5 Reasons to Exfoliate in the Winter

Most of my friends and clients think that exfoliating is only important in the warmer months. But everyone is surprised to find out how consistent, year round exfoliation is to the condition of your skin. I would argue that exfoliating during the winter is almost more important than in the summer….

Let’s get into the top 5 reasons that exfoliating in the winter is so important.

Skin becomes drier in winter and exfoliating makes moisturizer more effective

During the winter months humidity levels drop significantly, this coupled with the fact that we all drink less water dries our skin.

Cold and dry air outside and hot and dry air from our heaters can lead to chapped lips, cracked hands and extremely dry skin that can be painful and uncomfortable.

One solution is to moisturize more frequently or to switch to a heavier lotion. This solution is effective, in theory. If you are not exfoliating regularly however, the creams and lotions you are applying do not penetrate your skin and don’t have the desired effect.

Dead skin cells form a layer on the surface of your skin that acts like a sponge, absorbing all of the soothing product you are applying. This leaves your skin dehydrated and you frustrated.

By using a moisturizing scrub several times a week you can remove the dead skin cells that are leaving your skin dry and dull and hydrate at the same time.

Clean Beauty Swiss scrubs are all coconut oil based and leave your skin soft and hydrated without any need for extra lotions or moisturizers. I recommend the Cinnamon Sugar scrub to help boost your mood, aromatherapy using cinnamon oil has shown to improve symptoms of depression and even give an energy boost!

Made with just coconut oil, sugar and cinnamon you can be confident that it is 100% natural. Try using it to gently exfoliate your lips leaving them soft and plumped - ready for that amazing red lipstick you’ve been wanting to try!

Dead skin cells accumulate faster in the winter

Do you ever notice that fine lines are more visible in the winter? Do you always think the reason your complexion looks dull and grey is because you don’t have a tan?

Neither of these annoying winter side effects are because you don’t have a tan. Dull skin and fine lines are caused by a thick layer of dead skin cells.

Unfortunately, as our skin cells dehydrate, they actually die more quickly.

So, during these cold winter months that layer of dead skin cells becomes thicker faster. Exfoliation will help your skin to rejuvenate more quickly, keep your complexion bright and maintain collagen production which keeps your skin plump and firm.

Exfoliating helps to improve mood by releasing oxytocin and cortisol

The winter blues always get me down. The cold weather, the grey skies and the early evenings. I see my friends less often, don’t feel the warm sun on my skin and generally count the days until spring and sun.

Seasonal Affect Disorder (SAD) is a condition that affects millions of people every year. By maintaining your skincare routine, and above all taking the time to exfoliate regularly, you can improve the winter blues.

Skin stimulation can stimulate both oxytocin which is a ‘feel good’ hormone and also reduces cortisol which is the hormone stimulated by stress.

A study published in 2018 shows a direct correlation between touching the skin and feeling good. The study brushed makeup brushes on women’s skin and then tested the amount of oxytocin in their saliva. There were immediate increases in the feel good hormone and more importantly the level of oxytocin increased over time.

Another important study published in 2016 studied the effect of human touch and reduction of cortisol, the stress hormone. Touching, even just giving ourselves a hug, does help reduce cortisol.

So, when you are feeling blue, just remember that a quick exfoliation with a hydrating, gentle scrub like my Cinnamon Sugar scrub can make a huge difference. Imagine gently applying the cinnamon perfumed scrub in a hot steamy shower starting at your ankles and gently massaging your legs.

Your skin becomes softer as you massage your belly and chest. The aromatherapy of cinnamon invigorates and relaxes, your blood flow is improved and you feel pampered and beautiful. Not bad for a 1 minute beauty treatment huh?

Prevents cellulite

Cellulite is inevitable. Over 80% of women have it - even the thinnest among us can lose the battle.

That being said, cellulite has nothing really to do with weight and a lot to do with circulation and how firm your skin is. 

Cellulite is essentially fat tissue which is stored near the skin surface. This fat tissue is more visible when the skin is a bit relaxed (something that happens over time as collagen production naturally decreases) and when water retention makes the dimples deeper and more noticeable.

Regular application of a scrub will drain some of the water retention in that fat tissue. In addition by increasing circulation and bringing oxygenated, nutrient rich blood flow to the skin surface, the skin will become firmer and more elastic.

My Coffee Chili Pepper Scrub was specifically designed to fight the appearance of cellulite. The powerful combination of caffeine and chili pepper will leave your skin noticeably firmer and smoother in a matter of just days. No need for a complicated addition to your beauty routine, just apply the scrub at the end of your shower, gently massaging into your skin, rinse and you are ready to go!

Body hair is finer

Most of my clients like to skip shaving and waxing during the winter months and go au naturel! They prefer to save money and time and focus on hair removal only during the warmer months when their legs and arms are more in focus.

Exfoliating year round will help your hair growth to actually become finer and softer - making that first spring wax less painful and more effective.

By consistently removing the layer of dead skin cells it is easier for the hair follicle to grow - essentially allowing it to grow without having to reinforce itself. This weaker hair follicle is removed much more easily, and causes much less discomfort to you.

In addition, those waxes will be much more effective. By removing the dead skin cells, your aesthetician is going to be able to apply the wax closer to the hair’s root and remove the entire hair with less breakage.

Conclusion

The only thing that you should seasonally change in your skin care routine are the textures of the products that you are using. In the warmer seasons skin creams should be lighter than in the winter, dry conditions require a heavier consistency.

But exfoliating should always be part of your skincare routine. As we have discussed here the benefits for consistent exfoliation are numerous and they make a significant difference in the look and feel of your skin.

And when you take a moment for yourself every day, really concentrate on the feel as you apply your products, it really will make a difference in how you feel. Not only because of vanity - who doesn’t want to look their best? But because we are hardwired to blossom with touch, with contact. 

And when you feel beautiful, I know that there are no limits. 

You can do anything.