How to look after your skin during the Winter
The transition into winter is a smooth one, but as temperatures drop many of us find ourselves wondering how to look after our skin at this time of year. While summer called for protection from the sun, and autumn needed some extra moisturiser, the coldness of winter brings a few extra problems.
Here are some things to do, starting with a familiar procedure.
The healthiest skin is the most hydrated and protected skin, and so moisturising needs to be performed for most of the year. The cold weather draws moisture out of the atmosphere, while the wind will cause you skin to dry out, leading to more moisturising being required than in autumn. (1)
Moisturiser can be applied as part of your morning routine but look for one that is non-greasy so it does not interfere with anything you may be doing or get on your clothes. If you’ve been out in the cold and return to a warm home, its another good time to moisturise as the weather will have dried your skin out.
Using an overnight moisturiser is recommended to give your skin time to regenerate and repair itself during the sleeping hours. You’ll wake up looking better, feeling better, and ready to take on the world. (2)
If you use a face cream in preference to a moisturiser, you should look for a thicker, heavier cream during the winter months to provide a stronger barrier and help protect your skin from the elements.
Any product containing vitamin E is beneficial, as are product with a good SPF. Both of these ingredients will protect against damage caused by the sun, which although less intense than earlier in the year can still negatively affect your skin. If you go out on snowy days in particular, the snow can reflect damaging rays back up from the ground.
In addition to moisturisers, lip balm is essential at this time of year.
Wear appropriate clothing
Your skin is affected by the weather and protecting it with moisturisers and the like will certainly help, but physically keeping your skin covered up will help too. Wearing gloves, a hat, and a scarf will protect major areas of your body that are prone to weather damage. (3)
However, because the weather is colder, you will likely be wearing socks or tights regularly. Make sure to keep your feet thoroughly moisturised to prevent the fabric from drying them out.
Antioxidants help to protect the cells of the body from damage and can be found in many different types of food and drink. Eating a diet high in antioxidants will help protect your skin and keep it looking young and fresh.
Moisturises can also be enhanced with the inclusion of antioxidants.
Food and drink high in antioxidants include fruits (especially citrus and berries), garlic, wholegrains, vegetables, seafood, and even red wine. So, you even have an excuse for a little Christmas tipple – it’s just to keep your antioxidants up!
Drink and eat hydration
It’s easy to keep on top of your liquid intake in summer, as the heat tends to make you feel thirsty and reaching for a drink is the natural result. In winter, you’re more likely to be holding onto an eggnog latte or a hot chocolate than sipping from a bottle.
While every drink will afford some hydration, water remains the most useful drink to hydrate your body. Many foods are made of a high proportion of water – for example, cucumber, watermelon and strawberries.
By making sure you put plenty of water into your body to keep it hydrated, your body will in turn look after your skin by ensuring the hydration reaches the places it is needed the most. (4)
As the weather cools, the natural exfoliation process of the body slows down. Dead skin cells remain on the surface for longer, leaving your skin looking flat and lifeless. By manually exfoliating you will assist the body in getting rid of the dead cells and leave your skin looking brighter and younger.
Exfoliation is particularly useful prior to moisturising as the moisturiser can come into direct contact with the cells that need caring for the most. (5)
Be sure not to exfoliate too regularly as this may cause irritation which will be exacerbated by the cold weather.
Many animals hibernate and protect themselves from the extremes of weather by hiding away for several months. Unfortunately, you are not able to do that, nor should you attempt it. Keep healthy, fit and active by exercising regularly, and get outdoors for some fresh air when you can.
Exercise gets your blood pumping, which helps to transport essential nutrients and oxygen all around your body – including to your skin. (6) Being fit and making sure your circulation is good helps to keep your skin healthy too.
APOTHECARY 27 SUGGESTS
Weleda skin food
Skin Food is a universal saviour of dry, rough skin on faces, elbows, hands and feet – wherever you take a lot out of your skin, let Skin Food put it back in. With extracts of gentle viola tricolor, calendula and chamomile, in a rich, thick base of oils and beeswax, Skin Food loves your skin back to its best.
Dreamy Skin Retinyl Oil
Created for stressed-out skin by psychotherapist and fountain of skin knowledge, Charlotte Ferguson, DISCIPLE Skincare is perfect for addressing inflammatory skin issues, including adult acne, eczema and premature ageing. Everything you need in a night oil, this powerhouse treatment stars rosehip seed oil and retinyl, helping to regenerate skin cells while you sleep, reducing pigmentation, dark spots, pore size and fine lines while boosting firmness.
SHEA BUTTER FACIAL CLEANSING BAR
The rich blend of fatty acids and antioxidants in shea butter helps soothe dry skin and eczema and reduce the appearance of wrinkles. Add it to your routine with Friendly Soap’s Shea Butter Facial Cleansing Bar, which is packed full of naturally occurring vitamin A and uses one third shea butter, one third coconut oil,
one third olive oil, water and nothing else. This gentle and moisturising bar contains no fragrances or synthetic
ingredients, and cares for even the most delicate skin.