Ah, winter! Why is it so tough on our skin? And did you know it’s the best time to have certain targeted treatments? Hint: collagen induction, improving pigmentation and even skin tone.

It feels almost counterintuitive – we all know that the summer sun is bad for our skin, yet, somehow, our skin looks and feels worse in winter.

It becomes dull, flaky, dry… and is it just us, or do wrinkles seem to show up more in winter? Especially those around the mouth, on our cheeks and on our forehead. Not a good look.

What causes these winter skin issues?

Let’s get things straight. Winter isn’t causing our skin to wrinkle more. Yes, our bodies become a bit more sluggish during the chilly season, and the blood flow to our skin is not as energetic because its fine capillaries constrict a little (hence dullness and ashy tones).

Add to this cold, dry air (*cough* Gauteng!) and heated houses, hot baths and showers, and there you have it – your recipe for dry, dehydrated and flaky, dull-looking skin.

The skin dehydration also causes fine lines to become visible, and deeper lines become, well, deeper. But what you’re seeing on the surface is actually already going on in the skin – it just looks more exaggerated. Those wrinkles you see are mostly the result of a breakdown of collagen.

Step 1: Prevent dry, dull skin

You need to step up your skin nourishment and hydration, and who doesn’t want a bit of relief and pampering in winter?

Choose a richer, more nourishing cream such as the Neostrata Restore Range, as well as active hydration products, such as NeoStrata Skin Active Dermal Replenishment.

But now is the perfect time to really recharge and rejuvenate your skin with a deeper treatment.

Step 2: Winter is best for intensive skin treatments

Why, you ask? Because the sun is at its weakest this time of year and you’re likely to be spending less time outdoors, so it is the ideal time to have all the intensive treatments that can cause your skin to become photosensitive, or which can cause post-inflammatory pigmentation if exposed to sunlight.

And, of course, if you’re going for a more intensive treatment that requires a little extra downtime away from your adoring fans, what better time to do it?

What kinds of treatment should you consider in winter?

We recommend you consider treating deep-seated skin issues that reach into the deeper layers of the skin, such as acne scarring, deep wrinkles and melasma (hormonal hyperpigmentation), as well as tackling loss of radiance.

Addressing and resolving these issues requires the use of more intensive skin-restoration treatments. Various treatments (or a combination of them) are used for this. These include skin peels, laser and light therapies and medical skin needling.

These penetrate into the deeper layers of the skin and they work by stimulating the skin to heal itself after experiencing physical trauma. This trauma is applied in a highly controlled manner, with a very definite outcome in mind.

Collagen induction destroys old, tired collagen and stimulates the skin to produce fresh, healthy collagen. The ultimate result is plumped up skin, smoothed out lines and less visible scarring.

In the case of pigmentation treatment, clumps of existing patchy pigmentation are broken up and the skin tone is improved on.

The skin-care professionals at Skin Renewal will draw up a custom programme for you that takes into account the best options for your skin concerns, skin tone, skin condition and budget.

Step 3: Never forget protection!

As these treatments can cause your skin to become more sensitive and inflamed temporarily, sun protection is vitally important.

Exposure to sunlight, even just for a short period, can actually cause more damage and result in post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation. And don’t forget that the South African sun is still potent in winter months.

Soooo… sunscreen remains the most important part of your post-treatment skincare regime. Find our recommended sunscreens here: NeoStrata Sheer Physical Protection SPF 50 and Heliocare 360 Fluid Cream SPF 50.

To find out more about Skin Renewal and which treatments may be most suitable to address your deep-seated skin conditions, visit www.skinrenewal.co.za. It’s one of the many ways we can help you enjoy living in your beautiful skin for longer.