How To Switch Up Your Beauty and Wellness Routine To Survive Winter
It’s time to refresh your regimen.
Winter can be a struggle. By the time July rolls around, it’s easy to go into hibernation mode and let our beauty routines fall by the wayside. For example: Skipping the gym to stay in and binge an entire season of Stranger Things within a two-day period. (Who me?)
We’ve all been there. If you’re stuck in a beauty rut, consider this your mid-winter intervention — or, wintervention, if you will — for we’ve tapped experts across skin, hair, and body to brief us on solutions to the most common winter woes. The good news? With a few simple tweaks, you can reset your routine just in time for spring.
Reconsider your cleanser and exfoliant
During winter, the elements are more likely to wreak havoc on our skin, thanks to the stress from the cool, dry winter air. To combat this, try a hydrating cleanser. Switching out your go-to clarifying cleanser for a more hydrating version (think cream, oil or balm) can set your skin up for success.
“Lower intensity cleansers usually incorporate additional hydrating properties, which is beneficial for all skin types in winter,” says Skinstitut Expert Zoe Devine. “More nourishing and protective options (we love Eve Lom Balm Cleanser and the Alpha-H Melting Moment Cleansing Balm) are especially key for drier skin types, as they are more easily irritated or sensitised in colder conditions.”
This is also true when it comes to exfoliants. Most chemical exfoliants — including glycolic and salicylic acids — tend to dry out the skin. However, lactic acid-based exfoliants, such as Sunday Riley’s Good Genes Lactic Acid Treatment and The Ordinary’s Lactic Acid 10% + HA 2%, are more hydrating than their AHA-based counterparts.
“On top of considering your cleanser and exfoliant, a hero hydrating product, like a mask, will always do the trick in the cooler months,” says Devine. Masking twice per week should do the trick. We love Skinstitut Hydrating Mask for a hefty dose of much-needed moisture. Or, if you’re short on time, opt for an overnight mask, such as the Tatcha Indigo Overnight Repair, for next-level plumpness and dewiness.
Model wears Hansen & Gretel dress.
Add hyaluronic acid
If you aren’t already using hyaluronic acid within your regimen, now is the time to start. If you’re already a hyaluronic acid fan, be sure to apply both day and night. They don’t call it a wonder-ingredient for nothing — hyaluronic acid can absorb up to 1,000x its weight in water, making skin look plump and hydrated in the process. Use HA powerhouses such as Alpha-H Hyaluronic 8 or the Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair after your other serums, and before your moisturiser and SPF.
Book in for laser therapy
If you have lingering pigmentation or visible skin damage caused by the harsh summer sun, winter is the ideal time to book in for reparative laser therapies, such as Omnilux (LED light therapy). Another in-clinic treatment to consider, according to Dr. Andreas Fox of Artisan Aesthetic Clinics, is Fraxel.
“Fraxel is designed to repair sun damage by eliminating damaged skin cells and stimulating fresh ones in their place, to leave you with a clearer and rejuvenated complexion,” says Dr. Fox. “Clients generally only need one treatment per year to see results, including dramatically reduced pigmentation, fine lines, wrinkles and scarring.”
Model wears Matteau swimsuit.
With limbs often hidden under thick winter woolies and jeans, it’s easy to let our body care routine slide during the cooler months. For those patches of next-level dryness, treat your skin to Weleda’s Skin Food (a GP team favourite). Parched skin just eats up this ultra-nourishing treatment, much like the name suggests.
If your regular moisturiser isn’t cutting it, try an oil. NUXE’s cult-favourite Huile Prodigieuse Multi-Purpose Dry Oil is hydrating (and very luxurious) without being heavy. Or, for a touch of just-stepped-off-the-plane-from-Sicily bronzed glow, reach for Tom Ford’s Soleil Blanc Shimmering Body Oil.
