Here in Calgary, we skipped over fall and winter hit us overnight.
My inbox has filled with dozen of messages from woman wondering why their makeup isn’t so ‘flawless’ now the weather has gotten colder.
What most woman don’t realize is the affect cold weather has on their makeup
and it all starts with skin.
The Science of Winter Skin
Extreme temperatures, like this weekends snow dump, have a huge impact on skin health..
Cold conditions cause the narrowing of the blood cells to help protect the body from loosing too much heat, sustaining this reduces sebaceous glands secretion and in turn dries the skin.
Plain and simple, dry skin occurs when the skin lacks sebum or natural oils.
Some people inherit dry skin, but for most Albertans, dry skin comes from environmental factors, such as cold dry winters. It's not just the outdoors that suck moisture from our skin either, but the speed in which the temperature changes.
Going from A Calgary Snowstorm to a warmed up car, or a Las Vegas summer day to a chilled casino for example. Even Chinooks play with our skin's health! Factors as simple as central heating or cooling can dehydrate your skin just as much as the icy wind.
Frequently repeating these situations dry our skin out at a more rapid rate.
Without the skin's ability to retain moisture, our skin is unable to build or maintain a protective barrier against external factors and ultimately results in dryness.
Symptoms of Dry Skin
It's important to remember that dry skin is incredibly common and the effects come in varying degrees. 67% of Albertans have reported dry skin to their doctors and over 17% suffering from eczema.
In the beginning, your skin might seem tight or even itchy, especially after bathing. Your complexion could seem 'rough' or uneven. As it worsens you would see spots of redness, flaking and in some cases, you might even develop the 'scaly' patches common with eczema.
Contrary to popular belief, dry skin can can actually cause break outs and clogged pores. It is also one of the leading causes of premature wrinkles.
Generally speaking, more women suffer from dry skin than men and unfortunately, as we age our skin naturally becomes more and more dry. For older woman, the seasonal changes only exasperate dry skin.
There is hope! Preventing dry skin is as easy as adjusting your beauty routine to combat the elements and will keep you glowing all winter.
1. No Foam, Please.
Foaming products typically contain Sodium Lauryl Sulphate strip the skin of natural oils which only dry you out.
In fact, read the labels, any alcohol based products should be avoided in the winter. Witch hazel, essential oils and fragrances will also pull moisture out of your skin and leave you looking dull.
Instead, look for face products marketed as Hydrating or products specifically made for sensitive skin.
2. Scrub, Baby
Exfoliating gives your skin a natural glow by scrubbing away dead skin cells and clogged pores. In the winter, exfoliating will help reduce any flakes and scales too.
It also renews your glow by stimulating blood circulation.
Exfoliate 2-3 times a week for best results.
PROTIP: Keep an Exfoliating Mask in the Shower and apply it as you get in. The heat from the shower will allow the hydrating properties to sink deeper into your skin, plus it saves time!
3. Thicker! Faster!
Skip the light weight moisturize and opt for a thicker one. Thicker moisturizers do take longer to absorb but can provide hydration for a longer period of time; Moisturizers that are oil-based seem to offer better protection from the cold winds and provide better hydrating properties.
PROTIP: When moisturizing, don't just stick with the face, moisturize down your neck and chest. Especially on women, dry skin is more prominent in these areas.
4. Enough is Enough
Teens and woman with oily skin types often think washing their face will make it better; that couldn't be further from the truth. Wash your face once in the morning and once before bed, anymore is overkill. If your leaving the bathroom after cleansing bright red, you’re causing even more damage.
Excessive (or aggressive) washing strips the skin of natural oils and dehydrates, it makes your skin look lacklustre and highlights fine lines.
Be gentle and your skin will thank you
5. The Eyes
The skin around your eyes is the thinnest, which makes it extremely prone to drying out.
Woman are notorious for thinking they aren't 'old' enough for an eye serum, but then wonder why makeup creases under their eyes. As we age, that skin thins and becomes like crepe paper, there is no makeup to reverse the look of saggy eyes, lines or wrinkles. Only prevention.
Hydrating eye creams or serums can be an investment, but will add moisture and tighten the skin to give a more youthful appearance.
A Few Makeup Tips for the Cold Weather!
If you aren't using a primer, now is the time to start!
Primer keeps everything in place while ensuring your makeup doesn’t settle into any fine lines or pores. Primer will also act as a barrier; prevent acne and helps protect the face from the elements.
PROTIP: I mix a liquid highlighter with my primer to give me an ‘all over’ glow.
When selecting makeup in the winter,
...texture makes a huge difference on how it will appear on dry skin.
Skip the powders and matte finishes, which will only emphasize dullness. Instead opt for dewy or glowy products. Liquid Luminizers can help achieve an 'eternal' glow and are easy to use!
BB Creams can be heaven sent in the winter; BB Creams are just a tinted moisturizer so they’ll add hydration while providing sheer coverage.