There is so much to look forward to as winter starts to creep in. Cosy evenings curled up in front of the fire, hearty meals and, most importantly, hot chocolate! I love the idea of winter. Getting into your jammies when you get in from work (come on its not just me). And slowly working my way through a Netflix series with the electric blanket on. Rock and roll I know!
But on the flip side, I hate being cold and the affect it can have on my skin. The second the heating goes on it’s almost like I can feel my skin drying out and rapidly aging. A bit like in that scene from Indiana jones and the Last Crusade… The winter can be so cruel to our skin, often leaving us feeling dull, dry and sore.
I have been a beauty therapist for over 15 years. And in that time, I have constantly been asked how to look after and heal winter damaged skin. How many of us have had painful cracked lips, dry and tight skin or even chapped, cracked hands? Too many of us! However, we can help prevent these things from happening and keep our skin looking rosy and feeling comfortable this winter. You know me, I’m all about keeping a simple, effective, and realistic skincare regime. So, I have put together my top 5 tips that will get you through winter glowing!
But first, let’s take a quick look at what happens in the winter that makes our skin so uncomfortable?
Having our heating on takes out much needed moisture and dries out our skin. It’s the same with your car heaters, so try make sure they are pointed away from your face. When your skin becomes dry and dehydrated it feels, tight, itchy and becomes unbalanced.
Obviously in winter it’s colder and windier but it’s also less humid. The cold wind and lack of humidity will dry out your skin and disrupt its protective layer. It will leave you with sore, irritated and even cracked skin. This can leave your skin exposed, less protected and feeling pretty uncomfortable.
Did you know washing in water that is too hot will dehydrate your skin and remove its natural oils? I am a lover of a hot bath. But if you notice your skin getting more uncomfortable in the winter, then I would reduce the water temperature. This is especially so if you get cracked hands as hot water will make them worse.
We can’t avoid the winter and we need to put our heating on, so what can we do? How can we keep our skin nourished and protected?
1. Rethink your cleanser!
Cleansing balms are ideal for winter as they have a much more soothing and nourishing effect. All of ours are soap and alcohol free so it won’t strip your skin and disrupt the pH balance, but will remove excess oil and impurities. After cleansing, your skin should feel soft and supple and you shouldn’t feel like your skin is tight. If it is, then your cleanser is probably too harsh and it’s best to try a new one.
Get your cleansing balm and massage it into your face with wet fingertips. Then remove it with warm water and a flannel. This should leave your skin feeling fresh, supple, and calm. When it comes to our cleansing balms we have enough to suit all and skin types. Calming for dry and sensitive, skin boost for all skin types and radiance for combination/breakout skin.
Don’t be put off if you have an oily or spot prone skin. Our radiance cleansing balm is amazing for your skin too. I’ve had acne my whole life (due to PCOS) and my skin is so much better with natural and gentle cleansing balm. Using a strong, astringent product can actually remove too much oil which disrupts your skin’s protective layer.
You can actually double up with this product too and apply a small amount on top of your usual routing before you go out into the cold to protect your face.
Don’t fear heavier creams in winter or adding on a facial oil. I add an oil at night to keep my skin nourished and plump. At my age it also helps to keep away the wrinkles and works on dryness through the winter. Try to find a cream and oil that’s rich in essential fatty acids and vitamin E to help strengthen your skin’s lipid film (protective layer).
If it’s a cold day or if I’m running in winter, I usually apply a layer 0f our calming balm to act as a barrier. I do this before I leave to give my skin an extra layer against the elements. It’s all about keeping your skin’s protective layer healthy and preventing your skin from drying out and becoming exposed.
Check out our calming range if you find your skin getting very dry and uncomfortable through the winter.
3. Hand cream… keep it handy
Cracked, chapped hands can be incredibly painful and really hard to heal. The best thing we can do is to try and prevent it from happening in the first place. Keep a good quality hand cream in your handbag and re-apply it after washing etc. I try keep one in my bag, by the sink and one richer one by my bed. Having them dotted around ensures that I’m not going to forget. It may sound excessive but, for me, if it helps me remember to put it on, then it’s worth it.
If you find your hands really suffer in the winter, then look for a balm too. You can just use this at night or apply it locally to the sorer areas. I tend to use my calming balm over my standard cream if I feel them becoming uncomfortable. With oat and avocado oil it’s going to help with your skins protective barrier and enrich your skin with essential fatty acids.
If you find that your hands don’t get chapped, then I wouldn’t worry about the balm. Just using a regular hand cream should be enough to keep the skin soft and supple. You can just apply the balm before going out into the cold as a preventative.
Try to remember to wear gloves when you’re out as this will really help reduce the risk of cracking skin. And keeping the water temperature warm, instead of hot, will prevent stripping your skin’s natural oils and causing further discomfort.
4. Exfoliate less
As someone who loves a good scrub, this takes a bit of getting used to. With so many elements working to unbalance your skin, the last thing you need is more irritation caused by over-exfoliating. Try reducing the frequency down to once a week or even using a “polish” rather than a scrub. They gently sweep away dead skin and impurities without being too abrasive, leaving your skin protected.
5. Lather on the lip balm
Cracked and sore lips in the winter is horrid. When they feel rough, then split… Argh! Not to mention when your lips are so dry, they just absorb your lipstick. And then you’re left with the dried colour around the edge of your lips! We have all been there and it’s not the best look.
Before leaving to go out, make sure you apply some lip balm. You can even do this over your lipstick or under… Or both. This will nourish your lips as well as create a protective barrier, preventing them from drying out further. Just like with the hand cream, I keep one in my bag and one by my bed. This ensures that I don’t forget and leave out this step. I’m all about convenience! Try to make this part of your daily regime. It will make a big difference when the cold wind really starts to blow!
So, there you have our 5 best tips for gorgeous skin this winter. They are simple steps that will make a big difference. I advise starting them now rather than waiting for your skin to start getting sore. Let me know if this advice helps you or if you have any of your own “top winter tips”. I always love finding new great skincare advice.
For more advice and tips on your skin just drop me a comment or a message.
Keep your skin safe this winter