The last few weeks in the UK have been really cold and the winter that we were missing from the later end of 2015 truly hit home in January along with some pretty icy winds and lots of rain. This kind of whether does nothing good for my skin, and I end up with tired, dull looking skin with a few break-outs. Attractive ey! Winter skin can be hard to manage simply because you are constantly competing with your environment. When its too cold, we crank up the central heating only to step outside again and it’s the complete opposite. There is no happy medium and your skin is trying to adapt to the surroundings which is the reason for many things going wrong with your skin at this time of the year. One of the main issues for skin in the winter is it drying out. Over the years I have added some really simple steps to my beauty routine to make sure the dry skin stays away and I can have that summer glow all year round. Many people seem to forget that wrinkles aren’t just caused but exposure to the sun, but actually harsh weather conditions can really tire out and strain your skin too. Here are 8 tips to help you banish that rubbish wintery skin!
I mean WATER! Drink plenty of it. I like to drink around 2.5-3 litres of water a day and I started doing this when I had quite bad skin back in the day. Drinking water helped massively with my overall skin condition and keeps it hydrated, soft and supple, so if its cold outside, you are quite protected from the inside and your skin won’t dry out so easily. Water is also good for cleansing purposes, eliminating toxins from your body that can make you’re skin look and feel dull and that can cause break-outs on your face.
Serums, oils and face masks
Wearing a serum under your day and/or night moisturiser can go a really long way to protecting your skin further from the harsh temperatures and weather conditions outside. Hydrating serums and antioxidant serums give you added protection and are great in the winter. You will find that serums are mainly for the face because that’s where the thinnest skin on your body lies, as well as the most exposed. Try the Body Shop Vitamin E Overnight serum underneath a night time balm such as the Decléor Aroma Night Balm and during the day the Decléor Aromessence Neroli Serum with the Avène Hydrance Optimal Rich day moisturiser with SPF 20 for protection. Another thing I like to do is use a natural oil under my night cream (during the day it’s too greasy). Vitamin e oil or almond oil is perfect for this and I wake up with super soft skin. Why not also try the Cherish Skin Repair Serum by Therapie which is packed with rich moisturising oils such as avocado, argon and red-raspberry seed oils. As for face masks; using an overnight one works wonders! My favourite is of course the Origins Drink Up Intensive mask. You wake up a new person.
Body massages are great this time of the year, not just for un-doing a knot in your back, but for getting your circulation going therefore getting increased nutrition to your skin and encouraging cell regeneration. This in turn will make your skin brighter and fresher looking, not to mention soft. Massage oils are great but even oils such a coconut oil and almond oil can be used to massage the skin. The same can be done to the face with gentle circular motions which can stimulate circulation as well as encourage vasodilation of the skins capillaries to enhance the brightness and colour of your skin and improving elasticity. Why not treat yourself to one of those much needed massages!
Exfoliating your body and face sloughs off dead and rough skin cells revealing soft, clean, renewed and refreshed skin. Not only that but exfoliating wipes away impurities therefore reducing the chance of breakouts. When it is cold and windy outside your skin picks up a lot of dirt, looks tired and dull and exfoliating brightens the skin whilst encouraging regeneration of cells and gives your skin that polished look and feel. In the shower, try a salt scrub like Dr Salts Relax Therapy Dead Sea Salts which is actually meant for a bath and to soak in, but can also be used as an exfoliator. I also like to use a body polisher in the shower when I have less time, and also a facial buffer in the morning. Wakes me up a little!
The thicker your clothes, the more protected you will be from the harsh temperatures. Thick knits, gloves, hats and scarves will trap in the heat and will go a certain way to stopping your skin from drying. Keep warm!
Prevent super hot showers and bubble baths
Everyones natural tendency is to jump into a steaming hot shower when its freezing outside. This isn’t really the right thing thing to do. The best thing is to warm yourself up gradually and then get into a lukewarm bath. A hot water bath can dry your skin out really quickly as the moment you step out of the bath, it’s never as warm! Another good thing to do after a shower is to moisturise straight away. This locks in the moisture for longer and keeps your skin hydrated. Remember to have a glass of water before you step into a warm shower/bath as this will lower your blood pressure.
This is KEY! I can’t stress enough the importance of moisturising in this weather. Eating good food and keeping hydrated will get you very far, however not far enough. You need to be moisturising at least every morning and every night before you sleep. Consider your surroundings- when you are outside the cold air gets to you, only for you to come inside and the central heating is blasting. Moisturising protects your skin from these rapid changes and stops moisture from being lost from the skin. Another way you can keep moisture in is by getting a humidifier or placing a glass of lukewarm water in your room near your radiator or window sill. This will keep moisture in the air whilst you sleep. I LOVE coco butter however I often use natural oils to moisturise. Coconut oil and vitamin e oil are perfect for this as they are extremely moisturising and also work on repairing any damaged skin as well. Coconut oil in particular is easily absorbed into the skin and works deep down in the roots. Natural humectants such as aloe and honey are great for incorporating in your beauty regime. Humectants attract and retain moisture in the skin and many cosmetic/health creams and emollients contain a synthetic humectant that is beneficial in treating eczema-prone skin or other dry skin conditions. See how important this is!
Easier said than done when all we really want is warming puddings and hot chocolate. However eating right will give you the glow your skin desires in the winter. Lots of fruit, veg and foods full of nutrients will brighten your skin and give your energy that you need during this sluggish time! Madeleine Shaw completely inspired me here!
Take the time to really look after your skin in these colder months; you will reap the benefits later on!