Have you ever travelled to a new location, only to find that your skin is looking and feeling completely different to what you're normally used to? As many of us now know, it is no longer just what you put on your face that can have an impact on your complexion, and a different climate or environment can completely throw even a 10-step skincare routine on its head. With the changing of seasons, London's windy winters can wreak havoc on our skin, making this the perfect time to hone a skincare wardrobe change that you can tweak and take through to spring. Here are FINA's top tips to protect the skin from the harshness of the winter months:
#1 KEEP THE PH BALANCE NEUTRAL
It may seem counterintuitive that the cold, winter air causes an overproduction of sebum (skin's natural oils), however, as your skin gets over-dried by the harsh conditions, the body starts to rapidly overcompensate by overproducing oils and thus clogging your skin even more. According to Adriana Martino, skincare expert, the key is to keep your pH levels balanced throughout this season. Use gentle cleansers with a pH or around 4.5 - 5.5 to make sure that they are not interfering with skin microflora. Furthermore, take care when exfoliating, doing so a maximum of 1-2 times per week during the colder months.
#2 INCORPORATE OILS
Those who read our blogs know that we are all massive fans of incorporating oils in our skincare routine all year round, however, they really come into their own during the colder months. As the body starts producing more sebum in response to the dry and harsh conditions, all of a sudden, using rich face oils can send the opposite signal, thus balancing out oil production as well as providing hydration and protection for the skin. And before you ask, yes, all skin types benefit from using oils, even oily and breakout prone ones. Here are the best and our most recommended oils for every budget and occasion:
1. Laura Mercier Infusion de Rose Nourishing Oil (£45)
Perfect hydration for the winter months, this product combines 10 different natural oils, including rose hip and sunflower.
2. Pixi Beauty Jasmine Oil Blend (£26)
A great oil blend especially effective in helping skin recover from loss of moisture and dullness. Perfect for oily/combination skin, as well as skin suffering from acne.
3. Juno Antioxidant + Superfood Face Oil (£54)
A truly rejuvenating face oil, perfect for sensitive skin types as well as those suffering from dry/flaky skin. Rich in cold pressed superfood seed oils.
4. BY SARAH Organic Facial Oil (£12)
Formulated with cold-pressed, certified organic plant-based ingredients, this facial oil is the perfect everyday natural face oil to promote healthy, flawless skin. Great for all skin types.
5. The Ordinary Plant Derived Hemi-Squalane (£23)
An effective emollient, great for sensitive skin types which provides long-lasting hydration and moisture.
A simple yet highly efficient way to adapt your skincare for winter is to add or increase the use of face mask in your routine. Instead of reserving it for a pamper weekend, why not give your skin a much-needed mid-week boost. Sheet masks are perfect for this as they are quick and easy to put on as well as giving your skin a richer dose of active ingredients. Look for calming ingredients such as honey, oatmeal and
Instead of reserving it for pampering at the weekend, why not give your skin a mid-week boost as well via a hydrating, soothing mask. Sheet-masks are perfect for this, as they are easy and quick to use, however, we always love a rich and hydrating wash-off mask to make your skin feel clean and nourished. Look for calming ingredients such as honey, seaweed or oatmeal to help relieve rough and flaky skin. Here are out top choices for a pamper evening in:
1. FRESH Rose Deep Hydration Mask (£21)
A divine smelling gel mask that leaves the skin feeling silky smooth and hydrated. Infused with aloe vera gel, cucumber extract and pure rosewater to quench thirsty skin
2. FARMACY Honey Potion Renewing Antioxidant Hydration Mask (£36)
Infused with Glycerin, amino acid-rich Royal Jelly and Honey from pollinated Echinacea GreenEnvy™ (the brand's patented and exclusive plant), this face mask leaves the skin feeling immediately hydrated and glowy.
3. Sarah Chapman Skinesis 3D Moisture Infusion Mask (£46)
Using bio-cellulose nano science, this high-ten formulation calms redness and irritation, hydrates the skin and contributes to a more even skin tone.
#4 LAYER YOUR PRODUCTS
‘Layering skincare lets you craft the most appropriate regime for your skin and allows you to adapt it as your requirements change,’ says Dr Virginia Hubbard, a consultant dermatologist. With Korean 10-step skincare routines paving the way for more and more women and men to get experimental with their skincare routine, layering can be a great helped during the winter months. If you're a layering newbie, don't be alarmed, the process is quite simple when you get the hang of it. The general rule is start from thin (toner and serum) to thicker products (moisturisers and oils). Though layering can be done differently and you don't necessarily need all the 10 steps every day to achieve your perfect results, here is how you could potentially layer your skincare regimen this winter:
Use gentle, pH balanced cleansers as advised above. We recommend Fresh's Soy Face Cleanser (£30) that is gentle on all skin types.
Use one to two times a week to strip away dead skin cells. We're a big fan of Korean cult NEOGEN Lemon Bio-Peel Face Pads (£31) and Pixi's most talked about Glow Tonic (£18).
Though not compulsory, toners can enhance the absorbency of other active ingredients to come and and enhance the skin's surface. Check out SON&PARK Beauty Water (£20.55) , La Roche-Posay Effaclar Clarifying Solution (£12) and Beauty Pie Japanfusion Hydra Prep Lotion (£7.06 for members).
4. Serum (or Oil)
Depending on skin needs, pick an appropriate treatment for the face or apply a hydrating face oil if your skin requires (see recommendations above).
There's nothing more important than locking in the moisture both AM and PM. Chose a rich moisturiser for the winter months and give yourself a little DIY massage at the end of your skincare, to promote lymphatic drainage and blood flow. We love Paula's Choice Clinical Ceramide-Enriched Moisturiser (£46.75), COSRX Honey Ceramide Full Moisture Cream (£19) and Beauty Pie's JAPANFUSION™ SUPREME CREAM (£9.95) and SUPER RETINOL (+ VITAMIN C) NIGHT RENEWAL MOISTURIZER (£8.85 for members).
6. Eye Cream
Though also not compulsory, the eye area is a particularly sensitive area which can take a toll during the harsh winter elements. To reduce puffiness, look for options containing caffeine, while vitamin K can help counteract dark circles.
Consider an SPF30+ a crucial final step if you want to ward off the ageing effects of sun damage (present even in the dark and gloomy winter months). Apply last as it’s essentially a shield and can hinder the absorption of other products, if applied after. We love Shiseido Urban Environment UV Protection Cream Plus SPF50 (£34), La Roche-Posay Hydraphase UV Intense Rich (£18) and a surprising budget contender, Beauty Pie SUPER HEALTHY SKIN™ ULTRALIGHT UVA/UVB SPF25 (£7.52).