Now, we may lament about our tropical climate in Singapore constantly, but if there’s one thing that we can appreciate about Singapore’s weather is its consistency.
And while that may be hard to believe when you’re suffering in 32-degree heat, remember that cold weather brings about its own set of challenges too; especially its own set of skincare challenges. Yup, if you think you can stick to your usual skincare routine in the dead of winter without your complexion suffering repercussions, well… think again.
Intrigued? Confused? A little of both? Well, luckily enough, we at Daily Vanity have done your homework for you and compiled the ultimate 13 skincare tips you need when travelling to wintry countries over the holidays.
Trust us, you’re going to need it!
1. Always wash your face and body in lukewarm water
We know nothing feels more amazing than a hot shower on a cold, wintry night, but doing so is actually immensely damaging for your skin. This applies to your face, too, of course! What hot water does is that it strips your skin of its natural oils, which dries it out even further. This can be detrimental to most, especially considering the already frigid temperatures you’re currently experiencing. Eek!
If possible, opt for lukewarm water instead, and…
2. Moisturise immediately afterwards
And yes, that’s immediately! Sure, it’s no secret that your skin is in need of serious moisture throughout your trip, but moisturising immediately after showering or cleansing your face actually helps seal in moisture more effectively. Yup, fun fact for all your skincare junkies out there: damp skin absorbs product (such as moisturiser) more easily rather than dry skin.
That’s not to say that you should skip out on moisturising regularly still, though! Slather on your moisturiser before heading out, as always, and put a small vial’s worth of moisturiser right by your shower or at the sink. That way, it serves as a great reminder to moisturise immediately after getting your face and body wet.
3. Make sure to stay hydrated throughout your trip
Whether you’re spending your trip exploring the great outdoors or in an enclosed mall, the air in wintry countries is always drier as compared to tropical climates. You can counteract this by slathering on generous helpings of moisturiser, of course, but you should also boost your skin’s moisture levels by drinking more water regularly.
The need to drink water is probably lessened now that you’re not sweating vigorously, though, so make it a point to remember to drink. We recommend downloading this app on your phone if you’re particularly forgetful!
4. Opt for foods rich in water content as well
We’re talking your apples, cucumbers, celery, and so on. Other than providing much needed hydration for your complexion, you can also opt to eat food rich in vitamin C and zinc to support the healthy growth of collagen and elastin. This makes for healthier, smoother and brighter skin overall, which your complexion will especially need in harsh winter climates.
5. Get a mini humidifier for your room
Most houses, hotels, and or establishments have a heating system installed in wintry countries, which actually dries out the air further. This— you guessed it!— can actually wreak havoc on your skin, transforming it into a dry, flaky mess.
The solution? Well, it may be a little impractical to install a full-on humidifier wherever you’re staying—considering it’s only a temporary situation— but you can opt to bring along a mini humidifier instead. This helps put moisture back in the air, and protects your skin from drying out further. We recommend websites such as Shopee, Lazada, and Qoo10 to get an affordable and effective option.
6. Tweak the products in your normal skincare routine
The skincare products that work for you in Singapore’s climate may do more harm than good to your skin in wintry countries. For instance, did you know that certain moisturisers have petroleum-based ingredients that can worsen skin drying in winter? Or that alcohol-based products such as certain masks, cleansers and lotions can do the same?
Play it safe by getting nourishing formulas that are water-based rather than oil-based. Anything containing ceramides, hyaluronic acid and or hydration serums in general are a safe bet, too!
7. Keep your skin well covered and protected
There’s a reason why gloves, caps, and scarves exist! Make sure they’re suitably warm, and stock up on them before jetting off on your holiday. Seriously, they help prevent dry, cracked skin better than any hand cream (or neck cream!) can.
8. Slather on the SPF
Unfortunately, you’re not exempt from the sun just because you’re currently residing in a colder region. Winter sun rays can be just as harsh the ones you experience in Singapore, so incurring sun damage is still highly plausible. We’re talking hyperpigmentation, brown spots… the works!
Luckily enough, the solution is deceptively simple and is probably something you already own: slathering on sunscreen, of course! Anything with titanium dioxide or zinc oxide is recommended. If still in doubt, check out our recommended list of best sunscreens in the market right now.
9. Skip exfoliating, or make sure to pick a gentle exfoliating product
Sure, exfoliating is a great way to slough off the dead skin cells that are sure to have accumulated on your face, hands, and body in winter, but bear in mind that your skin barrier is already compromised due to the dry and cold weather. If you can (or if your skin type permits it), avoid exfoliating entirely.
If you can’t go a week without exfoliating, try to opt for more gentle exfoliating products instead.
Our pick? The Body Shop Mediterranean Almond Milk With Oats Instant Soothing Mask. This one gently exfoliates without irritating skin, with it containing anti-inflammatory and healing properties that makes it suitable for those with even the most troubled of complexions. Plus, we’re told that it has a impossibly rich, creamy texture that makes feels extra luxurious upon application.
10. Consider swapping out your cleanser if it contains glycolic or salicylic acid
As with most of the tips mentioned above, glycolic and sacylic acid— while effective in Singapore’s weather— can actually dehydrate and dry your skin in winter countries. Go through the ingredients list of your cleanser to see if it contains any, and swap it out temporarily for one with more moisturising ingredients during the duration of your trip.
We recommend anything containing hyaluronic acid for maximum hydration, or perhaps a cleansing balm. The Banila Co. Clean It Zero is a great pick: gentle, effective, and non-stripping in the slightest.
11. Don’t leave skin hanging for more than 30 seconds
Don’t just leave your skin hanging after cleansing it! That is a surefire way to dehydrate it, leaving it drier than before. A good rule is to ensure product is applied to your face 30 seconds after cleansing.
So, how it goes it that once your face is cleansed, apply a hydrating toner, serum or moisturiser (or whatever else comprises your skincare routine) and apply it on. This thus effectively seals in the moisture attained from the products within your skincare routine, ensuring that your skin doesn’t feel (or look) dry and parched.
12. Avoid toxins, allergens, and irritants
This applies particularly to people who suffer from skin conditions such as eczema, dermatitis, or psoriasis. Our tip? Try to avoid allergens and irritants that trigger a flare-up, as skin in colder climates tend to be more dry and fragile.
Some common allergens and irritants include fabrics such as wool, as well as chemical-laden detergents. This is especially applicable if you’re staying in a hotel, and getting your laundry done there! Make sure to take note of the detergent they use, and to plan accordingly if it turns out to be one that is unsuitable for your skin type.
13. Seal in moisture on key areas of your body with socks and gloves
Another way to lock all those skin-nourishing benefits from your moisturiser? Pulling on socks and gloves after applying a thick layer of said moisturiser. You can also slather more product on in areas that get dry easily, such as your elbows and knees, too!
The trick is to simply seal them in with a layer of fabric, so knee-high socks and elbow length gloves are all good options.