Ah yes, the cold season! Oh, how dry and drab my skin feels! For your skin, Winter is synonymous with hopelessness. It itches, it hurts, it stings… In terms of complexion, it’s no nicer – redness settles in. You’re grinding your teeth and hiding away waiting for the sunny season? We have more to offer you! Read our guide to transform the coldest months into a cocoon of softness for your skin.
But why does my skin hate Winter?
Though dry skin suffers the most, having less comfortable skin in Winter is something we all have in common. A combination of aggressors will harm even the strongest amongst us.
It’s hardly breaking news, it gets colder in Winter. Wind, central heating that dries out your skin, and changes in temperature from outside to inside make our skin suffer by jeopardising its hydration. Water evaporates from it all the more easily as our body, in hibernation mode, works slower than usual and so prioritises its duties: blood circulation is concentrated on our vital organs, to the detriment of our skin. Our blood capillaries that nourish our skin are also very sensitive to outside temperatures: they lose effectiveness and tone, dilate and redness appears. Evidently, being less nourished and with an extremely low vitamin D level due to the lack of sun, our skin feels the effects. Cell renewal and sebum production are put on hold, our protective film is less effective. Your skin can no longer put up with it all, it becomes hyper-reactive, in a permanent state of inflammation. Red spots are emphasised, particularly on light and fine skin.
With that in mind, our Winter lifestyles lay it on thick. The things we want aren’t always in sync with the needs of our skin: it dislikes the groundhog-style glued-to-the-radiator hibernation just as much as UV exposure and harsh mountain climates. Are you a fan of long, comforting baths full of bubbles and boiling hard water? For your skin, this means war! Add in the friction caused by your big cozy jumper and you’ll get an irrepressible desire to change your skin.
Natural active ingredients: personalised protectors for your sensitive skin
Some lucky people make their way through the Winter with velvety soft skin, an even and radiant complexion. Thanks to the genetic lottery… Or, a carefully engineered skincare routine. That’s right! Choosing the right skincare products can have miraculous effects on your weak Winter skin.
Our best advice? Scrap conventional skincare products! This is crucial as your skin is more permeable, a real highway for irritant substances, hormonal disruptors and other harmful substances. Be wary of synthetic preservatives, fragrances and sulfate tensioactive ingredients which emphasise red spots and irritation. Don’t let yourself be fooled by the vicious circle of mineral oils: behind the image of something ‘better’, there is no benefit to your skin, which continues to get worse under their obstructive layer that it can no longer do without.
To fight against redness and irritation, your skin needs to be soothed: you need to fight inflammation… as gently as possible. Next, in order to prevent them from coming back, your skin has to be regenerated, strengthened and protected. A big challenge! Have the healing properties of plant-based active ingredients on standby.
Especially useful are plant oils rich in Omega 3. By easily penetrating the skin, they reinforce the skin’s elasticity and are powerfully anti-inflammatory. Bye-bye redness, irritation, and itching! Amongst the most soothing and reparative are linseed, perilla, and hemp – which also help your skin to retain water – and raspberry seed oil, rich in carotenoids for a bonus complexion boost. The vitamin E and linoleuc acid in squash seed oil prevent your skin from being over-reactive. By combining these with lime, marigold or marsh skullcap water extracts, soothing is guaranteed. Equally, focus on vaso-protective active ingredients: helichrysum or clover extracts, which aid your skin’s micro-circulation and strengthen your skin capillaries.
And while everyone needs richer skincare products in Winter, yours – weakened and reactive – is in need of even more fat. And good fats, at that! Avocado oil, full of omega 6 and 9s and numerous high-quality unsaponifiable components, is super protective and anti-inflammatory. It regenerates, softens, nourishes, soothes and restructures… The dream! Apricot oil nourishes and softens while brightening your complexion. Desert date, luffa or argan are also particularly reparative and regenerative.
Special mention, finally, goes to shea butter: softening, regenerating, and anti-inflammatory, it soothes irritation and itching, thoroughly nourishes and protects all skin types.
