Sorry! I know you don’t need reminding that winter is here! It’s been easy to forget lately since we’ve been having such a mild December for Thunder Bay, ON. BUT since the shrill cold is upon us here’s some tips to keep you from drying out this winter.
Avoid Hot showers and keep them short
I get it.. Hot showers in the dead of winter in Northern Ontario feel like heaven. It’s like pretending you’re on a tropical get away but really it’s -40 °C with the wind chill. But what is the hot water doing for your skin? Hot water can actually cause your skin to be inflamed much like a sunburn. It can cause itchiness and redness. It can also disrupt your natural moisture barrier and strip your skin of its natural oils. Best to keep your showers moderately warm and keep them short!
Don’t over Exfoliate
Exfoliating to remove that layer of rough dead skin is still important. When you exfoliate it reveals fresh skin underneath which will helps your moisturizers and treatments absorb into your skin. However, over-exfoliating can disrupt your skin’s moisture barrier. In the winter, we need to maintain this barrier to help with water loss which will help us stay hydrated.
So, keep it to light exfoliation when you need it.
Beef up your moisture routine
Let’s PUMP up that moisture baby! I feel like this one is super obvious but let’s chat about a few ingredients that might work for you this winter season!Squalane - Squalane(with an 'a') is a great addition to any winter routine! It is a natural emollient so your skin feels plump and hydrated. It can help prevent water loss so your skin can retain moisture as you go through your day. It can help prevent irritation and is great for sensitive skin. It's great for all skin types. Squalane is antibacterial and can also help soothe cracked or chapped skin. This property can also help with redness, rosacea, dermatitis, psoriasis, and eczema. It's also known to prevent UV damage and fight free radicals.
Some of our favorite squalane products:
RADIANCE GRAPE STEM CELL + SQUALENE DAY CREAM by Three Ships
AGE REPAIR CREAM by Schaf Skincare
INTIMACY OIL By Graydon Skincare
Hyaluronic Acid - HA is a substance that is naturally already produced in your body. Hyaluronic Acid is a humectant and it draws water to the surface of your skin and retains it keeping your skin hydrated and plump. You may ask:
Since the air in winter is much drier than is it still effective?
HA does attract water from air but that isn’t the case all the time. It will also draw moisture out of your deeper layers of skin. However, I also find myself using more hydrating mists and using a humidifier to help retain its moisture.
Some of our favorite Hyaluronic Acid products:
NU-SHROOM HYDRAFILL SERUM by Cyberderm
DEW DROPS MUSHROOM HYALURONIC ACID + VITAMIN C SERUM by Three Ships
HYALURONIC CONCENTRATE By The Chemistry Brand
Occlusives - You’ve heard me talk about humectants many times but I have yet to discuss occlusives. Put VERY simply, humectants draw moisture in and occlusives make a physical protective shield to lock moisture in. So in the winter when you use ingredients like Hyaluronic Acid you should be locking in that moisture with a type of occlusive. There are SO many types of ingredients that work as occlusives both synthetic and natural. Some of the most popular you’ll hear about are waxes, petrolatum, dimethicone, silicone and mineral oils.
*Petrolatum and mineral oil come from crude oil, which is not a renewable resource. Which is a whole other topic we’ll save for another day.
Most plant oils are considered emollients but also can work as occlusives. So plant oils like tamanu oil, jojoba oil, rice bran oil, avena sativa (Oat) kernel Oil, and olive oil can work as occlusives. You should however be careful when choosing a facial oil as and choose based on your skin type. For example, an oily or acne prone skin type might want to use an argan oil because it has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects due to its high concentration of linoleic acid and Vitamin E. Jojoba oil will also be good for an oily/acne prone skin type but olive oil or coconut oil might are quite rich and may cause breakouts.
WILDCRAFT REGENERATING FACE OIL - High in Rice Bran Oil
VITAMIN E + OAT SERUM by Consonant Skincare
ORGANIC ARGAN + TAMANU CLARIFYING FACE OIL by Schmear Naturals
*NEW* BODY LOTION By Schaf
Don’t forget your lip balm
Your lips are one of the few spots on your body that doesn’t have oil or sweat glands which is why your lips are so susceptible to drying out. So picking a good lip balm is important. Speaking of occlusives! A lip balm heavy with butters and oils is always a crowd pleaser. If you're like me you probably have a lip balm in every coat pocket and purse already.
Check out our Lip Care
Take care of your hands and feet too
Hand care has been a popular topic all year since everyone has become hyper aware of hand washing and sanitizer. Using heavier hand creams and using them more frequently has become a staple.
Popular hand creams:
OUTDOORS X HAND CREAM by Matter Company
HAND CHEMISTRY PRO-REPAIR by The Chemistry Brand
As for foot care, I tend to use heavier balms and lotions! A popular one in the store is the Bare Organics Healing Balm which is amazing for cracked feet. We also have foot peels if you need to give your foot a fresh start.
HEALING BALM by Bare Organics
FIX IT BALM by K'Pure Naturals
DR. PEDICURE FOOT PEELING MASK by Grace & Stella
I KNOW I’m a broken record on this one!! The sun doesn’t go away in the winter. So don’t forget your sunscreen. We have many new sunscreen options available online so feel free to check out sun care section.