‘Baby, it’s cold outside’, as the Christmas song goes. So with festivities in our minds and winter well on its way, it’s time to turn up the heat on winter skin care. As the temperature begins to drop, we all inevitably wrap up warm in our woolly clothes and turn up the heating to feel cosy. The winter brings shorter days with less sunshine and our diets change from the plentiful supply of fresh fruits and summer salads to warmer, more comforting foods. All of these factors impact the way our skin looks and feels but it’s the constant switching from cold to warm that can play havoc with the skin, leading to dryness, tightness and even hypersensitivity.
Dry, chapped skin doesn’t sound very glam does it? Especially at a time when we all want to look our best. So what can we do to avoid it? Switching to richer oil based products is beneficial but it’s definitely time for a seasonal change and to give your routine a winter shake up.
Your most basic routine should include cleansing, using a creamy PH balanced cleanser, followed by toning. This stage ensures the skin is really clean with no cleansing residues left behind. The final step is to apply a generous layer of moisturiser. Exfoliation is essential; it’s something you should be doing at least a couple of times a week to make sure all of the dead skin cells are removed ensuring the best possible absorption of products.
At this time of the year, add in a serum to supercharge the routine and really combat dryness and dehydration. These products contain a cocktail of intensive ingredients and work at a much deeper level, giving the skin a real boost. The serum is applied after cleansing but before the moisturiser and can be included day and night. A really simple but effective ‘add on’ to your routine.
Now let’s talk about applying a face mask regularly. This not only offers you a little ‘me’ time but also work wonders for intense moisture and hydration, which is the key to this season’s skincare. Add them to your routine a couple of times a week. Even if you are short of time, applying a creamy mask while you have breakfast will nourish and hydrate your skin. Although this breakfast time look may startle the husband and children!
If you are still baffled by skincare, visit your beauty therapist. Professional salon facials are certainly a boost at this time of the year as your therapist can analyse your skin and address specific problems, whilst talking you through products. And of course a little time out in the salon works wonders for calming the mind. A facial makes a wonderful gift as well… hint, hint if my loved one is reading this!
Cold red faces
Age, I’m sorry to say, should also be a consideration when thinking about winter skincare. In the cold our skin is more prone to redness. Our bodies are trying to heat themselves, bringing blood close to the skin’s surface therefore dilating capillaries. A younger skin can bounce back from a flare up after stepping in from the cold; however, capillaries are slower to close as we age.
Try something new
Chemical peels. The name sounds dramatic but this is a great treatment that speeds up cell turn over by removing the dead skin cells and encouraging new ones. Most peels are derived from fruit acids providing a gentle treatment with no down time. I advise clients that winter is a good season to try chemical peels as the skin has limited sun exposure. Peels provide great results with skin appearing healthier, tighter and brighter and even erasing fine lines
With the chance of a kiss under the mistletoe, it’s worth keeping your lips in tip top condition. Some gentle exfoliation with some brown sugar and olive oil will remove dead skin build up. At night, apply lots of high quality lip cream. During the day use a creamy, nourishing lipstick.