The Deep Freeze
Everything you need to know about winter weather and your skin and how some freezing temps can actually do you some good.
This winter chill has absolutely no chill when it comes to the state of our skin. How is it that every year, we are faced with the same skincare issues: dry but oily, itchy but acne-prone, flaky but tender (no, not the pie crust)? Where does one even begin to treat all of said winter woes? To stop this chain from reoccurring every year, let's do some critical thinking to understand precisely why this happens during colder months.
Our skin feeds off of the moisture in the atmosphere to help keep it hydrated. Inevitably, the dry winter air strips the skin of this seriously-needed moisture. Pair that with the central heating in your home and your skin is dehydrated. You'll certainly know when it's reached this point because of the irritated, flaking and itching state it'll be in. And once dehydrated, it sort of becomes this never-ending loop of excessive transepidermal water loss, which is when the moisture from your skin evaporates into the air.
To top it off, supplementing hydration back into the skin becomes more involved than usual due to the difficulty it faces to penetrate deep enough into the epidermis. Promptly, to cope with the lack of moisture, your skin begins to produce excess sebum in compensation. It's a natural reaction and it means, well...we all know what happens when there's too much sebum - winter breakouts. When the sebum mixes with the dead skin on your face, it clogs your pores and pimples appear. And that's how you happen to deal with every single skincare issue at the exact same time, every winter.
Now that you're fully educated in this cycle, we can work together to help break it. Let's start with a few lifestyle hacks that you can begin right now:
- Avoid hot temps in the shower or when washing your face.
- Run a humidifier in your home, especially when you're sleeping.
- Always try to cover exposed skin when out in the elements to protect it from the wind.
- Stop touching your face! Your skin isn't interested in any more bacteria than it already has.
As for your skincare routine, you'll want to add products with humectants, also known as ingredients that attract water. Some of the most common humectants used in skincare include AHA's, glycerin and hyaluronic acid. Once you've found some hydrating products, you'll want to lock it all in with occlusive ingredients that act as a barrier, stopping the moisture from escaping. Silicones, lanolin and petrolatum are a few examples. Yep, your good ol' tub of petroleum jelly is one of the most occlusive products out there but we strongly advise you not to smear it all over your face. Chances are it'll be so occlusive and you'll break out! Try it as an overnight lip mask, instead.
Without further ado, here is our ultimate Miracle 10 skincare routine - Winter Edition:
- Cleanser I - Gentle enough to wash away excess oil without stripping the skin.
- Toner - Packed with hydrating and soothing ingredients like Allantoin (a humectant!).
- AHA Cream (or Gel for you extra oily guys and gals) - To help pull-in moisture while breaking apart dead skin overnight.
- Moisture (AM) - Infused with Vitamin E, an emollient which helps fill the cracks of dry skin with fatty lipids to soothe and heal it.
- Sunscreen SPF 30 (AM) - Does this even need an explanation?
- Night (PM) - This silicone-based moisturizer will lock-in your skin's moisture while you sleep.
- Botanical Oil - A dose of antioxidants that will also help lock it all in day and night.
Finally, what we're about to say may blow your mind (apologies in advance). Not all freezing temps are bad for your skin. In fact, there's a particular segment included in the Miracle 10 Facial Peel, over at MD Beauty Clinic, that is -78.5 degrees Celsius! Dry ice, when used by a medically trained aesthetician, zaps away excess sebum, minimizes bacteria growth and can even calm inflammation. The process takes less than 5 minutes, completely painless and totally worth it. Your aesthetician will take out a container to reveal a rod attached to some dry ice that has been wrapped in gauze and immersed in acetone. The results are incredible and perfect for all skin types and concerns.
Going in for monthly facials will not only keep any acne at bay but also improve your overall skin health and give your skin that glow even in the deep freeze of winter. Have you tried a dry ice treatment before? Let us know in the comments below!