Avoid winter skin woes: tips for transitioning to winter skincare

You've pulled out your winter clothing from storage, but what about your winter skincare? Having seasonal skincare routines may seem a little over the top, but winter is one of the harshest seasons on our skin. Winter is a season of low humidity. Warmer air holds more moisture, so when the temperature drops, the humidity does too. And when we crank up the heat indoors, we add warmth but not moisture. What little moisture exists is quickly sucked up by the air — which is why our skin, noses and throats get parched. A winter skincare routine will buffer your skin against the elements.

Adapting your routine to winter

One word: moisture. If you have oily or combination skin, don't shudder. Winter skincare doesn't have to mean heavy, rich creams.

Winter skincare is all about layers.

All skin types can get a boost of moisture from layering multiple light but hydrating products. Hyaluronic acid is in many serums and is a powerful humectant, drawing water from within your skin to keep your skin hydrated. Try Think HA for a lightweight but powerful hit of hyaluronic acid, or Think B for hyaluronic acid with a dose of anti-ageing peptides. Follow your serums with a moisturiser to lock it all in. Dry air saps any moisture it can find, and moisturisers create a barrier between your skin and the air. Look for moisturisers that contain occlusives (occlusives seal in moisture) like argan oil, shea butter or squalane.

Exfoliate, exfoliate, exfoliate.

Dry or dehydrated skin will also benefit from hyaluronic acid, but you'll see the best results from regular exfoliation. With dry skin comes dead skin, and exfoliation is key to stimulating healthy cell renewal. Glycolic acid is ideal for gently removing dead skin cells and combating dry, dull winter skin. Gentle, at-home glycolic acid treatments like our Skin Exfoliant can be used 1-2 times a week.

Keep up with the sunscreen.

It's a cliche that you'll see in every skincare blog, but it must be said because it's true: sunscreen is the most important thing in your routine, summer or winter. Skincare has cumulative results, which means that the benefits come after regular use. A well-formulated sunscreen will provide hydrating and occlusive benefits, helping your skin retain water and stay supple in winter winds. A moisturising sunscreen like  Super Moisture SPF50+ will save you from switching out products as the seasons change.

Save these things for summer:

  1. Clay masks. Your skin needs to keep all the moisture it has. If you use your clay mask to treat blemishes, spot treat instead and follow up with layers of hydration. Hydrated skin heals better and won't scar as easily.
  2. Foaming cleansers. Oil, cream and balm cleansers are just as effective in removing grime, makeup and sunscreen from the skin. Pick a cleanser with moisturising ingredients like our Cleansing Oil so your skin gets moisture from the beginning of your winter skincare routine.
  3. Astringent toners. These are the cooling, refreshing toners that are marketed to oily skin. Astringents often contain alcohol to give that satisfying 'tight and clean' feeling — but tightness is a symptom of dehydration, not clean skin! We don't advocate astringent toners in any routine for any skin type, but astringent toners in a winter skincare routine is even worse. Try switching your astringent toner for something more hydrating this winter like the Antioxidant Toner, which will balance your skin without stripping it of essential moisture.