Your wardrobe isn’t the only thing you should switch come winter.

While the cold makes us want to get lazy, sip on some hot chocolate and snuggle inside with a blanket. It also means the exposure to indoor heat can suck the moisture from your skin, stripping it of oils essential for healthy skin barrier function. This leads to dry skin, redness, irritation and could spark skin sensitivity. Bottom line: A regimen shake up is needed.

But don’t contemplate an entire overhaul just yet, you might only need a few simple swaps and additions. Read on for winter skincare swaps you’ll want to try for happy and hydrated skin.

Why is skin care during winter important?
A winter skincare routine can help you combat dry skin, redness, and irritation during the colder days. A healthy, strong barrier function of the skin is crucial to overall skin health, and this time of year is arguably the harshest for the skin’s barrier function.

What is your skin barrier?
To really understand how the winter weather affects our skin, let’s quickly explain what the skin barrier is. This is an incredibly thin outermost layer of the skin that protects our skin from external factors. Put simply: it keeps all the good things in and all the bad things out.

How to combat winter skin

The cardinal rule for winter is… moisturise!
To protect the skin barrier from winter’s unfortunate effects, you need to feed it what it craves — a lipid-rich moisturiser that keeps your skin hydrated all day long.

How to deal with redness and irritation
On top of dryness, the rapidly changing temperatures can leave your skin red and inflamed. Using a soothing serum along with a lipid-rich moisturiser it will protect your skin barrier from environmental damage, alleviating some of the winter redness and irritation as a result.

But your facial skin isn’t the only one that gets affected during the winter. The skin on your body can become just as dry, flaky and red. To keep your body, supple and smooth, make sure to use a rich oil-based body butter or moisturiser to deeply nourish the skin and keep it hydrated.

Incorporate an overnight mask
Not that we need an excuse to apply a face mask, but if you haven’t started, winter is the best time to do it. Designed to be the final step of your night-time skin routine, overnight masks help lock in all those serums, creams, and oils applied earlier. Overnight masking is also a great opportunity to incorporate more targeted treatments to your skin.

Look out for these key winter ingredients
Product ingredients to look out for in the cold are ceramides, hyaluronic acid, niacinamide, bakuchiol, and botanical oils. When used in conjunction, they soothe inflammation, restore hydration, and strengthen the skin barrier. And don’t forget the SPF, which yes, you do need in winter.

Originally written and posted by Dr Alek Nikolic, one of our incredible partners at SkinMiles. You can read the original article and see their recommended products here >