Winter Skincare Starts from Halloween
When should you switch from your summer to winter skincare regime? Why is it important to treat your skin differently in the colder weather? What has your skincare got to do with Halloween?
While we may think of Halloween as a holiday for children or horror fans, it’s actually an ancient festival celebrating the birth of a new year. Our ancestors believed that a new year began after the summer ended and they would enact rituals to scare away spirits that might bring bad luck to the start of the fresh year. While we may not be worried about warding off ghosts and spirits today, we do need to be aware of the change in seasons and how this affects our well-being and our skin. Halloween time is the ideal point at which to remember to make the transition from your summer to winter skincare routine.
When the sun is shining it’s easy to remember to protect your skin with an SPF. Darker mornings and earlier sunsets mean we’re exposed to less sunlight, but that can affect the skin in negative ways as well as positive. It’s important to get enough vitamin D during the winter months, as a deficiency can show up as skin conditions or even depression. If you don’t get enough vitamin D from being outdoors, you may want to consider taking a supplement from around early November time to see you through the winter.
Spending much of your time indoors during the winter can expose your skin to the drying effects of central heating and the many airborne pollutants present in workplaces, schools and even the home. Particles called free radicals, which are generated by the body in response to some types of smoke, certain chemicals present in cleaning and beauty products and even UV light, can all damage the skin’s natural barrier and cause skin reactions and ageing. If your skin behaves in the summer but you experience dry patches, eczema or a general lack of glow during the winter, it could be that your skin’s natural barrier is being affected. Often this barrier is already compromised because of the harsh nature of commercially available cosmetics, making skin especially vulnerable. Because we tend to wear heavier makeup in the winter, it’s natural to want to scrub and strip away impurities from the skin.
By switching to a deeply nourishing regime that supports the skin’s natural barrier, it’s possible to protect the skin from the damaging effects of the winter environment. Choosing an organic, oil-based cleanser, soothing toner and nourishing, paraben free moisturising serum or balm will support your skin’s defences, making it less likely to break out, become dry or lose its glow. Longer-term, the lack of free radicals forming means that your skin is not ageing prematurely.
Finally, Halloween is the beginning of winter festivities for many of us, including the lead-up to Christmas and our own new year. By remembering to start our skincare regime at this time of year, we can also kick-start general winter wellbeing habits, which will benefit our skin and body as a whole. There may be skeletons and spooky bats hanging in shop windows, but beyond the novelty of Halloween is an ancient festival related closely to the seasons. It’s a time of new beginnings, of eating the natural and wholesome fruits and grains of the harvest to stay healthy during the winter, and of ensuring that we enter a brand new season fully prepared and protected from nasties – in this case, free radicals and dry air rather than ghosts and ghouls!
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- Ajay Karan Sharma