5 winter skin mistakes you’re making
And expert advice on how to correct them
By Delaney Loane
Advertising Feature by Vaseline / July 20 2020
If our skin starred in its own movie (as the hero, of course), winter would absolutely be the villain. Because no matter how hard we try to keep our complexions hydrated, happy and healthy, the chilly season shows up every year determined to strip our skin of the moisture it holds dear, leaving our faces feeling dry, flaky and just plain uncomfortable.
So, what do you do when something poses a threat? You adjust your approach, switching up the strategy to combat the issues at hand. Yep, it’s important to remember that your regular routine simply may not cut it once the temperature drops. In fact, there are several complexion-centric habits we all need to correct during the cooler months in the name of nourished skin.
BEAUTYcrew spoke to Sarah Hudson, Aesthetic Practitioner and all-around skin-tellectual to find out the mistakes we’re making, and how to set them right once and for all.
Sorry cold weather, consider yourself thwarted.
Mistake #1: Opting out of an exfoliation routine
“Not exfoliating [is a big mistake],” says Hudson. “By removing dry flakes of skin cells, healthy new moist cells are encouraged to come to the surface of the skin leaving it smooth [and prepped for hydration]. [Through exfoliating regularly], moisturisers will be able to penetrate more effectively, leaving the skin feeling more hydrated and not as tight.”
“I recommend my clients gently exfoliate 2-3 times a week during winter,” she says, naming enzyme exfoliants as her favourite formulas. “During winter, opt for an enzyme exfoliation rather than a scrub or AHA exfoliant. Enzymes gobble up dead skin, leaving the skin silky soft. [In fact], if you have dry, sensitive skin, a scrub or AHA exfoliant will only exacerbate sensitivity.” Not ideal; enzymes it is.
Mistake #2: Selecting a formula that doesn’t suit your skin type
“[In order to properly treat it], firstly, you need to determine whether your skin is dry, dehydrated and sensitive, or oily and dehydrated,” Hudson explains.
Dealing with a dry skin type? Go rich. “If it’s dry, dehydrated and sensitive, look for a richer cream moisturiser with ceramides and nourishing oils that will mimic natural skin oils,” she advises.
Don’t think an oil-prone status means skin isn’t also dehydrated, though – moisture replenishment is just as essential; you just have to choose the right formula fit for your face. “With oily or acne-prone dehydrated skin, you should still apply moisturiser, but opt for a lightweight lotion with hydrating ingredients such as hyaluronic acid,” says Hudson.
Mistake #3: Skipping your morning or evening cleanse
It may seem counterintuitive to cleanse more than once per day, as it can feel like you’re stripping away much-needed moisture, but maintaining a healthy purifying and hydrating cycle is essential for skin health, especially in winter. Keep up a twice-daily face washing routine to allow your hydrators to heal skin more effectively.
“Cleansing in the morning is important because it removes the overnight skin cells on the surface of the skin. If the skin is not cleaned effectively, it will inhibit a facial oil or moisturiser from penetrating and protecting the skin,” Hudson confirms. “Cleansing in the morning as well as in the evening will assist with the rebalancing and strengthening of the skin’s natural barrier.”
Mistake #4: Choosing a moisturiser loaded with fragrance
“Fragrance in a product will exacerbate the sensitivity of dry skin, leading to redness and irritation,” explains Hudson, noting that it’s best to steer clear of scented moisturisers in favour of ones formulated without. “Vaseline Petroleum Jelly and Vaseline Advanced Strength Lotion are both fragrance-free, making them perfect for sensitive skin, [especially in winter when it’s extra prone to irritation].”
Being fragrance-free isn’t the only perk either, they’re also loaded with protective properties designed to keep dryness away. “[The jelly] (which also features within the lotion) forms a waterproof barrier when applied to the skin, preventing skin moisture from escaping,” Hudson explains. Consider us (and our parched complexions) convinced.
Mistake #5: Hitting dry skin with hot water
We know, we know: scalding hot showers are one of winter’s simple pleasures. But your face is not a fan. “Hot water strips the skin of its natural oils, so I recommend using lukewarm water to start your morning cleanse,” Hudson advises.
“Boiling water can actually inflame the skin (similar to a sunburn), leading to sensitivity, chafing and irritation, [as] it can disrupt the skin's natural balance of moisture and breakdown the natural oils and proteins that keep the skin healthy.”
The moral of the story? Wash your face separately (hello, sink) with warm water, or turn the temperature down before going in with your cleanser.