Autumn is finally here, and I cannot hide my excitement! While to many, autumn means cosy nights in, lit fires and mugs of cocoa, your skin may be going through a more challenging time.
The onset of colder weather means we are turning on our heating and exposing our skin to two vastly different environments, both of which are far from ideal for our skin barrier. The bracing cold can attack our skin, causing redness and irritation, whilst going indoors to an overly heated home can dry out our delicate skin barrier and lead to transepidermal water loss (TEWL). So, apart from hibernating for the next six months, what can we do? We can make like a Nerd and prepare our skin for maximum resilience by committing to the following:
Invest in a comforting cleanser: Winter can exuberate any feelings of discomfort if you suffer from common winter side effects such as transepidermal water loss (TEWL). Some cream cleansers support the skin's natural moisturising factor and these together with oils and balms can feel the most comforting on the skin as we move into winter. Nourishing cleansers aren’t just for dry skin types - oily skin types can also benefit from a richer product providing the formula has been specifically developed for oily skin.
Try an exfoliating acid: Regular exfoliation assists cell regeneration by removing any dead skin cells. Liquid exfoliants are more respectful and tend to be more effective than physical scrubs and so we recommend opting for these over the grainy variety. Try incorporating a treatment cleanser containing AHAs into your evening regime. A cleanser such as Murad AHA/BHA Exfoliating Cleanser (€22.50, theskinnerd.com) will gently polish away any dullness whilst addressing dehydration. Use 1-2 t imes a week to smooth and refine dry, uneven skin.
Include a hydrating serum: To look healthy, your skin needs moisture, so look for products that contain hydrating ingredients such as hyaluronic acid and humectant properties like glycerin and niacinamide to bind moisture to the skin. For extra hydration, you can apply a moisturiser on top to seal it in. I love Skingredients Skin Veg Hyaluronic Acid Hydrating Serum (€55.00, skingredients.com) which is full of vitamins and skin boosting nutrients – it's like a super juice for the skin!
Apply a ceramide barrier booster before bed: Topical ceramide replacement can assist in reducing TEWL and support skin immune cells, increasing barrier defense. Due to their emollient properties, ceramide-based products are also ideal for night-time use, locking in moisture and aiding restoration while you sleep.
Use products that assist our skin's growth factors : Growth factors are present throughout the body and do their bit for the skin by telling our cells to heal and grow. Supporting our skin’s growth factors is especially important in the colder season, as they play a huge role in regenerating and rejuvenating the skin. Not only will growth factors work to repair damaged skin, but they will also help to boost collagen and elastin production. I recommend Environ Focus Care Colostrum Gel (€46, theskinnerd.com), which contains immunity-building colostrum to help growth factors strengthen the skin and boost resilience.
SPF: Your year-round essential, a high factor SPF provides vital defense against the sun's harmful rays, which are damaging even when the sun isn’t out! To avoid the perils of UV exposure (think premature skin ageing, fine lines and skin laxity to name a few), you must wear SPF every single day.
Harsh scrubs: Gritty scrubs and physical exfoliants can damage the skin barrier, which needs to be working optimally to protect your skin from the elements.
Moisture-stripping facial washes: Cold weather calls for a swap from a foamy wash to a creamier, skin respectful formula – but take care not to overload the skin with heavy products.
If you’re looking for something that effectively replenishes moisture, ASAP Skincare Advanced Hydrating Moisturiser could be the one for you. Containing powerful antioxidants, Vitamin C, CoEnzyme Q10, green tea and ceramides, this lightweight formula helps to prevent free radical damage and reduce the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles and sun damage.
ASAP Skincare Advanced Hydrating Moisturiser, €61, theskinnerd.com