It’s that time of the year again, when we find ourselves making the last minute dash for the kettle to fling across our frost-coated windshield every morning. Love it or loathe it, hot water bottle season is in full swing and it will be another couple of months before we’re ready to retire our beloved onesies and fluffy dressing gowns. As well as daylight deprivation and a perpetual case of the sniffles, one of winter’s cruellest symptoms is arguably dry and damaged skin. The delicate structure of our skin makes it sensitive to harsh weather conditions – particularly the biting cold of January air. But fortunately, with the right care and know-how, you can keep your skin looking and feeling healthy throughout the frosty season.
Without further ado, here are Inish Pharmacy’s top winter skincare tips to help your skin withstand the elements over the next few months.
Our skin naturally becomes drier and often more sensitive throughout the cold snap. What you may not know is that these effects can be further exacerbated by the increased use of central heating in our homes which also draws moisture from the skin. That’s why it is essential to lock in as much hydration as possible to keep our skin feeling calm and cared for in the winter time. Try using a cream-based moisturiser rather than a light lotion for an added moisture boost when your skin needs it most. One of our current faves is the Seavite Super Nutrient Soothing and Replenishing Face Cream. This reparative cream is powered by organic seaweed extracts and nourishing anti-ageing botanicals to restore even the driest skin, and its gentle formula won’t cause irritation. For those on a budget, we adore the Elave Sensitive Intense Moisture Surge Cream. This cult favourite contains a unique blend of skin-loving ingredients, including ultra-pure fractionated coconut oil and shea butter which is naturally rich in vitamin E and glycerin.
Of course, it’s not just our face that suffers the brunt of the winter chill. We also need a replenishing body moisturiser to keep our skin barrier strong in the face of environmental stressors. When our skin is feeling the wrath of winter, it’s ol’ reliable to the rescue – Aveeno’s Daily Moisturising Body Lotion. This holy-grail moisturiser’s clinically proven, fast-absorbing formula is the perfect remedy for dry, irritated skin, and its light and buttery texture glides on like a dream. Another time-honoured classic is the Weleda Skin Food for Rough and Dry Skin. Packed with yummy, soothing ingredients like beeswax and organic sunflower seed oil, this ultra-nourishing cream penetrates the skin deeply and creates a strong layer of protection.
Cleansing is a great way to keep our skin fresh and clear, getting rid of any dirt or excess oils that collect throughout the day and while we sleep. But some cleansers can strip the skin of moisture, leaving us feeling tight, irritated and dehydrated. During the winter time especially, when dry skin is rife thanks to low humidity levels, we must be mindful about what cleansing agents we use. Try swapping your usual foaming face wash for a gentle balm or oil. Cleansers that produce a bubbly lather generally contain sulphates which can dry us out further and disrupt our skin’s natural barrier. We recommend CeraVe’s Hydrating Cleanser for Normal to Dry Skin for winter-time cleansing. Its gentle, non-foaming gel formula effectively removes makeup and other residue while reinforcing your skin barrier and keeping you looking and feeling super hydrated. A luxurious oil-based alternative is Kinvara’s Absolute Cleansing Oil, a hot cloth face cleanser made from 100% pure plant oils to restore and balance all skin types.
A well-rounded skincare regime involves layering products – without overdoing it. Our top two hero ingredients for gorgeous winter skin are hyaluronic acid and niacinamide. Hyaluronic acid has been the skincare ingredient du jour for quite some time now, thanks to its magical hydration-boosting powers. It works wonders on any skin type, smoothing the appearance of fine lines and leaving you looking plump and pillowy. You’ll find it in the contents of plenty of skincare products, but our favourite way to apply it is in serum form. Quench your thirsty skin with La Roche Posay’s dermatologist-recommended B5 Hyaluronic Acid Serum which is supercharged with vitamin B5 to stimulate the repair of damaged cells.
Niacinamide, or vitamin B3, is another skin-drenching ingredient that dry skin laps up. As well as maintaining your skin’s moisture levels, niacinamide helps to smoothen its texture and reduce the appearance of blemishes, congestion and uneven pigmentation. Niacinamide can benefit all skin types, including those with sensitivity issues. In fact, its anti-inflammatory properties are known to gently ease redness from eczema, acne and other common conditions. This season, we’re reaching for The Inkey List’s Niacinamide – a lightweight yet potent serum that can be used twice daily for optimum results.
