By Drishti Kataria

Keys to a Healthy Skin Barrier During Winter

Having a skin care routine that caters to a healthy skin barrier during the Winter season is so important because the skin’s barrier is challenged by the cold temperatures and dry air resulting in dry, flaky, and irritated skin. How can we ensure that our skin remains resilient, hydrated, and glowing throughout the chilly months? Read on to find out.

How weather changes during winter affect your skin

  • Low Humidity: As the temperatures drop, so does the humidity level. Dry air seeks moisture wherever it can find it, which means it will pull moisture from your skin if it's the nearest source. This can leave your skin feeling parched and dehydrated.
  • Harsh Winds: The biting cold winds can strip the skin of its natural lipids, which are crucial for maintaining skin barrier function and moisture levels.
  • Indoor Heating: While it keeps us warm, indoor heating systems further reduce humidity in the environment, amplifying the drying effect on our skin.
  • Temperature Fluctuations: Moving between the chilly outdoors and warm indoors can cause capillaries in our skin to contract and expand rapidly, leading to redness and sensitivity.
Ingredients to incorporate in your skin care
  • Ceramides: These are lipid molecules that fill the spaces between skin cells like mortar between bricks. They help retain moisture and protect against external aggressors.
  • Hyaluronic Acid: It acts like a sponge by attracting and retaining moisture in the skin, making it look plumped and hydrated.
  • Fatty Acids: Omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids are essential for repairing and maintaining the skin barrier.
  • Niacinamide (Vitamin B3): This versatile ingredient helps in reducing redness, boosting hydration, and reinforcing the skin's barrier.
  • Antioxidants: Vitamins C and E, among others, help combat the damaging effects of free radicals which can weaken the skin barrier.
  • Ideal Skin Care Routine (AM and PM) During Winter

Morning (AM) Routine:

  1. Gentle Cleansing: Use a hydrating cleanser to remove impurities without stripping your skin's natural oils.
  2. Toner: Opt for a hydrating toner that preps your skin for subsequent products.
  3. Serum: Choose a serum rich in hyaluronic acid or niacinamide for added hydration and barrier repair.
  4. Moisturizer: Use a thicker moisturizer than you would in warmer months. Consider one with ceramides and fatty acids.
  5. Multi-Purpose oil: It will create a protective seal on the skin's surface – preventing transepidermal water loss
  6. Sunscreen: Yes, even in winter! UV rays are present all year round.

Night (PM) Routine:

  1. Double Cleansing: Start with an oil-based cleanser to dissolve makeup and sunscreen, followed by a hydrating cleanser.
  2. Toner: Again, a hydrating toner is your friend.
  3. Treatment Serum: Rotate between antioxidants, peptides, or retinol-based serums, depending on your skin concerns.
  4. Eye Cream: Opt for a richer formula to nourish the delicate eye area.
  5. Moisturizer: Reaffirm your skin's moisture barrier with a rich night cream or oil.
  6. Multi-Purpose oil: It will create a protective seal on the skin's surface – preventing trans-epidermal water loss throughout the night, resulting in soft supple skin in the morning.

By understanding how the cold weather impacts our skin and by incorporating barrier-boosting ingredients and an adapted skincare routine, we can keep our skin barrier robust, hydrated, and glowing all winter long.