Changing your whole skincare routine seasonally might seem silly and extravagant. But when you think about it, it’s actually pretty obvious. If you live somewhere with a fair bit of seasonal variation (I’m in Edmonton, Alberta, which definitely fits the bill), then your summer vs winter skincare needs are very different.
In the summer, it’s all about sun protection, sun damage control, and cleansing sweat and grime before your beautiful pores get too clogged up. In the winter, it’s all about moisture, moisture, moisture.
Even if you aren’t spending as much time outdoors training as you did in the summer, the dry, heated air blasting at you in your car and public spaces is generally enough to start drying out your skin fast as soon as temperatures drop. Add in regular outdoor runs in freezing temperatures, and your skin is being put through the wringer. God forbid you get a cold and end up scraping tissues against your already-dry skin for days on end. I distinctly remember one winter wearing a big heavy knit scarf to work to cover the entire lower half of my face, which was red and swollen and irritated from a few days of a nasty cold in the dead of winter, giving me a sort of…let’s call it a goatee of pain (and yes, I’m a woman…you see my problem). Thankfully I’m now a lot better at dealing with my dry, sensitive skin through the winter months.
So what needs to change? It does depend a little on your skin type and where you live. Try our Runner’s Skin Type Quiz if you’re not sure about the basic products you need to be using for your specific needs.
In the summer I recommend a sunscreen moisturizer every single day, for everyone. This recommendation still stands for pretty much everyone in the winter; just because the sun isn’t hot and burning your skin, doesn’t mean it’s not doing UV damage to your face (which both causes your skin to age faster and increases your risk of serious skin disease as the UV exposure accumulates over your lifetime). However, if you’re pretty far from the equator, there is definitely a lot less UV radiation penetrating the atmosphere than in the summer, so you can get away with a lower SPF in your day cream.
You’ll also want to exfoliate regularly to get rid of dry, dead skin cells that are sloughing off. But not TOO regularly – daily exfoliation can be overkill and leave you feeling sensitive and raw. Aim for 3-4 times a week. You can simply swipe an exfoliating pad over your skin or wash with an exfoliating cleanser. And you’ll probably want to exfoliate the rest of your body, too – especially feet, which we all know can get pretty nasty in the colder months (pedicure for Christmas, anyone?). A pumice soap is perfect for refreshing foot and body.
Most importantly, you’ll want to incorporate a rich, soothing night cream into your routine to replenish lost moisture and soothe itchy, dry skin. Our soy moisturizer is HEAVENLY for this purpose. You may have heard me extolling its virtues over the summer because it’s also fantastic for relief of sunburn, scrapes, chafing, and all that fun stuff. I just recently had to add it back into my face care routine as temperatures regularly started dipping below freezing and my skin immediately became an itchy, red mess. If your skin isn’t particularly dry, it might be overkill to use this daily as a night cream, as it’s quite rich. However it is still amazing for body and, yes, foot use (although if rough, dry feet are your main concern, our Healing Balm would be your best bet).
and last but certainly not least…
LIP BALM. Can anyone survive winter without lip balm?? Never leave home without one of these bad boys in your pocket. We’ve even made them in a “flattened” oval tube that’s less bulky in your pocket…even those weird, tiny key pockets sewn into the waistband of athletic pants. Stock up on lip balm before that horrible deep chap sets in. You deserve this small luxury, trust me. Buy some extras and put them in everyone’s stockings so they’re not tempted to steal yours.
Not sure how to incorporate these products into your existing routine? Email me or drop a comment any time and I’ll help you out!
Looking for gift package ideas for a runner who deserves some pampering (or just looking to treat yourself this Christmas)? Check out our Run Recovery Gift Pack – available until December 31st only!