5 Winter Skin Issues & How To Solve Them
Do you have a favourite season?
Each new season brings with it new promise, new fashion and different skin issues.
I love the transition to the cooler months, and this is when I change up my skincare routine.
No question, this is also the time to be gentle with your skin because with cooler climes your skin is often drier. Colder weather brings lower humidity and you may find your complexion feeling tight, dry, or sensitive.
This is why it is necessary to think about skin care routines for the winter. The changes in temperature and the atmospherics of these seasons can affect the equilibrium of our skin.
To combat this, our beauty routines may need some adjusting to keep our skin hydrated and so reach for some nourishing and protective products.
To help you get started, here is a list we compiled of winter skin issues & how to solve them. Steps you should take to create a fool-proof winter skincare routine.
- Chapped Lips
Dry, chapped lips are no joke and one of the most common winter skin issues. It's irritating and painful and makes it a hassle to wear lipstick without it starting to flake and cake onto the dry patches.
Lip skin is more sensitive than the rest of the face because it doesn’t produce oil. Lips also must contend with a lot of wear and tear (talking, kissing, eating, drinking, etc.). That's why they are so susceptible to dehydration, environmental pollution damage and other factors, and don't get us started on the bad habit of biting lips!
The good news is that you can help heal your lips with just a little extra care and one special ingredient.
We're talking about Vitamin E for lips and it's almost magical power to deliver a soft, plump pout. Vitamin E for lips is a superstar ingredient as it moisturises, soothes irritation, protects from sun damage, and plumps the lips!
So always choose a lipstick or lip balm with Vitamin E on the ingredient list!
Bear in mind, it’s not just about how you deal with chapped lips, it’s also about what you do to prevent them in the first place. So drink plenty of water to stay hydrated and avoid excess exposure to sun and wind. Your lips will thank you.
Pure Colour Organic Lipstick with Orange, Jojoba, Vitamin E & Shea Butter
- Tight, Angry Skin
Cleansing is an important first step in a winter skincare routine but your usual cleanser may suddenly leave your skin feeling tighter than normal.
We often blame a moisturiser and think it is ineffective and not properly hydrating our complexion when in fact a simple change to a crème cleanser from a foaming or wash off cleanser will quickly sort out that feeling of dryness.
I recommend using a cream-based cleanser in winter. Use it in the morning as well as in the evening. Sometimes you can even leave it on for a few minutes and then gently wash off.
Look for a cleansing creme which is full of nourishing natural ingredients like Coconut Oil, Aloe Vera Juice or Lemon Myrtle which work to cleanse your skin while keeping your complexion feeling hydrated, soothed, and refreshed, gently and effectively.
Daily Revitalise Cleansing Crème with Lemon Myrtle, Papaya and Coconut
- Dry, Flaky Skin on your Face
This has to be one of the most regular skin complaints I hear all through winter.
The most common symptoms of dry and itchy skin (also known as xerosis), scales, redness and small cracks. Yet most of us only think about moisturisers in the emerging warmth of spring and summer. Especially in Australia where the summer heat and strong sun dries and ‘assaults’ the skin.
However, it’s definitely just as important to moisturise your skin in cool months as it is in warm ones.
The purpose of hydration and a good moisturiser is to add extra moisture to natural skin, the level of which has a lot to do with skin type, hormones and air-conditioning as well as time of the year.
Some women have particularly dry skin and need reliable moisturizers all year round. They may find that in winter they need a heavier moisturizer or need to boost their existing moisturizer with serums and oils. Don’t be fooled by a moisturiser that is simply thick. This does not equate to a more hydrating cream. It is more important to look at the actives which are present in the formulation.
There are also some common sense changes to make that are too easy to forget. Avoid hot showers and rubbing the skin as it can become irritated and inflamed.
Nourish & Hydrate Moisture Defence Crème with White Tea, Pomegranate and Macadamia
- Redness and Sensitivity
Winter can be a tough time of year if you have sensitive skin, or conditions like eczema or rosacea which cause sensitivity.
Whether it is the windswept cold of the outdoors or contending with indoor heating and air-conditioning, all of which can trigger your skin to become reactive and sensitive.
If you’re experiencing heightened redness, tightness or a mild burning sensation, I would recommend cutting back on exfoliation or other treatments. Obviously exfoliating or applying a mask to already inflamed skin can definitely make the situation worse. Keep in mind, our skin is a sensitive organ and should be respected so go easy, pare back using actives until things are under control.
It may also be a good idea to take a look at the humidity levels in your immediate environment. I have some clients who swear by having a humidifier in their home to restore moisture to the air, especially overnight while sleeping.
Skin Perfecting Radiance Gel with Lilli Pilli, Licorice, Emu Apple and Vitamin C
- Clogged Pores and Breakouts
There is a lot of mystery around breakouts and the truism that summer is the worst season for breakouts makes initial sense because of all the heat, humidity, and sweat. However, winter presents its own set of trials for breakout-prone skin, and this is pretty much no matter what skin type you have.
Dehydration is a lack of water in the skin and a biggie when it comes to winter skin concerns! No matter your skin type, you want to avoid creating a cycle where dehydrated skin starts producing an excess amount of oil to stay moist. Unfortunately, in most cases more oil can lead to clogged pores and more breakouts. What’s more, having dried out cells on the surface of your skin creates an unwanted coating that traps pollutants and bacteria underneath. No surprises, these clogged pores can turn into red, inflamed blemishes.
What’s the solution? It may be the last thing you would think. Have you ever heard someone say you should clean up the area and let the skin breathe? Or break out the astringent and rub it on until it stings!
It is true that skin needs to be clean and allowed to breathe however, to prevent clogged pores and breakouts in winter it is imperative to take steps to relieve dry, flaky skin.
First, make sure you’re gently but thoroughly cleansing, but don’t overdo it! Second, be sure to keep your skin well-hydrated and well moisturised. This should help your skin to settle down if blemishes occur and give skin a chance to heal naturally without the excess oil cycle repeating.
Super Fruit Wash-Off Cleanser with Blueberries, Grape Skin and Acai
A final few thoughts
If it is winter in your world now, there’s a good chance you’ll experience at least one of these winter skin issues. But with a patient and consistent approach you should be able to take charge of skin without too much trouble.
And don’t forget the need for UV sun protection in winter which is essential even when the sunlight is more subdued. We still tend to spend a lot of time outdoors with a lot of reflected sunlight so the skin still needs protection even though the temperature may be cooler. Prematurely ageing skin is often triggered by the accumulation of the sun’s effects.
Finally, it can happen that changes to our skin are a complete mystery. Maybe it is the simple aging process, a new allergen in the air, stress, hormones, who knows. So if you try a few changes to no avail, do yourself a favour and book in to see a Dermatologist. Life is too short to stress out over your skin and the price of professional advice may be less in the long run than experimenting with a whole lot of different skincare products.