The arrival of winter means cosy pyjamas, hot chocolate, and Netflix marathons—but the change of season also brings with it cold temperatures and dry air that deplete your skin’s natural barrier, aka its protective outer layer. A compromised barrier function spells bad news for your complexion, as it can lead to dryness, flaking, and irritation, which is probably not the look you’re going for. What does this mean for your skin? Come winter, you’ll want to be extra prepared with barrier-friendly ingredients that act like a warm blanket for your face, defending it from harsh weather conditions while moisturising (and keeping it looking fresh).
Take care of your skin at home this winter by adding in these thirst-quenching and strengthening ingredients to your routine.
Ceramides are lipids or fats that are naturally found in your body and are imperative for helping to maintain the integrity of the barrier and lock moisture in the skin. In other words, they are a super important component of a healthy, hydrated complexion. Unfortunately, things like cold weather can disrupt your pH balance, affecting the level of ceramides present in the skin and accelerating water loss. If you don’t restore the ceramides lost in the skin, it can lead to dullness and dryness at best and conditions like eczema at worst. But there is hope. Using a topical product with ceramides will do wonders to help supplement your natural supply and strengthen your skin’s barrier for healthy skin year-round.
There’s a good chance glycerin is already in your skincare routine. Also known as glycerol, the natural compound derived from vegetable oil is a popular ingredient in skincare products for its moisturising properties. Like hyaluronic acid, glycerin is a humectant, aka water magnet. We like to think of it as a kind of sponge that pulls water from the air into the outer layer of your skin and holds it there, helping to keep your face plump and hydrated. Unlike hyaluronic acid, glycerin is made up of smaller molecules, which means that it can penetrate deeper into the skin. Most commonly, you’ll find the ingredient in moisturisers, but it's also added to other products such as serums and cleansers to counteract potential dryness.
A derivative of vitamin B3, niacinamide is our go-to ingredient for calming irritated, itchy skin. Not only does it have antioxidant properties that help protect your skin from drying out because of harsh winter conditions, but it’s also an anti-inflammatory, which means it can help to soothe the side effects that are associated with dry skin by strengthening the moisture barrier. (It actually does this by supporting the skin’s natural production of ceramides.) Even better? Niacinamide is safe to use on all skin types and tones.