Although it doesn't feel like Autumn has arrived yet (signalled by 35 degree days still!), our skin needs different care in the changing season. With cooler weather and cold winds, our skincare needs a slight adjustment to meet the changing elements. This is not about a complete overhaul of your skincare products and routine, that's just not practical or necessary. I'm all about keeping things simple, easy and manageable! I've got some basic tips and even super simple DIY's to give your skin all the love it needs this season.
It's no surprise that one of the main things to focus on when taking care of skin in cooler weather is moisture. With the cold, often comes less humidity in the air. Cold wind really strips the moisture from our skin, but there are simple steps we can take to help retain the moisture in our skin. This blog post shares ideas for how to get the best out of your current products and what to look for if you need to re-purchase products.
We're going to take a look at the following:
Cleansers can strip a lot of the natural oils and moisture from our skin, especially if they contain sodium lauryl sulfate, which is a stripping agent and skin irritant.
What to avoid? Foaming cleanser can often be more drying to the skin due to the ingredients used to create the foam. Look to swap out your foaming cleanser for something more moisturising.
What to look for? If it's time for a new cleanser, opt for a more moisture retaining option such as a micellar water, oil cleanser, bi-phase cleanser (combination water and oil) or one that is specifically labelled as moisturising. You can also look for gentle cream cleansers that contain moisturising ingredients such as shea butter and cocoa butter.
Simple DIY: I'm a big fan of oil cleansing, especially in the cooler months. It is so gentle on the skin, doesn't strip natural oils, is cheap and easy to make yourself, and is great at removing makeup and skin impurities. Check out this blog post for all the details on why I love it and how to make your own oil cleanser. It's crazy easy, I promise!
We all know that exfoliating is good for our skin. It gets rid of the dead skin cells to make way for the fresh ones, which helps our skin look fresh, bright and even younger. This is even more beneficial to do during winter as skin dries out faster in the cooler weather. Aim for exfoliating once or twice a week with a gentle, moisturising exfoliator. We're talking face and body here.
What to avoid? Don't exfoliate more than three times a week as it just isn't necessary and can be a bit much for your skin to handle. Salt is great for the body, but go for a gentler exfoliant for the face that naturally has a round shape without jagged edges e.g. sugar instead of salt.
What to look for? Look for an exfoliator made with moisturising ingredients such as shea butter, cocoa butter, and oils. Also, look for one with a natural exfoliant such as bamboo, salt or sugar. It is best to use an exfoliant at night time as it helps to open up pores making skin more susceptible to environmental damage if done in the morning.
Simple DIY: Exfoliators are super easy to make at home with what you have in the pantry. You can make simple mixture using sugar or ground oats and an oil, such as fractionated coconut oil, grape seed oil, jojoba oil or avocado oil. Add two tablespoons of choose exfoliant to a small bowl and around one tablespoon of chosen oil. Mix until it is the consistency of a thick paste. Adjust ratio as needed, depending on the type of oil and exfoliant you are using.
This is the key word for skincare in the cooler months: moisturising. This can involve (and I would recommend it), using a serum and a moisturiser. In summer, we can get away with using really light moisturisers, but it's helpful to use a thicker one for autumn and winter. Especially at night time. If you're super serious about your skincare, you may also opt for a lighter water-based serum in the morning, and then a heavier oil-based serum at night. Serums are really important for adding moisture as they penetrate to the deeper layers of skin where moisturisers don't go.
What to avoid: Retinol - whilst this is an amazing ingredient for helping to encourage new skin cell growth, they can become harsh if used a lot. Give your skin a break from retinol during the cooler months as it can make dry skin even worse, or use a good moisturiser about 30 minutes before using an active ingredient such as retinol.
What to look for in a serum? A product containing essential fatty acids, such as linoleic acid (Omega-6), alpha-linoleic Acid (Omega-3) and Oleic Acid (Omega-9). These are present in oils such as rose-hip, sweet almond oil, safflower, apricot kernal oil, blackcurrant seed oil, evening primrose, and flaxseed to name some. You can also look for products containing vitamin C, and vitamin E.
Simple DIY: There are so many options you could use for creating your own serum. Here is a basic recipe that is suitable for all skin types. You can easily swap out oils and add essential oils to find a combination that works well for your skin: 25g rose-hip oil, 20g fractionated coconut oil, 5g vitamin E (you can use opened vitamin capsules), 5-10 drops of essentials of choice. Essential oil options could include frankincense, rose geranium, lavender.
What to look for in a moisturiser? Look for a slightly richer moisturiser. Depending on your skin, you may want to just use this at night time, which is generally what I go for. I stick with a lighter one during the day to avoid looking oily, and use a richer one for nighttime to restore moisture that may have been lost during the day. I use the Mandi Makes natural (fragrance free) whipped body butter as a rich night cream. It contains shea butter, which is an amazing moisturiser.
Simple DIY: A moisturiser is a little harder to create a simple DIY for. However, you can create a combination of aloe vera gel, an oil and essential oils. Or, if you can get hold of shea butter, that is also a great addition. Below are two recipes, one with and one without shea butter:
Mix the following ingredients together in a small bowl:
2 tbsp aloe vera gel
1/2 tsp oil (fractionated coconut, sweet almond, jojoba, rose-hip)
2-3 drops vitamin E oil
1-2 drops vegetable glycerin (optional)
1-2 drops essential oil of choose
Place the following in glass bowl over a pot of boiling water to melt (double boiler):
1/2 cup shea butter
1 tablespoon jojoba oil
1 tablespoon fractionated coconut oil
Once melted, take off the heat and allow to cool slightly until it starts to go opaque in colour. Add in optional essential oils of choice.
That's it! Hope you've found these tips helpful as we move into a new season. Remember always that the goal is to keep things simple and manageable!