Just because the colder weather is upon us , it doesn't mean that your skin needs to suffer. Forget about cracked cuticles and flaky skin — those are officially a thing of your past. You need to up your beauty routine to include products that will help to nourish your body from the inside out. Reach for products that offer hydrating ingredients and powerful proteins to revitalise your skin from head-to-toe.
As I'm sure you know, winter weather is not the best for skin. Cold weather and low humidity levels result in dry air, which then steals moisture away from the skin. Without care, dry skin may lead to cracking and bleeding, and harsh winter wind makes the problem worse. Indoor heat further robs the air of moisture, as do hot showers or baths and harsh cleansers.
Additional moisture helps, but you need to do more to actually counteract these effects and keep skin looking youthful and smooth. To reduce chapping, redness, itching, and keep skin more healthy and comfortable this season, try these tips.
1. Wash in Lukewarm Water
Hot showers and baths always feel good in the winter, but when you can, particularly when just washing your face or hands, choose lukewarm water to avoid stripping as many oils away from the skin.
2. Moisturise Immediately Afterwards
Your skin not only needs more moisture, but moisture right after you wash. Applying moisture to damp skin helps seal that dampness into the skin. Keep a bottle in every bathroom, and at every sink and use liberally every time you wash.
3. Choose Moisturiser Carefully
Some over-the-counter moisturisers have petroleum-based ingredients that can actually further dry your skin in the winter months (and actually add no benefit at any time of year). Be sure to choose a smart formula that has natural, nourishing ingredients. At this time of year chose an oil-based rather than a water-based solution, as it’s more likely to help your skin retain moisture in the winter. Try Indie Lee’s natural moisturising oils, as they’re made with natural, hydrating ingredients like lavender, chamomile, jojoba, and more, which help soothe dry, itchy skin - I personally love the scent of the Vanilla Citrus oil. Or my other favourite is Arbonne's Rescue and Renew Detox Oil which Soak up every drop of goodness. This superbly hydrating oil contains grape seed oil to support collagen and skin firmness, plus sesame seed oil that moisturises to help dimpled skin appear smooth.
Get used to wearing gloves and scarves to protect your skin from cold wind, rain, and snow. Also, don’t forget the sunscreen. Winter sun can be just as damaging as summer sun, so apply a safe option like zinc oxide or titanium dioxide to any exposed areas.
Heating systems dry out the air, so consider installing a humidifier in your home, particularly in your bedroom, to put moisture back into the air and help prevent your skin from drying out.
Because it is colder in the winter we tend to drink less water and turn to hot drinks like tea, coffee and hot chocolate, but don’t forget that your skin needs hydration from the inside, out. A little warm water with lemon can be very refreshing and hydrating at the same time or choose a caffeine free tea like rooibos.
7. Replenishing Moisture Overnight
Dryer areas like hands, feet, elbows, and knees have thin skin and tend to lose moisture faster than other areas on the body. Consider slathering on a deep moisturising balm such as Arbonne's Rescue and Renew Detox Gelee at night, then wear cotton gloves and socks to seal in the moisture until morning.
We often forget to help the skin slough off dead cells in the winter, particularly on our hands. Yet moisture can’t get in if the dead cells are too plentiful. Find an exfoliating mask and use it on your face and your hands, as well as gently on your lips, then follow immediately with moisture to truly see a smoother difference. Exfoliating body washes are also helpful in the winter months.
9. Avoid Toxins, Specifically Allergens and Irritants
Particularly if you have eczema, dermatitis, or psoriasis, you need to avoid allergens and irritants that may trigger a flare up. Winter skin is more fragile, so avoid irritating fabrics (like wool) and chemical-laden detergents, and use mild cleansers and moisturisers designed for sensitive skin. In addition, glutathione is considered the “master anti-oxidant” and helps your body detox.
10. Hydrate From the Inside Out
Eating foods high in water content can help hydrate your skin from the inside out. Try watermelon, cantaloupe melon, apples, oranges, kiwi, and watery veggies like celery, tomatoes, cucumbers, courgette, and carrots. Make sure you’re getting enough vitamin C and zinc to support the healthy production of collagen and elastin. Also consider taking an omega-3 supplement, or consume more fatty fish and flaxseed to give your skin the building blocks it needs to appear supple and smooth.
11. Change Your Cleanser
Cleansers can be extremely drying to the skin. If you’re used to using options that contain glycolic or salicylic acid, rotate with a more hydrating version that contains moisturising ingredients. Try Indie Lee's Rosehip Cleanser, which has been specially formulated to deal with dryness and works to prevent moisture loss., try a cleansing balm like Ren No. 1 Purity Cleansing Balm. After cleansing, don’t leave the skin naked for more than 30 seconds, as this can dehydrate it, leading to increased dryness. Apply a hydrating toner and moisturizer to seal in moisture.
12. Use Hydrating Masks
Try Mizon's Good Night White Hydrating Mask which has been formulated to work hard while you catch your beauty sleep. It replenishes and brightens your skin, so that you wake looking ‘plumped up’ and luminous. it is packed full of hyaluronic acid which attracts and retains up to 1000 times its molecular weight in water, glycerin which delivers deep skin conditioning benefits and niacinamide which inhibits melanin synthesis, to reduce the appearance of existing sunspots and prevent the development of new ones. Or if you fancy making your own homemade hydrating mask, make sure that you use natural moisturising ingredients like honey, avocado, yogurt, olive and jojoba oils, almond oil, bananas, and aloe. Mix what you like together to create a cream or paste, and leave on skin for 10-30 minutes for lasting hydration.
Do you have other tips for pampering winter skin? Please share them with my readers.