Winter is the time of year where the skin tends to be super unhappy – dryness, dehydration, sensitivity, breakouts (the list goes on). One of the most common skin concerns I see in winter is dehydration. Dehydration occurs when the skin is lacking water and starts to feel a little tight, become easily irritated, get dry and flaky, as well as feeling like there is not enough moisturiser on the planet to keep it hydrated.

So why does this happen? On the top layer of our skin we have a very delicate protective layer that keeps all the juicy skin goodness in, and all of the nasties out. When we are in air conditioned heating, in and out of cold weather, and when there is less moisture in the air, this protective layer is prone to damage. Imagine this layer has little holes in it. The water starts to get sucked out of the skin, and damage begins to occur from the top layer down.

Well then how do we fix it? Dehydration is best treated by repairing and protecting this layer first. Drinking water is fantastic but will only do so much if the barrier is impaired. I love ingredients like niacinamide for its anti-inflammatory properties, hyaluronic acid for water retention, and ceramides for moisturising the skin. Even if you have oily or breakout prone skin, it is super important to moisturise daily (as well as apply SPF).

My favourite products for dehydrated skin are:

Treatments I love for winter skin are LED light therapy for a skin pick-me-up, as well as microneedling to infuse high-quality hydrating ingredients into the lower layers of the skin. There are so many options available, but the best treatment starts with at-home skincare.

My top tips for winter skin:

  • Put down the summer, lightweight skincare and add in some occlusive moisturisers that lock in hydration
  • Use exfoliating acids like lactic acid to gently slough away dead skin cell buildup
  • Introduce an oil cleanser to give the skin an extra moisture boost and re-balance oil production .

Winter skin will go through many changes, but love and support is the best thing for it. Keeping it simple with daily cleansing, moisturising and SPF are key.

Written by Elise Birchall from Extra Clinic

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