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How do winter and cold weather affect the skin? - Navinka Skincare

How do winter and cold weather affect the skin?

Winter is coming.


Well, not quite yet, but it's almost here.


When winter starts knocking on our doors, we all take it as a sign that we need to put off our summer clothes and grab coats, hats and scarves to prepare for the colder weather.


But do you make the same changes and preparations when it comes to your skincare routine?


If not, you should definitely start.


With colder days our skin become dry, red, and generally more sensitive. Also, some skin conditions like eczema, acne, psoriasis, and rosacea can get worse during cold weather.

This means that no matter what skin type you have, you need to choose some new products and implement new habits in order to ensure that your skin gets exactly what it needs. Because its needs vary a lot depending on the time of year.


If the question ‘But HOW can I know what exactly my skin needs?’ instantly popped in your head - no worries. We got you covered.


Once you understand what happens to the skin during the winter, it will be much clearer to you in which direction you should go with adjusting your  skincare routine.


Let’s start to slowly unwind this ball of information. And then use it to knit a sweater for the winter! 


Let’s go!


How does skin react to different weather conditions?


Have you noticed that different weather conditions lead to certain changes in the functioning and appearance of your skin?


For example, during the summer all skin types become more oily. And this is especially pronounced in people with oily skin type, who may have difficulty keeping sebum under control during hot summer days. Not fun, we know.


On the other hand, when winter comes things go to the other extreme and the agony for people with dry skin begins. During windy and cold days, the skin is prone to dryness, redness, irritation and other unpleasant sensations. It can look lifeless and dull, and it can be quite challenging to restore its glow.


However, challenging doesn’t mean impossible. With a little effort, anything can become a reality.


What happens to our skin during the winter?


The colder months are characterized by low temperatures and reduced humidity. And this combination is not exactly the luckiest for the skin. Why? Because it leads to creating dry air, which is quite rough for the skin. Even people who have oily skin type may experience dry skin patches in certain regions during the winter. And if you have a dry skin type, then we don't even have to explain to you that cold weather can easily cause skin itching, burning and redness. You already know everything.

To make things worse, the rooms with the heating on also contain very dry air. So, the skin suffers during the winter, regardless of whether you are inside or outside.

To conclude: you can't escape these unfavorable factors, so it's better to find a way to deal with them.

You may be wondering what actually happens to the skin, so it gets so dry when it’s cold. Great question.

On the surface of the skin there is a skin barrier which has a dual protective role. The first role is to protect the skin from harmful external influences: microorganisms, cold, UV rays. On the other hand, the skin barrier prevents water from evaporating from the deeper layers of the skin and ensures it is sufficiently hydrated.

Dry air during the winter leads to a violation of the integrity of the skin barrier and increases its permeability. This means that skin isnow much more sensitive and prone to the influence of irritating factors. And also, that water is now able to leave the skin, which leads to a condition called dehydrated skin.

Is dehydrated skin the same thing as dry skin?

Yes, there is increased dryness of the skin during the winter. But it is vital to understand here that the skin is not actually dry, but dehydrated.


What is the difference?


Although dehydrated and dry skin look quite similar, these are two completely different things and need to be treated differently.

Dry skin is the type of skin we are born with and is characterized by reduced production and secretion of natural oils (sebum).

Dehydrated skin is not the skin type, but the skin condition, which occurs when the skin barrier gets damaged and water starts evaporating from the skin. This skin condition can occur in any skin type.

Violation of the skin barrier integrity is most often caused by improper skincare habits or some other aggressive external factors (for example, UV rays or dry and cold air).

The main thing to remember when it comes to dehydrated skin is that it lacks water - not oil like dry skin type. The care and treatment of dehydrated skin should therefore be focused on providing the skin with optimal water levels.

How to recognize that your skin is dehydrated?

Okay, you probably think ‘Yes, all of this sound pretty logical. But how am I supposed to recognize that my skin is dehydrated? What are the main signs?

First of all, you will notice that your skin looks tired and lifeless. That it lacks radiance and that natural glow. It literally looks like it lacks water (which in fact is the case). As a result, fine lines and wrinkles may appear. The lack of water can also further pronounceexisting wrinkles.

The texture of the skin changes and it becomes flaky, tight and red. If the condition goes a step further, a burning sensation may occur, and even a more or less pronounced itching.

Another sign of dehydration is the appearance of acne. Although this may seem strange to you, the appearance of acne is actually quite a logical consequence.

Due to skin barrier damage, the skin begins to defend itself byincreasing sebum production. This leads to pore clogging and,eventually, acne.

Dehydrated skin looks dry and oily at the same time, which is one of the most common and clearest symptoms of this skin condition.


How to prevent skin from becoming dehydrated during the winter?


Not an easy task, but not an impossible mission. Let’s see what you can do to protect your skin during the winter and ensure it is optimally hydrated.

