Winter weather is on its way and many of us have noticed our skin turning dry, dull and even itchy. Our skin loses up to 25% of its ability to hold moisture in winter months. It is simply a combination of cold and dry air during this season that steals moisture from our skin, resulting it looking dry and lifeless. During cold winter month we obviously seek for comfort of hot baths, hot showers and the heat source of our home but unfortunately they all contribute to further drying of our skin.
It’s time to give our skin some care and attention during this upcoming winter months and here are my 10 winter skin care tips and tricks:
1 - Cleansing
When cleansing your face be careful not to strip your skin of its essential oils. Avoid any face products with alcohol, and switch to a milder face wash that contains natural oil ingredients so you can cleanse and lubricate simultaneously. Harsh cleansers do more damage than good as they strip the skin of its environmental protective barrier.
2 - Use a face oil
Don't be afraid to use a face oil. The oil our skin produces is very different to the oils in facial products. A face oil should be introduced in our winter skin care routine. A face oil will replenish the top layer of our ageing skin. It will retain moisture and will help to fight from the wind and cold environment. Using a face oil will also deliver nutrients to our deeper layers of our skin.
You should know, pure and effective oils are usually expensive because they are highly concentrated so you will find that a few drops go a long way. Cheaper face oil products often contain less refined, more processed ingredients with fillers and additives.
3 - Don't over exfoliate
Don't exfoliate too often during the winter months. It can cause sensitivity, dryness and dehydration of the skin. Ideally you should exfoliate once a week from Autumn and during winter month. During this time of the year your complexion might look flaky and patchy - it is simply the result of a combination of these two elements: cold air outside and hot and dry air inside. If you feel the need to exfoliate more, I recommend using a soft silicone cleansing brush, like the Sunmay.
4 - Wear a sunscreen "365 days"
UV rays are responsible for premature ageing which make your sunscreen your best anti-ageing product available on the market. The sun is up there 365 days a year which means you also need protection during the winter months.
We are exposed to two types of UV radiation: UVA and UVB.
UVA rays are around all year. UVA penetrates the skin and causes damage to collagen fibres. It is responsible for loss of elasticity to the skin - So think A for Anti-ageing.
UVB rays are stronger in the summer months. UVB affects the skin's surface and causes damages to the skin cells. It is what gives you a tan and also sunburn. So think B for Burning.
Wearing a sunscreen is about preventing long-term skin damages. Wrinkles and brown spots do not appear overnight, they develop slowly over the years and get worse by sun exposure.
5 - Let's not forget the lips
Licking your lips may provide a brief moisture and relief, but unfortunately it will only leave the skin drier than it was to begin with. So keep your lip balm in an easily accessible pocket. If your lips are flaky and dry, apply a thick dollop of E45 for 10 to 15minutes and then remove the excess with a dry tissues.
6 - Dry Hands
The skin on our hands has fewer oil glands that means it is harder to keep the skin moist, especially in cold and dry weather. Apply a hand cream after washing your hands and at least several times throughout the day. Before bed, you could use a very rich moisturiser and slip on white cotton gloves. Because of the enclosed space your skin will absorb the moisturiser.
7 - Adjust your skin care
Change of temperature does affect your skin but also the effectiveness of your skin care routine. Introduce a serum underneath your moisturiser to give your skin a boost of hydration. If your skin is prone to redness and or, more sensitive than usual, you might want to adjust your routine with anti-redness and barrier repair ingredients products. Give a boost of moisture at night and start using a night-time moisturiser ideally targeting dry skin.
8 - Dry and rough feet
Moisturising everyday and gentle buffing once a week is the key to get back soft and smoother feet. When buffing, make sure the skin of your feet is dry and not wet. Buff the dry skin using a german foot file or a Micro Pedi. Do not over buff as it may cause soreness. I recommend to rub a rich body cream or a foot balm generously all over your feet. Have a pair of cotton socks handy as your feet will be slippery. Ideally, do this before going to bed. It allows the cream or balm to work overnight.
9 - Be aware of very hot baths and showers
Long exposure to hot bath and shower actually breaks down the lipid barriers in the skin which can lead to loss of moisture. Instead swap to warm or lukewarm water for 10 minutes or less.
10 - Use a body moisturiser
Regardless of the time of the year, moisturising your body should be a habit...Dry skin and all over itchiness can make you feel very uncomfortable especially during cold winter months. An easy way to combat this problem is to moisturise. To trap the moisture into the skin, I recommend to apply your moisturiser within three minutes of stepping out of the bath or shower. The result: a smoother and ultra-hydrated skin all year-round.
Melanie is an Image Therapist, Facialist and Feminine Empowerment Coach based in central London. She offers Authentic Image Transformation from the inside out for women ready to elevate their personal and professional life.