In the oOlution range, you can easily spot our products that are rich in these precious active ingredients: just look for green packaging. Formulated in order to respond to the needs of dry, irritated and reactive skin, they will bring your skin a soothing cocoon of gentleness, clear them of redness and strengthen it.
Your routine: a cocoon of strength
So, what routine should I adopt for my weakened skin? You’re trying to leave it to itself? Don’t! You should avoid leaving it to its own devices.
The first step: thoroughly but gently cleansing your skin daily, even if you don’t wear makeup. And respect these 3 rules: no sulfates, as little water as possible, and gentle actions. Ideally, for the face, use a makeup-removing milk rich in plant oils, applied gently with your fingertips (or with a washable pad, but avoid cotton as it can be too aggressive). Milky Way, with nourishing and soothing active ingredients, with effectively cleanse your skin making you feel immediately comfortable. Complete your routine with a spritz of soothing hydrolats which will allow you to avoid hard tap water. And as you know already, avoid exfoliation.
Your face will then be ready for its hydrator. Opt for a cream that is very rich and nourishing – like our Whole Again. Soothing, protective, and anti-inflammatory, it will strengthen your skin capillaries. It is not content with just protecting your skin, it also helps it to defend itself and controls its reactivity. Is Whole Again too rich for you? Alternate it with Glow Up, perhaps enriched with two drops of our blend of nourishing and soothing plant oils. You can also use this blend on its own, it’s particularly effective in the evenings before you go to sleep.
Irritation and redness aren’t exclusively for the face. Our cold-saponified, supperfatted soap, Soap Rise, ideally in its fragrance-free form, will make you forget any sensation of post-shower soreness and will nourish your skin. To hydrate and soothe itches, try Body Guard or Magic Milk, according to the affected areas and the needs of your skin. Avoid too-hot baths and showers, and if your skin is really uncomfortable and irritated, alternate between showers and sponging yourself clean.
Finally, on zones of redness and intense irritation, face or body, don’t hesitate to call on Loving Balm. Very rich, protective and free from essential oils, it will protect your skin and help it regenerate without any risk of irritation. Maybe it’s cold and windy? Or are you going on a skiing holiday? Apply it as a precautionary measure on your face and hands before going out.
Be friends with your skin
Looking after your skin is essential. But looking after only your skin is just as bad! A diet that is rich in good fats (plant oils, fatty fish, dried fruits…), not overindulging in vasodilating spices, coffee, alcohol, mustard or vinegar, will help you prevent redness and dryness. And make sure you drink enough, water and herbal teas.
Cover up well when you go out and limit your use of heating inside: your skin, like the planet, would prefer if you just put on a jumper! If your house is well insulated, be sure to turn it off at night-time, if not install humidifiers. Don’t forget that your skin is easily aggressed by its environment: cosmetics, but also chemical and fragranced cleaning products (particularly detergents), and pay attention to the materials you wear (avoid synthetics and wool, instead opt for uncoloured cotton). Addicted to having a radiant face of makeup? Be careful, they’re packed full of irritants… Tobacco, stress, and tiredness will also weaken the skin and encourage redness and irritations to appear. Sports, yoga, meditation, sleep, and oxygen are just as important when it comes to looking after the skin. Find what makes you feel good, this will have a knock-on effect on your skin.
Finally, there’s redness and then there’s redness. If they’re short-lived and climate-related they’re normal. If they persist, peel off, get infected, it’s good to consult a specialist. Eczema, rosacea, psoriasis? Plant oils are beneficial – yes – but it may be necessary to look into the causes and try to find a treatment. In any case, it is important not to let your skin fend for itself: Winter-related problems aren’t just a question of comfort or a temporary ‘look’. When our skin is weakened, it is exposed to free radicals, which can encourage premature aging! A good Winter skincare routine is the secret to tip-top skin all year round. And which lasts.
This post is also available in french.