There is more to winter skincare than just layering on emollient creams to tackle dry skin woes! There is also the factor to consider as to how you should transition from a mattifying skincare routine to fight monsoon humidity to a more nourishing one when the temperature drops. We spoke to dermatologist Dr Divya Sharma, MD dermatology, for her tips on getting healthy, gorgeous skin, just in time for winter.
“Skincare regimens cannot be annual; they need a quarterly revisit. Our skin is the largest organ of our body and is constantly exposed to the outside environment. Hence, external weather changes will also influence the skin type,” says Dr Sharma. She elaborated on some examples of essential products being affected by the weather:
- In winters, you should use gentle, soap-free cleansers as there is very less humidity in the environment. But during the summer season, your acne-prone skin is likely to break out more often and as such, salicylic or mandelic acid cleansers come in handy.
- You can skip your toners and astringents during winters, but they may be needed during the summer season.
- The use of sunscreen use goes down during winters and monsoon, but in reality, your skin is more prone to sun allergy or tanning during these seasons.
- You can also look at spring water or thermal mists to keep your skin fresh during summers. .
So, how exactly should you go about transitioning from your current skincare routine to accommodate the harsh winter months that lay ahead? Read on…
- 01. Biggest skincare challenges for winter
- 02. How to transition from your current skincare routine (in a gentle way)
01. Biggest skincare challenges for winter
The winter season bids goodbye to humidity and brings in different skin challenges altogether. According to Dr Divya, “Your skin has a delicate barrier made up of moisturising factors, which are lost to the cold environment. You must maintain the natural pH balance of the skin to keep it hydrated. You may require a ceramide-based moisturiser if your skin is too dry. For deep hydration, hyaluronic acid also serves an excellent purpose. You also need to use more sunscreen as UV radiation is the same as during summers, but looks less.”
FYI, snow reflects UV light more and causes tanning. The best thing about winters is that you can bring the hats out from your closet — they give excellent protection from the sun. Also, avoid harsh peeling procedures and opt for hydrating peels or facials instead.
02. How to transition from your current skincare routine (in a gentle way)
Like any other organ, your skin also does not like surprises either! You can take the following steps to make the transition smooth and gentle for your skin:
- The ideal CTM routine for winter months should look like this: Start with a mild cleanser and avoid products containing glycolic acid, salicylic acid in the beginning. Mandelic acid is my favourite molecule when it comes to the ‘first- go-to’ ingredient in a cleanser. Also, drop your exfoliating face washes or soap bars. Skip toning, especially if you have dry skin. For your moisturising needs, opt for a hyaluronic acid-based moisturiser for deeper hydration. For daily use, you can use ceramide-based moisturiser.
- Opt for a non-comedogenic sunscreen, preferably with a matte finish like the Lakme Sun Expert Ultra Matte Gel Sunscreen SPF 50.
- Night creams containing retinol should not be used if you have sensitive skin. Try using on the forehead for a few minutes and gently increase the contact period to overnight. You can always try ‘buffering’ with a moisturiser before and after the night cream.
- Avoid harsh scrubs and exfoliating agents. Please consult a dermatologist to help you build a good skin care regimen for the changing season.
Pro tip: Dr Divya added the SPF caution for winter skincare! She explained, “Winters look less sunny and you may become careless in applying sunscreen. Clouds can only block UVB, not UVA rays and hence one should apply a sunscreen daily. An SPF of at least 15 is a must. Higher SPF is desirable, but if you have a deeper skin tone, it may leave behind a white cast. An SPF of 50 does not mean that you may not require reapplication — reapply your sunscreen every 2-3 hours throughout the day. Also, remember to incorporate scarves and sun hats as added tools for sun protection.”