Get your Skin ‘winter-ready’ Guide:
Rescue your skin before it goes into a winter melt down.
This is my winter SOS (Save our skin) survival guide.
We all know the basic rules to follow for great skin. And these should be the same all year round. So go back to basics this winter and make sure you eat a nutritionally healthy, skin boosting diet, packed full of vitamins, minerals and anti-ageing antioxidants.
Omega 3 fatty acids found in nuts, avocados and oily fish such as salmon, tuna and mackerel can help to feed our skin with vital nutrients to keep the skin healthy and strong. Sleep is a time where every cell in our body renews and repairs, so getting a good nights kip will help you to keep your skin in tiptop condition. Keep well hydrated, aiming for at least 6-8 glasses of water through the day and try to keep alcohol and caffeine to a minimum.
These basics should be second nature and are relevant all year round. Our skin’s needs may change as we move into the winter months but these are a great set of skin-healthy rules to get started with.
Let’s face it. Winter and our skin are never going to be the best of friends.
You will probably find that your skin changes with the seasons, so you should consider changing your skin care routine with the seasons too.
The number of skin conditions I see in the winter months rises and I think one of the main triggers are the temperature fluctuations that we put our skin through. Remember that healthy skin is hydrated skin.
As the colder weather sets in, the low humidity in the air has a drying effect on the skin. Add into the mix the warmth of the central heating, which sucks the moisture out of our skin. It is this dehydrating effect on the skin, which throws it off kilter.
To avoid drying out your skin take shorter, tepid showers rather than long skin-dehydrating hot baths. Avoid foaming products for cleansing, as these tend to strip your skin of its essential oils, breaking down the skins protective hydration barriers.
The very best way to keep your skin strong and protected is to moisturise, moisturise and yes you heard it, moisturise. In my opinion this is the most important part of your winter skin SOS routine, to keep your skin protected, nourished and hydrated. A good tip is to apply your moisturiser just after cleansing, whilst the skin is still a little wet. This helps to lock extra moisture into the skin and minimises dehydration.
To get the best out of your moisturisers you need to choose a product suited to you. If you have dry skin during the winter, this is likely to worsen. Chose an oil based moisturiser. This will create a protective layer on your skin, offering some respite from the elements that you won’t get from water based skin care products, creams or lotions.
If, on the other hand, you have oily skin, you’ll want to avoid doing this. The drier environment (central heating, icy winds) exacerbates oiliness. If oily skin is dehydrated, it will overcompensate by producing even more oil.
Even if your skin is feeling dry, irritable and flaky, using an oil-based product can clog your pores and give you outbreaks. You should choose an oil-free hydrating serum and a rich nourishing hyaluronic base moisturiser.
Sensitive skin becomes more fragile, prone to redness and flaking, so it’s the extra soothing skincare is essential. Look for Niacinamide, a great soothing and moisturising ingredient that strengthens the skins hydration barriers
A gentle exfoliation in winter is actually a good thing. Exfoliation is a great way of giving your skin a radiant glow. It removes complexion dulling dead skin cells and allows fresh healthy skin cells to reach the surface, resulting in skin that stays bright and healthy.
Alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs) are often harder to tolerate in sensitive winter skin. The exception is lactic acid, as it has moisture loving humectant properties, helping to hydrate as well as gently exfoliate.
Exposed to the elements, our hands often bear the brunt of the icy cold weather, so remember to protect the skin on your hands too. Carry a tube of moisturising hand cream with you as you go about your day and apply liberally and regularly. At night swap this for an intensely moisturising night cream, which works over night to hydrate your skin, leaving the skin silky smooth in the morning.
Like the skin on your body, the skin on your scalp often suffers in the winter. You may notice a snowfall of dandruff flakes on your shoulders, where your scalp has dried up and started to flake. Try using a deeply conditioning scalp treatment to replenish lost moisture.
Finally, Practice safe Makeup rules.
Always remove your makeup before you go to sleep, it will clog your pores if you sleep in it, causing the dreaded pimple outbreaks. Sleeping in your makeup also means giving up the chance to replenish your skin with moisture overnight, which is particularly important during the winter.
Also, invest in makeup that suits your skin type, particularly when choosing base. Choose something more moisturising during the colder months