By Suramya Jain

Skincare Ingredients to Avoid This Winter

Ah yes, it’s winter again. Forget your bones, you can probably feel it on your face, which is now home to dry, rough and dehydrated skin. Seeking solace in a favourite face oil or moisturiser might seem like the only answer right now, but there are a number of other things to be aware of when it comes to your winter skincare regime.

To compensate for all of the seasonal and lifestyle changes associated with the winter season, we can switch out the skincare products we’re using — namely, amping up the hydration and cutting back on exfoliators that can further aggravate sensitive skin. Here are some skincare ingredients that you should steer clear off in winter:

  1. Petrolatum

Surprised? Even though petroleum jelly or petrolatum in rich in emollient properties and truly seal off our skin from air, water, or anything else that wants to enter or leave, they don't allow ambient moisture to enter our skin. In addition, they can trap oil and dirt leading to blackheads, pimples, and whiteheads. Substitute your petroleum jelly with natural oil based lip balms, body butter and lotions.

  1. Astringents

Astringents, mainly found in toners, are typically alcohol-based and will further dry out your already moisture-starved skin this season. If you really love to use toner, use the hydrating ones that don't have alcohol as a main ingredient.

  1. Physical Exfoliants 

Physical exfoliants, including sugar, salt, coffee grounds, and seeds, can be harsh on the skin that’s prone to the elements brought on by winter weather. The granules in physical exfoliants can cause micro-tears in the skin leading to irritation, infection, and even scarring. Opt for gentler chemical exfoliants and that too in moderation. 

  1. Retinoids

Though they offer remarkable anti-acne and anti-aging benefits, retinoids are known for their skin-sensitizing and drying side effects. Because retinoids accelerate cellular turnover, skin will begin to shed its surface layers faster, making it very common to experience dry patches, peeling, and flaking and hence further irritating dehydrated winter skin. If using, make sure you use mild concentration once or twice a week.

 5. Fragrance

When the skin is dry and the skin barrier is disrupted, it can be more susceptible to allergy and irritation from fragrances. This is especially relevant for those with sensitive skin. Hence, opt for products that are fragrance-free.

When in winter, focus on hydrating ingredients like niacinamide, hyalouranic acid, oils, etc. and drink plenty of water! In addition, when you pay attention to our skincare ingredients to avoid, you’ll go a long way toward healing any skin dryness and irritation in winters.