Many people have been taught to follow the classic three step program: Cleanse, Tone and Moisturize. And, during wintertime, to instinctively switch to a heavier cream. This can work for those of you with pretty hydrated skin…But the rest of us still feel dry (especially those of us who live in Canada!). This is because we don’t just need a more emollient cream, we need oil and water. We need to layer our skincare.
I am a big fan of layering, and think its almost essential in the drying, dehydrating winter season. So, while it may seem like another extra step, investing in a good quality serum is important. This is because our skin is made up of both oil and water and we must mimic this. My skin-saavy mother always uses the analogy of a brick wall when explaining this.
“Our skin is like a brick wall. Our skin cells are the bricks – full of water. In between, our oil is our mortar. If we become dehydrated, our bricks shrink causing spaces between the mortar and brick.” (This is why dehydration can make you more sensitive as irritants penetrate more easily).
In other words, our skin cells need water to maintain their healthiness – but oil helps retain this water. It also helps protect our delicate skin against the elements as it acts as a barrier.
And, while it may seem excessive – my winter regime consists of many steps to guard against dryness and dehydration (I also get eczema which flares up when the skin is dehydrated). Every morning and night I use a cleanser, toner (alcohol-free), serum, lotion, facial oil, and mineral sunblock or make up (AM only). Oh and eye cream. Wink.
So, if you are feeling frustrated that your skin is still depleted despite using the heaviest of creams – invest in a serum to go underneath it. Our mums used to tell us to bundle up wear layers in the wintertime (hence why I own the ugliest polar fleece vests). We need to do the same when caring for our skin.