The Skin Nerd: Dull and grey skin? Here's how to brighten up!

Leave the long winter days to be grey, rather than your skin
The Skin Nerd: Dull and grey skin? Here's how to brighten up!

Dull skin: Cold weather increases something called transepidermal water loss,

Have you noticed a grey pallor to your skin in the mirror? Has your glow been mysteriously robbed? Do not fear... The thief is possibly winter. Indeed, the brussels sprouts and good vibes trimester, filled with seasonal cheer, may be Scrooge-ing away your skin vibrancy and although it sounds almost like a superstition, there are scientific reasons why.

Many of us see problems with circulation (particularly in our fingers) as it gets colder and may not make this connection when it comes to our skin. It is blood flow that ensures our skin receives oxygen and nutrients, giving it its radiance and helping it to carry out its processes.

Cold weather increases something called transepidermal water loss, or TEWL, that serves to help the skin to regulate itself. However, as you may guess from the name, it inherently means you are losing moisture from your skin. Leading in the winter months to skin looking dehydrated, feeling itchy or irritated and looking dull too. The more hydrated our skin is, the less dull it tends to look!

Due to this skin dehydration, our outermost skin cells may expire faster. Which is why we see so much flaking in winter.

So! What on earth can we do about this?!

Boosting circulation in your face is incredibly easy and absolutely free, in that you can do a spot of facial massage as you apply your skincare in the morning. We have a tutorial with the amazing facialist Nichola Joss on our Instagram – in general, I’m very pro gently stimulating the face using the flat part of your finger just above your knuckle, nearly like you are drawing small circles with your fist. 

Work from the centre of your face outwards and downwards, towards the lymph nodes at the temples and neck. For the undereye area, very gently swipe outwards using the pad of your ring finger, using your usual serum or moisturiser for slip.

Lipidic ingredients such as ceramide NP can very literally reinforce the skin’s barrier so it can recover from TEWL faster so including ceramides in your Winter skincare routine may assist your skin in retaining moisture... Especially when we’re all getting out for the longest walks we possibly can! Skingredients Skin Good Fats (€42, skingredients.com) contains ceramide NP along with niacinamide, a radiance-boosting B vitamin.

When we see skin dullness, we may reach for exfoliants – and reach for exfoliants again, and again, and again. Over-exfoliation can bring about a glow, but it isn’t a healthy glow and can lead to further skin dehydration and irritation, exacerbating the problem rather than providing an actual solution. I am not advising that you ditch exfoliation outright in the winter months, but more that you are cautious of over-relying on it. If you are exfoliating, giving back to the skin with ceramides, vitamins like vitamin A, vitamin C and vitamin E and other skin-nourishing ingredients is even more integral.

SPF is still important in the winter months, as UVA reaches us year-round and can have a detrimental effect on our skin long-term.

You can help out your skin from within too – eat heaps of vitamin-rich foods, get your essential fatty acids in with a few fish suppers per week and don’t forget to drink as much water as you do in the warmer months!

The Nerdie Pick

Environ C Boost MELA-EVEN Cream (€46, theskinnerd.com)

Environ C Boost MELA-EVEN Cream (€46, theskinnerd.com)

There are two topical skin vitamins I put at the top of my list for glow-boosters... Vitamin C and vitamin A, and you’ll find both in Environ’s C Boost Mela-Even Cream. Glow is secondary though, as this product is for those who suffer from pigmentation and fine lines, and acts as your daily antioxidant protection, AM and PM.

You will likely adore this if you suffer from redness, broken capillaries, age spots, sun spots, mottled pigmentation, fine line and wrinkles. Apply this after your serums and prior to your SPF. However, if you’re spot-prone, I usually wouldn’t advise on a high amount of vitamin C in your skincare routine.

  • Environ C Boost MELA-EVEN Cream (€46, theskinnerd.com)

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