1. Start with proper skincare

If you want to protect your skin from cold air, you need to apply products that suit it daily. And also avoid using the ones that dry it out.

We suggest that you start your skincare routine with a gentle cleanser that will remove all impurities from the surface of the skin. However, if you notice that you don’t need a cleanser in the morning, you can skip it. This can also sometimes be helpful in preventing the skin from drying out.

Just wash your face with warm water and continue with your toner, serum, or moisturizer. For your night skincare routine, we recommend a slightly more thorough cleaning. The double cleansing method is always a way to go.

The next step is hydration. Choose a moisturizer that is suitable for your skin type. It is important that it contains humectants that directly bind water to the skin, but also emollients and occlusives that will lock it in the skin and prevent it from evaporating.

If you want to additionally protect your skin barrier, we suggest finding a moisturizer or serum that contains ingredients like ceramides, peptides, and squalene, which are naturally found in the skin barrier.

Also, a moisturizer and serum with hyaluronic acid or sodium hyaluronate can be a great choice. Hyaluronic acid can bind a mass of water that is a thousand times its mass. Which means: a lot!

To help you get a better idea of what your skincare routine should look like during the winter, we have prepared a suggestion for nourishing routine that will ensure that you provide your skin with everything it needs at this time of year.

Suggested nourishing routine

1. Start with our 2 Step Cleanser

Start your skincare routine with our oil cleanser that contains sea buckthorn and apricot kernel oil. This oil will ensure that you gently, yet effectively remove all of your makeup and excess sebum from the skin. Apply it on a dry face, rub gently and rinse with warm water.

In order to achieve a thorough skin cleansing, continue your skincare routine with our foaming cleanser and ensure you remove absolutely all the impurities from the skin. After this step, skin is optimally prepared for hydration part.

In the next step, the goal is to, using our Vibrancy (un) Mask, restore moisture and elasticity to your skin. Borage and pumpkin seed oils lock in water in the skin and ensure optimal hydration. Betulinic acid is there to make the skin elastic, while aronia berry and bilberry have antioxidant properties and prevent UV damage. Apply the mask on cleansed skin, leave for 10 minutes and rinse. You will feel an instant hydration boost.

After the mask, it is a great idea to finish your skincare routine with cheeks serum based on hyaluronic acid and plum kernel oil.Hyaluronic acid is a humectant, which means that it directlybinds water molecules, while plum kernel oil has emollient properties and ensures that water stays in the deeper layers of the skin. Together: they restore skin moisture and prevent dehydration, which is our top priority during the winter.

4. Don’t forget the eye serum

And lastly, don’t forget to protect the delicate eye area with our eye serum. As you may know, the skin is the thinnest in this region which means that dehydration can easily occur.Therefore, we need to pay extra attention to it and ensure its optimal hydration. Primrose oil contains fatty acids that have significant soothing and emollient benefits for the skin. And there are also ceramides that are naturally found in the skin barrier and play a very important role for the skin health.

What should you avoid in your skincare routine?


If you want to prevent skin dehydration during cold days, it is important to focus on not taking actions that worsen the condition of the skin.

1. During the winter, avoid overwashing your face, as well as applying products that contain aggressive ingredients that are too harsh and stripping on the skin (alcohol, sulfates, etc.). Also, be moderate with using scrubs and chemical exfoliants.


Note: actives like retinol or benzoyl peroxide probably need to be put on hold until you return the skin to its natural, non-compromised state.


2. Drink enough water

When we say skin skin hydration most people think of hydration through moisturizer, serums and other skincare products. And yes, that is partly true. However, you need to start thinking outside the box here.

Where does hydration come from in general? From the water! It is important to also work on your internal hydration, which means drinking enough water and eating foods with a high water content, such as fruits and vegetables.

Also, try to limit or completely avoid the intake of those foods and drinks that promote dehydration of the body, such as coffee, alcohol or junk food (contains a lot of salt).

Remember: for optimal skin hydration, it is equally important what you use on your skin and what you put into your body.

3. Use humidifier

Another simple but practical way to positively affect your skin is to start using a humidifier in your home. As we mentioned, the biggest problem is that our skin comes in contact with dry air. If we can influence it and increase its moisture, we will reduce the negative impact on the skin and prevent dehydration.

Today on the market you can find a bunch of beautiful humidifiers that can be a nice decoration for your home at the same time, and also fulfill their main purpose – increase air humidity.

Final word

Although colder weather brings us holidays and that marvelous winter magic, we have to be honest and admit that winter is not so kind to our skin. Due to low temperatures, wind and low humidity skin barrier gets easily damages, which eventuallyleads to skin dehydration. However, this is not a reason to worry. With the right products and habits, you can very successfully bypass the negative effects of winter on the skin and focus solely on the magic it brings.

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