By: Kimberly Rodrigues
Winter can have a negative impact on your skin, making it feel dry and irritated. Cold weather and harsh winds can cause redness and dryness, while indoor heating can further dehydrate your skin.
But while some skincare practices should be avoided during the winter, exfoliation should not be one of them, experts advise. They also suggest that though your skincare routine should be adjusted during the colder months, exfoliating products should still be used regularly.
The L’Oréal Paris site informs, during winter, the accumulation of dead skin cells on the surface of the skin can lead to dryness and a lack of radiance. Incorporating exfoliation into your winter skincare routine can help address this issue. Using a face scrub or other exfoliating product regularly can remove surface buildup, revealing smoother and softer skin.
Additionally, taking to her Instagram account, a celebrity cosmetic dermatologist, Dr Chytra Anand posted a video as part of her winter skin care tips series claiming that we should continue to exfoliate in winter, but cautiously.
She states, “In the summer, we exfoliate quite a lot. We should continue to exfoliate even in the winter, but once a week. Make sure you moisturise after the exfoliation. Avoid harsh scrubs and loofas during the winter season. Look for active exfoliants, and ensure to ensure you restore that skin barrier in winter.”
Exfoliating can be beneficial for the skin, but it is important to avoid overdoing it. Scrubbing too hard, using a chemical exfoliant that is too strong, or exfoliating too frequently can lead to irritation or dryness. If your skin is already dry and sensitive during the winter, it may be tempting to skip exfoliating until the warmer months, however, according to an earlier report on the Skincare site, Dr Blair Murphy-Rose, a board-certified dermatologist from New York City, suggests that exfoliating is crucial regardless of the season.
Explaining why you should continue exfoliation of your skin during the winter, she is reported to have said, “When skin is dry, the outermost skin cells do not shed off appropriately and contribute to dullness and flakiness.”
Also, “It’s important to exfoliate thirsty skin regularly and always moisturise after. In fact, moisturising products can penetrate better and work more effectively after exfoliation,” she said.
The expert goes on to advise that even if you don’t have dry skin, exfoliation in the winter is still a good idea. She states, “Most skin types, even oily, experience an increase in dryness over the winter as the air becomes less humid.”
Agreeing that exfoliation is important in the winter time, Dr Anil Abraham, a dermatologist at Abrahams Skin & Hair Clinic, Bangalore, India told The Indian Express, “This is because dry skin and dead skin build-up are part of winter.” However, he also reportedly said that if “you have sensitive skin you may want to cut back to gentle exfoliation once or twice a week.”
Experts state that skin may be more prone to sensitivity during the winter due to low humidity, harsh weather, and indoor heating, which can cause dehydration.
For this reason, they warn that it’s important to choose the right product to exfoliate your skin. “I recommend gentle daily exfoliation rather than a stronger monthly or weekly peel option,” Dr Murphy-Rose said.
“Consistent use of a gentle exfoliation product can yield great results without making winter skin even more sensitive to the elements.”
Overall, skin experts believe that exfoliating helps to remove dry, dull patches of skin, revealing a smoother and softer complexion. Additionally, it allows moisturising products to penetrate deeper, resulting in skin that is more hydrated.