This winter, it’s important to remind your clients about the importance of sun protection beyond the summer months.
Even when it’s cold and grey outside, solar radiation remains present and harmful every single day. We are exposed to UVA radiation, visible light and infrared-A all year round. These types of solar radiation hinder collagen and elastin production, weaken the skin barrier and cause skin cell damage. This leads to premature skin ageing and, most frighteningly, genetic mutations and skin cancer. That’s why it’s so important to protect our skin all year round. Whilst UVB rays are strongest in the summer months, we are still exposed at low levels during wintertime. These rays are particularly prevalent at high altitudes with a thinner atmosphere, so if your client is planning a ski trip or visiting a Christmassy location during the festive period, they need to be especially vigilant ensuring they apply a good broad spectrum sun protection, daily.
How does cold weather affect the skin?
During the coldest months of the year, it’s normal to run into skin troubles. It’s very likely that your clients will notice some changes in their skin which introduce new challenges for you as a practitioner. For example, it might become dry and dehydrated, with patches that look scaly or flaky, or it might feel red, itchy and more sensitive. If your clients have a pre-existing dry skin condition, such as eczema and psoriasis, they could worsen throughout the winter months.
No matter how your client’s skin reacts to the weather in autumn and winter, it’s safe to say that the seasonal change can really take its toll. Coupled with the continued risks of solar radiation, it’s important to care for and protect the skin effectively at this time of year. So how can we treat winter skin?
First, we need to understand how the skin reacts to winter weather. The outermost layer of our skin is made up of tough skin cells and lipids. It is these natural moisturisers that keep water inside the body, whilst keeping toxins and bacteria out. When this layer of skin is in good health, it is soft, smooth and brilliant at its job. But when this layer of skin is damaged, it struggles to retain moisture, and as it dries out and shrinks, small cracks will start to occur1.
Along with sun damage and over-exfoliating the skin, there are several elements of autumn and winter that compromise the barrier and zap our skin of moisture and radiance. Outside, cold air, strong winds and low humidity levels leave the skin dull and dry. When we head inside from the cold outdoors, dry central heating and hot baths or showers further deplete the skin of moisture and aggravate symptoms like roughness, itchiness and dry skin.
Dry skin is also more common as we get older, with around 75% people over the age of 642 suffering with dry skin. As we age, our natural production of oils slows down, as do the substances in our skin that attract and bind water molecules. These natural processes may be exacerbated by the long-term effects of sun exposure, making the skin even more vulnerable.
How to treat dry winter skin
If your client suffers with dry skin on their body, one of the best ways to combat this is to make baths and showers shorter, cooler and less frequent. It is recommended that we shouldn’t bathe for more than ten mins in every twenty-four-hour period, and the water should be warm rather than hot3. Soap should only be used as and when necessary and should always be mild and unscented. Afterwards, pat the skin dry with a towel and apply plenty of body moisturiser, especially on areas prone to dryness.
Other tips to improve dry skin in winter include using a humidifier, avoiding itchy fabrics, checking for drying ingredients in your toiletries and skincare products, and drinking plenty of water every day.
If, when it’s cold outside, their main concern is the dryness of your complexion, the first step is to replace the skin’s natural oils with moisturisers in order to boost hydration and strengthen the barrier function. Moisturiser should be applied liberally and frequently4, which will keep moisture levels high and ensure that the skin’s barrier function is repaired and restored effectively.
Choose Heliocare 360° Water Gel
The ultimate sunscreen for dry winter skin and a must-have for every skin professional, the Water Gel from Heliocare 360° is an intensely hydrating SPF solution that provides broad spectrum protection against daylight all year round. Supercharged with Fernblock®, the anti-oxidant powerhouse that’s unique to the Heliocare 360° range, our Water Gel goes beyond sunscreen. It is clinically proven to prevent and repair sun damage and is the perfect choice for protecting the skin from harmful winter daylight.
This innovative formula provides a much-needed moisture boost with its advanced hydration system. First, a biopolymer film network featuring hyaluronic acid, alginate and pullulan, which work together to act as a second skin, capturing and maintaining hydration whilst protecting against pollution. Next, a moisturising booster complex containing active ingredients that are released gradually for long-lasting hydration. 90% of users say their skin is more hydrated, while 100% report softer skin.
The Heliocare 360° Water Gel absorbs quickly and offers a soft matte finish. It is suitable for clients of all skin types, and perfect for layering with multiple skincare products or makeup. Its invisible, barely-there finish makes it a popular choice with men, as well as people with darker skin types who want to avoid the residue typically associated with sun protection products.
Find out more about Heliocare
With Heliocare, your clients can enjoy healthy, protected skin every single day, preventing cellular DNA damage and accelerated skin ageing, along with keeping the skin soft and hydrated throughout the winter. To find out more about Heliocare, join us at one of our upcoming introduction to Heliocare webinars where you can find out more about the range from our expert team.
Join our latest Heliocare Campaign
If you’re a Heliocare clinic, join us in our latest campaign: Beyond sunscreen. Beyond summer. Our current marketing campaign is a great way to deliver the message of year-round sun protection, generating awareness, engagement and sales for your clinic. Our campaigns feature everything you need to make the campaign a success in your clinic including dynamic marketing material, merchandising and digital content. To get involved, register now via the AESTHETICARE Academy or get in touch with your Business Development Manager.
1 Healthline. (2020). Skin Barrier Function and How to Repair and Care for It. [online] Available at: https://www.healthline.com/health/skin-barrier.
2 Publishing, H.H. (n.d.). What to do about dry skin in winter. [online] Harvard Health. Available at: https://www.health.harvard.edu/womens-health/what-to-do-about-dry-skin-in-winter.
3 University of Iowa Hospitals & Clinics. (n.d.). Winter dry skin. [online] Available at: https://uihc.org/health-topics/winter-dry-skin [Accessed 19 Sep. 2022].
4 The Independent. (2020). The skincare swaps to make this winter, according to a dermatologist. [online] Available at: https://www.independent.co.uk/extras/indybest/fashion-beauty/skincare/dry-skin-winter-face-cream-moisturiser-dehydrated-tips-expert-exfoliator-toner-serum-b1048405.html [Accessed 19 Sep. 2022].