For a little bit of extra oomph, try a gradual tanner, such as Tan-Luxe The Gradual, which creates a natural glow. If you’re stretched for time, focus only on areas that are likely to be exposed — such as the neck, chest, forearms and lower legs.
If you’ve been thinking about laser hair removal, scar removal or body rejuvenation treatments such as CoolSculpting, now is the time to start. “Winter fashion means we’re covered up and protected from the sun’s harmful UV rays,” says Dr Andreas Fox. “Not only does this provide a great break for our skin, it also makes these cooler months the perfect time for all laser and light-based treatments, as sun avoidance post-treatment is essential.”
It almost goes without saying that the winter months are tough on our tresses — especially damaged or colour-treated hair. While it’s tempting to pile on the hydrating products, Torie Cini, Master Colourist and Educator at EdwardsAndCo., says less is more during winter.
Switch up your hair routine
“While I always recommend a really good hydrating shampoo and conditioner (her go-to products being Olaplex’s No.4 Bond Maintenance Shampoo and No.5 Bond Maintenance Conditioner), I do recommend alternating your hair wash products so your hair doesn’t get too used to any one combination,” says Cini.
“You should also treat your hair with products that have moisturising, restorative properties — whether that be hair oils, masks or styling products — as they are a great way to combat dry hair and fight frizz.” We love the Olaplex No. 6 Bond Smoother, and the Christophe Robin Regenerating Mask.
Ditch the heat tools
While we love a good blow dry just as much as the next person, consider putting down the tools to give your hair a chance to repair.
“Despite not exposing the hair as much to our strong environment factors, such as intense sun UV rays and the ocean, we still need to be mindful of turning down the heat,” explains Cini. “Try to air-dry as much as possible, and if you do need to heat style, be sure to always use a good heat protectant.” We love the Living Proof Restore Perfecting Spray, which repairs the hair cuticle while protecting against damaging levels of heat.
Book in for a trim
Cini argues that beyond colour and in-salon treatments, such as Olaplex’s in-salon restorative program of No.1 Bond Multiplier and No.2 Bond Perfector, you need to keep up with your haircuts. “Trimming hair keeps it healthy and stops split ends from getting worse,” says Cini. “If you can’t remember when your last haircut was, then it’s time to book!”Sweater by SIR the label.
It’s all in the diet
Once the mercury drops, it’s all too easy to skip the meal prep and place an UberEats order instead. However, Skinstitut’s Zoe Devine argues that you should try to stick to your #health guns for both your internal and external wellbeing. “Try to eat plenty of foods that are rich in essential fatty acids (such as oily fish, nuts, seeds and avocado),” says Devine. “These help to exert anti-inflammatory action in the gut and in turn, the skin, as well as reducing the signs of dry or dehydrated skin conditions.”
Oh, and try to resist that extra afternoon coffee.”Caffeinated beverages such as coffee, tea, energy drinks and soft drinks, have a dehydrating effect on the body and ultimately the skin,” says Devine. “This also includes limiting prepared meals and take away foods as these can be very high in sodium which will contribute to dehydration.”
Prioritise your gut health
Winter is also a good time to focus on gut health. According to a recent study, 70 per cent of your body’s immune cells exist in your intestines. Having a healthy microbiome with diverse gut flora reduces the risk of bad bacteria and viruses causing illness, as well as aiding your digestive health.
“Probiotics can control your immune response and have the ability to modify chronic inflammatory states,” nutritionist Rebecca Miller tells Gritty Pretty. “This means that probiotics may play a role in managing inflammation both in the body, and of the skin, which may otherwise cause conditions like acne, rosacea and eczema.” Gritty Pretty Beauty Director, Erin Cook, swears by The Beauty Chef Glow Inner Beauty Powder, which is filled with probiotics and superfoods such as maqui berry, queen garnet plum and chia seeds. You’ll feel more balanced on the inside, and look better for it!
Model wears dress by Hansen & Gretel dress.
Tell us, what are your winter beauty and wellness fixes?
Which steps will you be switching up in your regimen?