5 Winter Beauty Habits You Need To Stop Right Now
Because nobody’s perfect when it comes to their skin and beauty routine – not even us, gasp!
Why is it that along with colder, grayer days, we all seem to get a bit more lax with our skincare regimes? Maybe it’s because most of the skin on our bodies is covered up by knitwear… Which is valid. Or could it be that we’re just a bit less bothered about ourselves when we’re going out less and staying in more?
The problem is, some cold weather habits might seem innocent and harmless, but they’re actually far from it.
Here, we talk you through the five most damaging beauty habits to kick this winter. And trust us, come spring, you’ll be so pleased you don’t have to pick up the pieces of what could’ve been had you not heeded our advice…
1. Taking Long, Hot Baths
It’s Sunday night, it’s been a crazy week and all you want is a long, hot soak in a steaming bath with a glass of wine and some quality me-time, right? Well, we would never be so bold as to take this small pleasure away from you completely. But a few tweaks are going to make bath time a much kinder experience for your skin.
Scorching hot water, you see, compromises your skin’s barrier function, upsetting its balance and depleting the natural oils, fats and proteins that keep your skin protected, hydrated and healthy. This can leave it feeling dry, itchy and even inflamed – especially if you have skin conditions like psoriasis, rosacea or eczema. And even more so if you make it a regular thing.
Instead of bathing too often, shower in warm, never hot water for 5-10 minutes max. This is way better for your skin – as well as your water consumption. And if you can’t resist a weekly bath? Fine. Just remember not to go too scorchio with your water, don’t soak for longer than 20 minutes and, when you’re done, apply moisturizer all over your skin while it’s still damp. This will help lock in valuable moisture and avoid your skin from drying out like a prune.
2. Skipping Your Daily SPF
It’s funny how we don’t mind talking about certain beauty topics time and time again. And sunscreen is literally one of our favorites. Why? Because there are so many mistakes made when it comes to protecting your skin from the damaging effects of the sun. And one of the biggest is probably happening right now. And that’s winter sun protection.
Hopefully, you’re pretty strict about applying your facial SPF in the summer and think of it as part of your morning routine – like brushing your teeth and studying Instagram. But what about when the days get cloudier and colder and the sun seems to have checked out for the year? You’re probably a little more lax come fall and winter, correct? What a mistake to make. Sure, UVB rays (the ones that burn your skin) are lessened by the clouds, but UVA rays (the aging ones) are present all year round and penetrate right through those clouds.
This means you need to apply a broad-spectrum sunscreen every day of the year to any skin that’s exposed to the sun. We recommend SPF30+ moisturizers that contain zinc oxide, titanium dioxide or a combination of both. Apply this on top of your favorite antioxidant serum for year-long protection.
3. Ditching Water For Coffee
Too many cups of joe can pay havoc with your skin, so as tempting as it is to up your caffeine intake as soon as Starbucks whispers the words ‘pumpkin spice latte,’ don’t.
For one thing, caffeine is a diuretic which means it makes you pee more, causing you and your skin to become dehydrated. It also constricts your blood vessels and therefore slows down your circulation which means less oxygen gets to your skin and less toxins get drawn away. This is why big-time coffee drinkers often have a sallow-looking or gray tone to their complexions.
Our advice, if you care about keeping the signs of premature aging at bay, is to stick to one cup a day – decaff if possible. And the rest of the time, drink water. Cold water might fill you with dread if it’s freezing outside, so if that’s the case, drink hot water. Or herbal tea. Simple.
4. Cranking Up Your Heating
If you live in colder climes, of course you’re going to need to turn on the heat inside. But excessive heat indoors that turns your home into a sauna will completely dry out the air. And this is seriously bad news for your skin. Think of it this way: the combination of low humidity and low temperatures outside already reduces your skin barrier’s function and its capacity to act as a protection from the outside world. Then, when you couple this with boiling temperatures inside, your skin literally has no chance of retaining water or staying hydrated and moisturized. Cue dry, dehydrated, itchy, red skin. Not good.
The ideal indoor temperature is 68 degrees Fahrenheit during the day and 10-15 degrees lower while you’re asleep, so stick to these guidelines as much as possible. And if your skin still feels parched? Moisturize more often and choose formulations that are laden with humectants to draw in water and occlusives to lock it all in. Our Vitamin C Deep Hydration Night Cream is a great choice for your face as it contains aloe, hyaluronic acid, glycerin, cocoa butter, jojoba oil and many, many more ingredients to thoroughly moisturize your skin.
You could also try investing in a humidifier for your bedroom to help add moisture into the air – and consequently your skin.
5. Not Exfoliating Your Skin
Reckon your skin is too dry and so you give up exfoliating in the winter? Well, as much as we hate over-exfoliating, under-exfoliating can have just as bad an effect. You see, leaving all those dead skin cells sitting on your skin will make it look dull and stop the rest of the products in your regime from working to the best of their abilities.
But this being said, please don’t start scrubbing your skin like your life depended on it as this WILL make it extremely, red and irritated. Instead, use a gentle, chemical exfoliator twice a week.
Chemical exfoliators are serums, toners and moisturizers that contain exfoliating acids like glycolic, lactic and salicylic which break down the bonds between your dead skin cells and encourage them to slough off naturally. Try our Ocean Minerals Super Toner which contains glycolic acid as well as strengthening peptides and the mighty MSM, or go for Vitamin C Super Serum+ if your skin is oily. This hard-working serum contains salicylic acid, making it ideal for targeting and balancing excess sebum.
Now, bring on the summer. Jokes!
About Georgia Gould
Georgia is an award-winning beauty writer who has been in the business for over 20 years. British-born, she began her career as a magazine beauty editor in London before moving to San Francisco, CA in 2012 where she now continues her love as a freelance writer and editor. As well as her editorial work, Georgia has created content for many high-profile beauty brands, including Clarins, L’Oréal, Procter & Gamble, Simple and TRESemmé. Her passions include retinol (obviously), golfing, skiing and walking her beloved Schnauzer, Dave.