How to care for your face in hot and cold weather

 

Guest blogger: EJHumphries

For a long time now, the British weather has been the subject of many conversations, from dinner table debate to polite small talk.

In February 2018, we had the ‘Beast from the East’, a 5 day whirling swarm of snow and disruptive cold blasts, usually one snowflake being enough to drive us Brits to the supermarket to stock up. Two snowflakes will stop traffic moving or parking sensibly on the school run.

In February 2019 we have experienced record breaking temperatures with the heat peaking at 20 degrees in places and labelled as ‘unseasonably warm’, with many of us breaking out the shorts in February, that’s a slight understatement.

But it won’t last long.

From cold to ‘unseasonably warm’ to cold again. How do we protect our skin in conditions like this?

Here’s the Science bit:

Our skin, the largest organ of the body,  is made up of three layers:

  1. Epidermis

Consists mainly of cells called keratinocytes, made from the protein keratin. Keratinocytes form several layers that constantly grow outwards as the exterior cells die and flake off.

  1. Dermis

The dermis gives the skin its strength and elasticity thanks to fibres of collagen and elastin. A network of fibres pick up feelings such as temperature.

  1.  Subcutis

The base layer includes a seam of fat laid down as a fuel reserve in case of food shortage. It also works as insulation.

(Source: National Geographic)

lady in snow

Cold weather

The winter season can be just as drying to skin as the summer. There is less moisture in the air and the natural oil on your skin can be blown away by the wind. Inside, central heating can also be very drying.  You may need to adjust your facial products, Dermatology experts say it’s very important to hydrate the skin with the right type of cream and offer these other tips:

  • Avoid winter sun or use sunscreen with a moisturiser
  • Avoid greasy skincare products
  • Use a humidifier in the home or place containers of water near heaters
  • Cover up older skin, natural oils diminish with age
  • Choose a skin cleanser that is non-soap.
  • Avoid taking baths that are too hot or too long, it can affect the skin’s protective acid layer.

 

Facial routine in cold weather

Facial cleanser Consider changing your cleanser for one that soothes and hydrates, make sure you are not using a harsh cleanser which can cause dryness.

Moisturise  Use moisturiser after cleansing or taking a shower, damp skin will lock in the hydration.

Facial spray for dry skin in the daytime use a facial spray for a moisture boost

Exfoliate remove the dead skin cells which build up on your face and body.

(L’oreal Paris)

 

Things to avoid in cold weather

Soap soap can strip your skin of moisture, use fragrance-free, hydrating soaps and body washes.

Heating avoid turning the heating up too much, opt for lukewarm water in the shower and wear comfy jumpers indoors.

 

Warm weather

In warmer weather, the sun and heat can cause oil glands to become overactive. The NHS offers this advice:

  • Spend time in the shade between 11am and 3pm
  • Cover up with clothes, a hat and sunglasses
  • Use sunscreen with a factor of at least 15.

 

Facial routine in warm weather

Cleanse consider a gel facial cleanser which lifts dirt without drying skin

Moisturise  are you using the right one? It’s all about finding the one which works for your skin.

Sun protection limit your time in the sun, wear sunscreen and cover up

Exfoliate as much or little as your skin requires, pay attention to how it responds.

Face mask this can help skin feel hydrated. (L’oreal Paris)

 

Things to avoid in warm weather

Excessive washing: Too much washing can wash away the natural oils that keep skin healthy

Oil based products: Oily moisturiser can make oily skin worse.

 

More top tips for tip-top skin

  • Drinking water can help your skin stay hydrated
  • Too much washing can wash away the natural oils that keep skin healthy

Be aware of:

  • Alcohol dehydrates the skin which can leave it looking older and tired
  • Smoking is linked to early ageing, it’s thought to reduce the skin’s natural elasticity by causing the breakdown of collagen.