I don’t know about you but my skin is certainly feeling the effects of the change of season. The colder weather and central heating causes our skin to change a lot at this time of year. The cell turnover is also much slower in Winter, which may leave us with a dull, dry and flaky complexion. For those with naturally drier skin or which is prone to eczema or psoriasis, the change in temperature can worsen troublesome skin conditions.
Here are a few tips for protecting and looking after your skin in Winter and not only leave it looking its best but also functioning optimally:
1. Avoid Hot Showers and Baths
Hot water can really damage the skin and its protective barrier. Instead go for lukewarm bathing. It is equally, if not more important to avoid rubbing your skin with your towel, particularly when wet. Instead, gently pat dry and you will notice fewer flaky dry patches.
Using a gentle face exfoliator such as Neal’s Yard Organic Honey & Orange Facial Scrub, slowly massage in small circles all over your face, concentrating on areas of congestion and dryness. Don’t scrub roughly, just gently buff. You can do the same for your body with a couple of handfuls of brown sugar or for a more luxurious treatment, try Neal’s Yard Organic Geranium & Orange Body Scrub. Exfoliating will stimulate the removal of the dead skin cells that linger on the surface of the skin and leave it looking dull, feeling rough and blocking pores. Instead your skin will be softer, smoother and better protected from the elements.
At this time of year we may consume fewer foods that are high in the essential fatty acids and instead opt for saturated and hydrogenated fats often found in ‘comfort food’. Hydrogenated fats and a high intake of saturated fat puts a huge strain on the liver and will leave the skin looking dull and congested. Up your intake of essential fats from foods such as oily fish, olive oil, avocados, nuts and seeds to provide your skin with the necessary lubrication to leave it soft, glossy and glowing!
4. Use a Night Serum or Face Oil
Adding in a plant-based serum or oil to your skincare regime will transform the look and feel of your skin. Moisturisers are designed to protect the upper layer of the skin during the day from the environment, climate, pollution, dirt, make-up etc. But they do not reach the lower layers of the skin (the epidermis), where the cell turnover begins. Face serums and oils have smaller molecules and are therefore able to penetrate much deeper into the epidermis to have a lasting and greater effect on its structure and function. Always choose plant-based ingredients for maximum effect. E.g. if the signs of ageing are your concern, don’t choose products that state ‘collagen’ as an active ingredient. The skin does not respond to topical collagen so you are wasting your money! Instead look for ingredients that stimulate collagen production, such as plant-based antioxidants and tri-peptides. My absolute favourites are Neal’s Yard Remedies Organic Rejuvenating Frankincense Facial Serum and Neal’s Yard Organic Orange Flower Facial Oil.
5. Use a Weekly Face Mask
For extra nourishing goodness for your skin, apply a weekly mask. Always choose natural plant-based ingredients that won’t dry out your skin or upset its natural balance. Use this time to relax and enjoy in the bath or with your feet up on the sofa!
Looking after your skin should be a joy and not a chore. Use these simple tips in your daily routine and you will notice the difference in no time!