Baby, It’s Cold Outside – How To Help Your Skin Cope With The Change In Season

Keep calm and try these expert-approved tips.

As I sit here writing this, I’m wearing slipper socks (yes, they’re a real thing), long pants, a jumper and a dressing gown with my fan heater looming just out of reach. And do you know what? I’m still cold.

Just as we struggle to adjust to sudden drop in temperature, so does our skin. “Typically the skin’s barrier function takes a beating during the colder months, which means its ability to protect us is reduced,” says Isabella Loneragan, Skin Therapist and Founder of The Dermal Diary

If your skin is freaking out and winter is the culprit, symptoms could include dryness, flakiness, sensitivity and a feeling of tightness. Our sebaceous gland produces enough oil to keep our skin balanced and regulated but “when it gets cold, the change effectively dehydrates it,” Loneragan explains. “This is made worse by air-conditioned environments.”

In an ideal world, what should our daily skin care regime look like in winter? “This depends on so many factors including age, skin condition and goals – but in general, a well rounded skin care regime is the same regardless of the season.” Loneragan recommends a good cleanser, exfoliating enzyme, one or more serum containing Vitamin A, B or C, and a mask. 

Sub out your summer favourites and pull out the big guns this winter.

Dr. Dendy Engelman, Consulting Celebrity Dermatologist for Elizabeth Arden loves an oil cleanser during the cooler months: “They do a great job at removing dirt, oil and makeup from the skin without over-stripping. We frequently think that our skin is ‘cleaner’ when it’s squeaky clean. If it feels like you have removed all of the oils, that’s not healthy for the skin – it increases the risk for irritation.” Elizabeth Arden Ceramide Replenishing Cleansing Oil ($65) cleanses and soothes skin without stripping, as does Go-To Skincare Fancy Face ($45).

In terms of masks, “ideally you want to use a more nourishing mask for winter and a lighter, more hydrating one for summer,” says Loneragan. Look for a rich overnight mask to intensely soothe and support your skin while you sleep. Dermal Diary The Dream Mask ($100) contains probiotics to improve the skin’s barrier function and accelerate recovery from environmental stressors. Laneige Cica Sleeping Mask ($48) is a hypoallergenic formula that deeply replenishes.

If you’ve ever considered an at-home peel, do it now. The best time for a peel is the start of winter as you can shed dead skin cells (yuck) and allow your skin to rejuvenate while you’re spending less time outdoors and more time lounging under blankets on the couch. Dr. Engelman recommends Elizabeth Arden Prevage Progressive Renewal Treatment ($205): an intensive peeling treatment that uses AHAs and PHAs to brighten skin over a four-week period. 

Hands up if you have a classic case of winter skin right now. (Our hands are firmly in the air!) We’d love to know what your winter skin regime looks like. Tell us in the comments below.


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