$10 from every order to men's mental health charity Gotcha4Life until the end of the month.

$10 from every order to men's mental health charity

Gotcha4Life until the end of the month.

Winter (skin) blues?

Winter blues… it’s a thing. No, really, a scientifically-proven thing. And if you’re not feeling it, your skin sure is. So, just why might your skin be acting up this winter?
 
It’s simple math really…
 
Cold air outside
 
+
 
Hot air inside
 
+
 
Hot showers
 
+
 
Decreased humidity
 
=
 
Loss of moisture
 
And there’s you answer.

 

What does a loss of moisture mean?

Your skin has a kind of built-in defence, right? This is known as a “Lipid Barrier”. Your Lipid Barrier is composed of corneocytes (layers of dead skin cells) and lipids (the skin's natural fats) that act as a protective barrier against the world and all its’ harsh aggressors.

It serves other purposes we should all care about too, such as retaining and maintaining adequate moisture levels in the skin to keep it looking radiant and healthy.

Here is an example of a healthy, functioning lipid barrier. As you can see, moisture stays within the skin and the barrier protects it from any external aggressors.

 

Our lipid-barrier is constantly being tested by a number of environmental and lifestyle factors. In winter, this exaggerated even more so by the cold weather and our subsequent lifestyle behaviours to keep warm.

These winter ways deplete the lipid barrier of its lipids, compromising the barriers’ ability to protect your skin and retain moisture.  


You’ll know somethings not quite right with your skin when it comes to a damaged lipid-barrier. When the skin isn’t adequately protected it will show in all forms of chaos on the skin:

  • Breakouts
  • Rough skin texture
  • Increased sensitivity
  • Dry skin / tight skin / flaking skin
  • Fine lines
  • Eczema / dermatitis / rosacea / other inflammatory skin conditions
  • Intolerance to active skincare 

That last one is a regular here at The Secret Skincare. We’re under that category of “active skincare”.

The intolerance comes from active ingredients that already challenge a skins lipid barrier meeting a lipid barrier that is also already being challenged by winter. As you would expect, this puts a lot of stress on your lipid barrier and thus exacerbate the side-effects listed above.  

We think it’s fair to say; your lipid barrier might just need a helping hand this winter to ensure it stays functioning, would you agree?

 

So… what can we do to help?

We don’t have to give in to the wrath of winter on our skin. You do, however, have to adapt. We have compiled a list of our best skincare and lifestyle tips to implement so that you can maintain a healthy, glowing complexion all year-round.



Skincare tips

  1. Enzyme Exfoliation to lift excess skin from the surface

Enzymes are very gentle exfoliants that break down the “glue” that bond dead skin cells together. Without this, the dead skin can gently slough away for a smooth, polished surface. You may use Enzyme exfoliation 1 - 2 times a week. We advise against using other forms of exfoliation such as chemical of physical as this is likely to be too harsh or abrasive for the skin which is already under duress!

 

  1. Adjust your regime

As we discussed, the active ingredients in your night cream, coupled with the aggressive nature of the cool winter weather do not go hand in hand. Drop down the applications of your night cream to alternating nights, or even just every third night. On the nights you are not using your active night cream, instead nourish your lipid barrier with something hydrating such as a Serum, a gentle moisturiser or an oil.

Avoid applying your night cream directly the dry / sensitive areas. Instead, apply your night cream on the remainder of your face, and if you feel as though your skin can tolerate it (“skintution”… more on this later), pat the leftover product on your hands into these areas.

Following the morning after applying your night cream, be sure to layer up your skin.  Start with your Serum, follow with your Day Elixir, oil and then of course, SPF 50+. It may feel like a lot of layers, especially when adding makeup into the midst. Wait 30 seconds – 1 minute between each layer to help them better absorb into the skin before following with the next. If you need guidance on how to layer your skincare use the below for reference!

Using these tips, you are still able to experience the benefits of the active ingredients in your night cream, while minimising their harsher side effects on the lipid-barrier.

