Winter tends to be a time people start to focus on making their homes cozy or preparing for the holiday celebrations. This is understandable, as these activities help us to get through the cold and dark months. However, it’s just as important to also take steps that keep you healthy.
This isn’t just about safeguarding against the common cold or the flu. Your skin health should be one of your priorities too. While you may have a routine that keeps your surface layers safe and beautiful during the warmer months, there are challenges in winter that may require more specialized actions. With a little knowledge and commitment, you can adopt a routine that keeps your skin beautiful into the spring and beyond.
The first part of a good winter morning skin routine is to take steps that directly impact your surface layers. While your skin is at risk during all seasons, the winter can be particularly harsh and prone to causing dryness. This is why it’s vital to include habits in your routine dedicated to cleansing, moisturizing, and protecting your skin.
This should include:
The last thing you want in the winter months is for the weather or environment to leech the nutrients from your skin. Therefore, the cleansing stage of your morning routine should incorporate products that are designed to feed and prepare your skin. Avoid those that contain sulfates and similar harsh chemical components that strip natural oils. Rather, try cream-based or milk-based cleansers that can keep your skin well-hydrated.
Even though the colder months can be associated with rain and snow, this doesn’t necessarily mean that your skin will be getting all the moisture it needs. Indeed, having central heating indoors may result in exposing your skin to dryness. As a result, it’s important to follow your cleanser with a good moisturizer. Wherever possible, opt for versions that are unscented in order to avoid skin reactions and potential additional dryness.
After cleaning and moisturizing your skin, you certainly want to protect it from elements that can damage or harm it in the winter months. Your efforts here will depend on your individual needs and the environment you’re in. If your skin is prone to dryness in the winter, a barrier cream may be wise. If you spend significant time outside, sunscreen is important, even if the day appears to be overcast. You might also want to apply lip balm in the morning and regularly throughout the day to prevent cracking.
Even knowing the steps you need to take in the morning, it can still be difficult to make these into the regular routine that gives you the best results. If you need to, formally lay out your plan in writing and place it where you’ll see every day, perhaps where you keep your skincare products. You can then follow your instructions until they become a habit.
A good winter morning skincare routine isn’t just about the elements you apply to the surface of your body. Remember that the environment you’ll be spending the day in can contribute to either damaging or protecting your skin. Therefore, part of your routine should be to optimize your environment to support healthy skin.
Whether you’re spending the day at home or in the workplace, consider the particulate matter in the air around you. During the warmer months, this may not be as much of an issue as your open windows may stimulate air flow. However, in a closed-off environment during the winter, dust, allergens, and other particles may serve to clog your pores and lead to damaged skin. Consider switching on an air filtration system first thing in the morning, or attending to a short surface cleaning and vacuuming session.
Additionally, controlling the climate in your surroundings with central heating in the winter is a way to keep your space cozy. However, this artificial warmth may dry out your skin. Therefore, it’s wise to invest in a humidifier, whether it’s for the whole space or a small desk unit for your immediate surroundings. Make cleaning, refilling, and turning this on a part of your morning routine.
Alongside your physical care and your surroundings, you should think about how your psychological and emotional wellness impacts your skin health during the winter. In particular, stress can contribute to skin aging due to a range of factors. Prolonged stress shortens telomeres, can interfere with the barrier that protects your epidermis from toxins, and triggers the glycation that reduces the elasticity of your skin.
Unfortunately, the winter time can be particularly difficult for many people, between the pressure of the holidays and the sense of isolation that staying indoors can bring. Therefore, you should dedicate part of your morning routine to minimizing stress and attending to your mental wellness.
This is where you can benefit from implementing a regular meditation practice. This simple action of clearing your mind and relaxing can ease your stress, boost your mood, and generally improve your physical health. There are various approaches you can take to this. You can just spend a few minutes each morning in mindfulness, by sitting quietly and staying in the present moment. You could also use a guided meditation mobile app upon waking that takes you through stress reduction techniques. By incorporating this into your routine, you can set yourself up for the day ahead while also caring for your skin.
The winter presents different challenges to your skin than those you may have to navigate in the summer. Therefore, it’s important to create a morning skincare routine that is more suited to meet these specific needs. Don’t just think about the surface itself, though. Make sure your routine also takes into account environmental and mental health influencers of your skin health. That said, remember that you have individual needs alongside the more general winter-based requirements. Make additions or adjustments to your routine that ensure you and your skin get the most relevant and positive attention during the cold months ahead.
Author by: Luke Smith