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Winter skin care
 
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Choosing your winter face cream

Winter cold is coming in and your skin is starting to feel taut and uncomfortable. If you don’t want this to be the start of a skin ‘cold war’, it’s time you pampered yours with the right creams.

Winter face cream
© Thinkstock

No one can escape; it’s cold out there, and getting colder. In winter, you would never leave the house without a coat to stay nice and warm, but what about your skin?

Winter’s definitely not the time to neglect your skin’s natural protection but cold weather makes it suffer. As soon as temperatures drop, swap your usual face cream for a richer one, a veritable source of skin comfort and softness.

For normal and combination skin types, the drop in temperature is the first sign to start using a richer skin cream. For dry skin types, climate is also an indicator. These more fragile skin types feel the weather change immediately.

Why use a richer face cream during winter?

“In winter, cold temperatures alter our hydrolipidic film and sebaceous gland (the glands which make sebum) production slows down,” explains Marie-Thérèse Trebosc, Galenic Researcher for Avène laboratories.

This means our skin is less oily and becomes less supple, dehydrated and dries out. What is more, the “stratum corneum sees a slowdown in the production of enzymes (which ensure natural exfoliation) and skin does not renew properly, it becomes rough”, Trebosc continues.

That’s why it is important to use richer skin care products to restore skin protection as soon the first cold weather arrives, whatever your skin type. That’s right, in winter even oily skin types need to use richer skin care products. In normal weather, this skin type suffers excess sebum production, but in winter, sebum production slows down causing skin imbalances. “In cold weather, nourishing your skin well is just as important for oily skin types”, emphasises Marie-Thérèse.

And those rare lucky girls with normal skin – with no particular problems whatsoever - might be considering foregoing nourishing creams... Well think again! You’d be taking a big risk! Apart from looking unattractive if your skin suffers too much from the cold, not taking care of your skin in winter time makes it more receptive to all types of attacks. "In short, you’ll be building the foundations to permanently weakened skin,” insists Marie-Thérèse.

How to choose your winter face cream?

According to Marie-Thérèse, you don’t necessarily need a cream per season. In winter, you should put the emphasis on nourishing and compensating skin care, but these creams can also be used in springtime for extremely dry skin types. The point is finding skin care products that are richer than those you use the rest of the year (this goes for oily skin types too as said earlier).

The best thing is to determine your skin type so you can choose the right skin care products for you. Almost any beauty counter will be happy to help you out on this, so if there are brands that you use regularly, ask the in-store consultants for advice.

The difference between cold cream and traditional creams

Cold cream, even though it reminds of cold and winter, doesn’t necessarily mean “special” winter cream. As Marie-Thérèse Trebosc states, “Cold creams are nourishing and protective enough for use in winter, but very dry skin types that need to, can easily use them in warmer weather too”.

So, just because winter’s on its way, that doesn't mean you necessarily need to rush out and get a highly nourishing cold cream.

Winter skin tips

For good-looking skin in winter, Marie-Thérèse advises eating richer foods, but not necessarily more fatty foods. Rather, don’t hesitate to “add richer oils to salads for example”, she explains.

For maximum beauty, use your cream both in the morning and evening (but your night cream doesn’t need to act as a skin barrier and therefore doesn’t need to be as rich as your day cream). And we can never say it enough: remove your makeup every evening, even when it’s cold!

And don’t forget of course to pamper your lips and hands using nourishing skincare products containing beeswax or Shea butter.

And lastly, the only way to find out whether you can use last year’s winter skin cream this year is to check the information on the packaging. All skincare products now indicate how long they can be kept once opened. If you already started your pot of cream last year and it says 6 months, don’t hesitate: throw it in the bin!

Posted 10.11.2010

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