6 steps to beautiful winter skin
As temperatures nose-dive, so too does your skin’s moisture. Heating indoors just makes things worse, sucking more humidity out of the air. But dry and dull looking skin don’t need to go hand in hand with winter – here’s a few simple ways you can keep looking youthful when there’s a chill in the air.
1. Quit sugar
Overall skin health is determined by the healthy functioning of the liver and what we put in our body can have a big impact. A nutrient rich diet, especially one that’s high in healthy monounsaturated fats like olive oil, eggs, nuts and avocado will help keep your skin supple from the inside out.
As far as what to avoid, sugar is skin enemy number one – glucose in the bloodstream can damage collagen and elastin fibres (which keep skin firm and elastic) through a process called glycation.So if you can’t stay away from the chocolate for your waistline, consider doing it for your crow’s feet!
2. Scrub, but don't lather your face
If you normally use a foaming cleanser, consider switching to a cream, gel or lotion cleanser in winter (or why not DIY?).Foaming formulas often contain sodium laurel sulphate, which can irritate the skin and strip it of much needed moisture.
However, it is important to exfoliate because skin cell turnover (the natural process of shedding the outer layer of skin) slows down in colder weather, resulting in dullness, dryness and flakiness.Choose a natural scrub with very small particles or microbeads so as not to “scratch” the skin too much. Don’t forget your body – a good body scrub with a loofah or exfoliating gloves twice a week is great for your circulation and helps rejuvenate the skin.
3. Just add water
Drinking more water comes naturally in summer, but it’s often neglected in winter in favour of hot drinks such as coffee (which can make dehydration worse).When you drink enough water you’ll notice an immediate positive effect on your skin.
There are some great apps and gadgets which can help you drink water more regularly, but the most effective solution is to simply always have a bottle close by. Aim to finish at least two 600mL water bottles a day. If you don’t like the taste of water, try infusing it with some lemon or adding flavour drops like this.
If you regularly work in an air conditioned office or run your heating overnight at home, consider investing in a humidifier – dry air sucks moisture from your skin, but a humidifier can help address the balance to help keep yours dewy and soft.
4. Resist hot showers
Yes it’s reaaaaallly tempting to turn the dial on the hot tap up way high on those frosty mornings, but super hot showers will strip moisture faster than you can say “tight dry skin”.
If you must have a burst of super hot water, keep it to a few seconds only and dial back to lukewarm to avoid stripping the skin of its natural oil barrier.
5. Leave your hat on
Wearing gloves, sunglasses, hats and scarves can help provide a barrier to protect sensitive skin from harsh wind and cold. Also – don’t forget the sunscreen. Winter sun can be just as damaging as summer sun, so apply your sunscreen all year around.
6. Choose your moisturiser wisely
Winter is a great time to up the ante moisture wise – invest in a serum, or try a nourishing skin oil – the skin will be more receptive to deep moisturising. Natural moisturising oil-based serums are actually pretty easy to make yourself – you can find a few ideas here.
Make sure you apply at bedtime to get the full benefits as cell turnover and healing happens mostly at night while at rest.