Why We’re Spring Cleaning Our Skin

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Spring is the perfect time of year to check in with our skin, switch up our routines, and refine the products taking pride of place in our bathroom cabinets. There is nothing quite as pleasing as a skincare overhaul and no better time to do it than now. After all, the winter months cause real damage to our skin, leaving it dehydrated, dull, and damaged as the cold season draws to a close. So, a spring clean to repair and restore the skin is always a good idea.

So why is our skin left in such a state at the end of winter? One explanation is months of exposure to cold temperatures. “Cold weather causes blood vessels in the skin to become constricted, leading to the development of red and pale complexion,” explains Dr Marko Lens, dermatologist and founder of Zelens. “It also strips the skin of moisture, causing it to become fragile and more prone to irritation.” This problem is accelerated by the constant change in temperature. As Dr Preema Vig, medical director and skin expert, explains, “Extreme temperature changes caused by transitioning from cold outdoor air to warm indoor air can cause the delicate blood vessels in the skin to expand and contract causing swelling, redness and further irritation”.

Dry air is another big contributor to post-winter skin damage. “The top layer of the skin, the epidermis, provides a barrier to infection and regulates the amount of water lost from the body through transepidermal water loss (TEWL),” explains Dr Nina Naidu, plastic surgeon and founder of Anokha skincare. “Throughout winter, TEWL increases as dry air pulls moisture from the skin. When the water content of the skin drops significantly, our skin begins to dry out and becomes itchy, leading in turn to redness and inflammation.”

The good news is that repairing winter skin damage is relatively straightforward. “To fight the harms of cold weather, I recommend introducing gentle and hydrating ingredients, like aloe vera and hyaluronic acid, to your skincare regimen for a soothing and hydrating effect” explains Dr Simon Ourian, Hollywood’s go-to dermatologist for non-invasive procedures. According to Dr Timm Golueke, dermatologist and founder of Royal Fern, the focus should be on “strengthening your skin barrier with the right products. Invest in a gentle cleanser and look to include ingredients like ceramides, niacinamide, and polyglutamic acid into your skincare routine.”

“As winter ends, it’s crucial to replenish moisture and repair the skin barrier,” adds aesthetic practitioner and skin expert, Dr Raquel Amado. “Consider treatments such as Plinest (polynucleotides) and Profhilo, as well as professional micro needling treatments to revitalise the skin. Regular application of sunscreen is essential to protect against UV rays as spring approaches.”

Profhilo is a revolutionary beneath-the-skin hyaluronic acid moisturising treatment that hydrates the skin and remodels ageing and sagging tissue. The injectable gel, formulated with one of the highest concentrations of hyaluronic acid on the market, has a prolonged stimulating activity on the dermal cells. When injected into the skin, Profhilo stimulates the skin cell receptors to counteract skin laxity and improve and restore the firmness of the skin. The treatment is available nationwide from £325.

According to Dr Preema, another great treatment for treating winter skin is the Hydrafacial. She explains that the HydraFacial “exfoliates away dead skin cells on the surface, before massaging moisture back into the skin with HA and proteins to help rebuild the skin’s barrier. As hyaluronic acid absorbs 1,000 times its weight in water there’s an instant injection of hydration and the effects last about six weeks.”

The HydraFacial is a patented three-part skin treatment cleanses, exfoliates, and boosts the skin. Using a medical-grade hydradermabrasion device equipped with patented Vortex-Fusion Technology, the Hydrafacial vacuums out the pores to deeply cleanse the skin, while simultaneously infusing it with skincare actives to hydrate, brighten, and protect. Starting at £150, the treatment has little to no downtime and the results are instant.

It’s also important to remember that protecting damaged skin is as important as repairing it because, once damaged, skin is more vulnerable to external threat. As Dr Naidu notes “Don’t forget your sunscreen as your skin is still exposed to ultraviolet rays. Protect it with a sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher. It’s quite possibly the easiest and most effective way to significantly lower your risk of skin cancer and limit photo-ageing.”

