in the winter months.