 

  1. Switch out your cleanser

 Foaming and gel cleansers tend to strip the skin of its natural oils, so in winter, they could be doing more harm than good. This is the completely opposite of what you want to be doing with a damaged lipid-barrier. Instead, opt for something non-stripping, that aims to replenish the lipid barrier such as an oil and cream-based cleanser.

  

  1. Enforce the barrier with the right supporting products

There are ingredients on the market specifically designed to strengthen your skins barrier. Our Day Brightening Elixir and Serum contains ingredients of the likes of Niacinamide, Hyaluronic Acid and B2 that do exactly so.

A skin with a damaged lipid barrier is a skin that needs hydration! Using a Serum underneath your Brightening Day Elixir will give your skin that extra boost of water it needs and relieve any that tight feeling.

You can also look to adding an oil into your winter skincare line-up. Flaking is often an indication of a lack of oil in the skin. Take a few drops of a lightweight oil, warm it up in your palms, and gently tap over your Day Elixir to lock in extra moisture throughout the day. You may also use this oil on any nights you aren't applying your night cream.

Our favourite makeup hack - mix a drop of oil in with your foundation. Firstly, what this will do is work to sheer out the formula for a smoother application. The extra hydration will stop your makeup from cracking for a longer lasting base while also disguising any flaky skin. 

You can also top up your skin’s moisture levels throughout the day with hydrating facial mist. The mist will also help to disguise the appearance of any flaking.

 

  1. Enzyme Exfoliation to lift excess skin from the surface

Enzymes are very gentle exfoliants that break down the “glue” that bond dead skin cells together. Without this, the dead skin can gently slough away for a smooth, polished surface. You may use Enzyme exfoliation 1 - 2 times a week. We advise against using other forms of exfoliation such as chemical of physical as this is likely to be too harsh or abrasive for the skin which is already under duress!


Lifestyle tips
  1. Turn down the heat

As tempting as it is, one of the worst things you can do for skin in contact with cold air is to blast hot air directly onto it. Advice you’ll hear from every dad ever: put some layers on! Only, we’re not trying to save money here, we’re trying to save your skin! Let your body warm itself up with some insulation rather than reaching for the on switch on your heater.

 

  1. Minimise hot water exposure

Another very tempting winter vice, a 20 minute long, fiery-hot shower to warm up your body. This is a sure-fire way to break down your skin’s lipid barrier. Keep it timed to 5 minutes max and follow with your skincare immediately after.

 

  1. Humidifier

If you can, invest in a humidifier to maximise moisture in the air around you for. The extra moisture in the air will prevent it from drying out your skin. Set it at around 60% for best results.

 

  1. Sunscreen

Oh, it’s cloudy outside which means you can skip your sunscreen today? Absolutely not. Even though it may feel cooler, your skin will still absorb a majority of the sun’s UV rays. Up to 80% of UVA & UVB can penetrate through clouds. Do we have to say it again? Absolutely not.

 

  1. “Skintuition”

We cannot stress enough, the importance of following your intuition when it comes to the skin… “Skintuition”, let’s call it (told you there would be more on this later). You need to recognise the different signs and signals your skin send you to let you know how its functioning. From there, you are able to make educated decisions surrounding your skincare application.

 Potential lifestyle triggers can include

  • Hormonal triggers
  • Stress / fatigue
  • Ageing
  • Seasonal weather changes (hello winter)
  • Environmental conditions / pollution
  • Diet
  • Genetic predisposition
  • Exposure to UV
  • Changes in medication
  • Lack of sleep

Once you have pinpointed the potential cause, you are able to make the subsequent lifestyle adjustments or skincare routine adjustments. Sometimes it may be something as little as that coffee you need to get you moving in the morning causing dehydration in your skin. Some may be as big as stepping down from a massive workload at your job to help with those stress levels.

 

There’s always another option, of course. Reach out to The Secret Skincare.

The Secret Skincare has a team of skincare specialists trained to help you determine why your skin might be acting this way and what exactly we need to do to get your skin back on track. Please feel free to reach out to us via email at info@thesecretskincare.com.au at any time.