For dual action, the power-packed, silky-smooth Moogoo Hyaluronic and Niacinamide Active Serum contains both of our top winter skin ingredients which work in harmony to leave your skin visibly refreshed, supple and radiant.
Many top dermatologists agree that a high SPF is the single most important step in any skincare regime. And though it may sound paradoxical, sun protection remains a non-negotiable during winter. While you may not associate a drizzly, overcast afternoon with a bottle of factor 50, UV rays are present regardless of the weather. While they may not be strong enough to burn your skin, they can still do significant damage without the right protection. These harmful rays are also one of the biggest contributors to premature ageing. Stay sun-safe year-round with the hugely popular Skingredients Skin Shield, a broad spectrum mineral factor 50 moisturising lotion that shields your skin from sunlight, pollution and even blue light emitted from screens. Its peachy universal tint gives a gorgeous dewy finish too – no tacky white cast in sight.
- Lip balm
Chapped lips are, sadly, part and parcel of the winter season, caused by cold temperatures outdoors and the parched, centrally-heated air inside. This prolonged exposure makes the keratin in our skin lose its flexibility which results in cracking, tenderness and pain. When it comes to sore and split lips, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Make sure to drink plenty of water to hydrate your skin from the inside. Don’t be tempted to lick or bite your lips too much; as your saliva evaporates, your skin dries out even more. And of course, use a non-irritating lip balm throughout the day and before bed. Carmex’s Moisture Plus Lip Balm is handbag must-have and trusted remedy for dry lips, enriched with nourishing ingredients like vitamin E and aloe vera. It also has SPF 15 for extra protection, keeping your lips smooth and kissable in rain, hail or shine.
- Hand cream
Show your hands some love with a caring hand cream this winter. Not only does the bitter cold dry out the skin in our hands, but our religious sanitising with harsh chemicals as of late also takes a toll. This can leave our hands feeling rough and sometimes even cracked and irritated. Our hands can generally take heavy and rich products, so we recommend an oil-based cream for intense and long-lasting moisture. Palmer’s Coconut Oil Hand Cream is an affordable way to keep those paws satin-soft and protected during cold spells, packed with hydrating ingredients such as vitamin E, natural coconut oil and monoi. Another much-loved hand cream is the O’Keeffe’s Working Hands Hand Cream Pot, whose time-tested formula is clinically proven to boost and retain moisture levels in the skin. It also adds a layer of defence to your hands to keep them supple and smooth whatever the weather.
- Vitamin D
Healthy skin begins within, which is why we recommend taking a vitamin D supplement while we’re not getting our daily dose of sunshine. Vitamin D is vital for our skin’s natural defences, with studies showing that it plays a key role in the normal maturation of the skin barrier as well as its immune system. We carry a wide selection of vitamin D supplements to suit your tastes and preferences, the most popular of which include Better You’s DLUX Vitamin D Oral Spray, Vitabiotics’ Ultra Vitamin D3 and Pharma Nord’s BioActive D-Pearls.
- Face tan
Let’s face it, us Irish weren’t exactly blessed in the melanin department. And during the sun-deprived winter months, we’re looking more ghostly than ever. This is why you need face tan in your life. A quality face tan gives you a natural, sunkissed look all year long without the risk of sun damage. Dare to go bare with the Sculpted by Aimee Connolly Bronze Base Face Tan Drops which can be effortlessly added to your favourite moisturiser. Have it your way by adding more or less depending on how deep you’d like it to develop. Bronze Base is fortified with hyaluronic acid and vitamin E to keep your skin hydrated and nourished while giving you that coveted post-holiday glow. It also comes with a buffer brush for a flawless, fuss-free application.
Give your skin the care and attention it craves this winter by adding the right steps and products to your daily regime. Inish Pharmacy is home to many of your favourite skincare brands, from Pestle & Mortar to Bioderma. To shop our full skincare catalogue and more, visit us online today.