Spring is here, but we’re still getting bursts of cold here and there. During this transitional period between winter and warmer weather, there’s one important thing to keep in mind: exactly how to keep it hydrated. The fluctuating temps and cool air can leave your skin feeling less than happy, but that doesn’t mean you need to book in for an expensive facial or change up your diet. Smaller changes to your already established skincare routine can be just as effective.
To find out how to best care for your skin, we spoke to Dr Alice Rudd from Skindepth Dermatology, who had some suggestions to prevent inevitable drying out caused by cold winds and constant heating.
Switch to a cream cleanser for the colder months
Rudd’s first top tip when it comes to cleansing is to use a product with a cream base in order to get that moisturising effect at every stage. This is due to the much drier air when it’s cold (because there’s less humidity and more artificial heating), which results in the skin being unable to replenish itself as easily. The products you use are essential to help your skin to replenish its own moisture.
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“The first way we can do that is not stripping the skin of moisture,” says Rudd. “So that means switching to a cream cleanser, not using any harsh toners, and avoiding gel-based cleansers that will strip the skin of its natural oils.”
She says that, at a minimum, you need to cleanse at least once a day – at night. But cleansing twice a day is also fine, as long as your cleanser isn’t stripping your skin. She also recommends keeping the water on the lukewarm side, as hot water gives a further drying effect. “Try not to over-cleanse and avoid using excessively hot water. Using the cream cleanser will help re-create the barrier of the skin and help replenish moisture that has been lost.”
Find a serum with extra punch
When looking for a serum for the season, consider the ingredients to add extra punch to your protection regimen. Go for something with vitamin C, like The Body Shop’s Vitamin C Glow Revealing Serum – it’s *clinically proven to boost skin radiance by 33 per cent in 8 weeks.
“Vitamin C acts as an antioxidant, so it’s helpful against the free radicals that you get from the sun, as well as wind and environmental pollutants,” says Rudd. “It can be irritating to dry skin in winter, so using it in a serum version is better because that’s an oil base, rather than a cream, which is a water base – a water base is dehydrating.”
After cleansing, apply your serum before your moisturiser, to ensure maximum impact. “The serum has a more concentrated level of these active ingredients, so you want it to go on before moisturiser. It also absorbs better than if you have a cream in the way,” she explains.
Use different moisturisers at different times
Rudd’s next tip is to rotate two different moisturisers between morning and night. “It’s best to use a combination of moisturisers. There are two types of moisturisers: ones that sit on the skin that prevent water loss from the skin, and then there are moisturisers that get absorbed into the skin to actually give hydration.”
To aid in preventing dehydration, she suggests finding a lighter, emollient-style moisturiser to use in the morning, which include products such as dimethicone, silicones, or ceramides. At night you want to use a thicker, humectant-style moisturiser to replenish your skin overnight, often indicated as various oils or shea butter on the ingredients list.
Don’t forget SPF
SPF is an essential skincare routine step – even when it’s cold, cloudy or even rainy. You can get a tinted one if you prefer, to remove a step from your make-up routine.
Rudd says people in southern states can get away with an SPF30, particularly between June and August, but elsewhere and in the spring months, it’s SP50’s time to shine.
“Using a physical-blocking sunscreen is going to be less irritating to dry skin, so that’s sunscreen containing titanium, or variants thereof,” she says.
Remember the rest of your skin
It’s also important to look after the rest of your body, particularly when we’re exposed to harsh heating, dry air and gusty winds.
“I would definitely recommend shea butter as a body moisturiser,” says Rudd. “Shea is quite occlusive so if you’re acne-prone you might try to avoid that on the face, but for the body it’s really good. It acts as basically both an emollient and a humectant, and it’s non-irritating. It’s a very effective moisturiser.”
The Body Shop’s Shea Body Butter can be used just after showering, when your skin is slightly damp, to reinforce your skin barrier and provide rich moisture *for up to 96 hours.
This article is produced by Broadsheet in partnership with The Body Shop. *All efficacy claims were provided by The Body Shop based on their own clinical testing.