There is no shortage of products available to repair and nourish post-winter skin. Read below to discover our favourites.

Laneige Water Sleeping Mask

Laneige’s overnight mask works to brighten and soften facial skin and strengthen the skin barrier, enhancing the skin’s ability to retain moisture. It contains a probiotic-derived complex powered by lactobacillus ferment lysate, that helps create an optimal environment for the skin. The result is smoother, brighter, and more hydrated skin.

Lancome Rénergie H.P.N. Cream

Containing over 300 types of peptides, Lancome’s H.P.N Cream is a powerful recovery-boosting formula that promotes the look of collagen-rich skin. It improves skin’s regeneration rate so that it repairs faster, even as you age. To further boost the efficacy of its blend of 300 peptides, hyaluronic acid and niacinamide are included to reduce the appearance of fine lines and enhance radiance.

Zelens Z-22 Ultimate Face Oil

This lightweight oil provides skin with an instant boost of moisture, all while promoting elasticity, and supporting the natural skin barrier. It is formulated with nourishing and protecting olive oil and sunflower oil, acne-fighting rosemary oil, geranium oil, and May Chang oil, and brightening bitter orange, lime, camellia, and rice.

The Outset Botanical Barrier Rescue Balm

Delivering instant comfort to parched lips, hands, face, and body, the Botanical Barrier Rescue Balm is an ultra-rich multitasker perfect for those always on the go. Presented in a beautiful compact tin, this lightweight balm is packed with botanical oils to nourish skin, as well as the brand’s signature Hyaluroset Complex to plump and replenish moisture.

Royal Fern Phytoactive Skin Perfecting Essence

Royal Fern’s Phytoactive Skin Perfecting Essence combines gluconolactone and alpha hydroxy acids to deliver a softer, more refined complexion without causing irritation to the skin. Royal Fern’s patented Complex helps regenerate skin and protect it against the damaging effects of UV exposure and pollution. Designed to be applied after cleansing, this gentle essence minimises the appearance of pores, boosts collagen, soothes inflammation, and reduces hyperpigmentation.

Glow Recipe Avocado Ceramide Moisture Barrier Cleanser

Described as the first step in supporting, cleansing, and rebalancing your skin, the Glow Recipe Avocado Ceramide Moisture Barrier Cleanser gently yet effectively melts away impurities to reveal softer, refreshed skin. It is formulated with ceramides and pre- and post-biotics to strengthen the skin barrier and colloidal oatmeal and avocado oil to hydrate, nourish skin, and soothe redness.

Mio Future Proof Natural Body Butter

Perfect for any post-shower skincare routine, Mio’s Future Proof body butter is formulated with andiroba oil to deeply moisturise the skin, Indian fig extract and monk’s pepper berry to replenish and maintain hydration levels, and Olive Oil and Myrtle to fight against external aggressors. This rich body butter deeply hydrates and comforts the skin, leaving behind nothing but a subtle (and gorgeous) citrus fragrance.

Skin Proud Serious Shade Lightweight Hydrating SPF 50+ Sun Serum

This ultra-lightweight SPF 50+ skin serum sunscreen provides broad spectrum protection from harmful UVA and UVB rays with zero white cast, zero flashback, and zero pilling. Its hydrating formula includes ceramides to strengthen the skin barrier, acerola cherry extract to brighten skin, and spirulina to soothe skin and fight free radicals.

Vida Glow Mango Natural Marine Collagen

Vida Glow’s Mango Natural Marine Collagen is a collagen peptide supplement made from sustainably sourced marine collagen. When integrated into your daily routine, it has been clinically proven to smooth fine lines and wrinkles, increase skin firmness, and enhance skin elasticity. The ingestible formula is infused with real mango to add a subtly sweet, smooth flavour to whatever food or drink you mix it with.

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