During winter all we want to do is to snuggle up with the heater on and eat comforting foods. Not to mention the thought of washing our face and getting all cold before bed doesn't ever seem too appealing! So because there are so many winter habits that contribute to dry, dull and blemish prone skin, I thought I would write a little list of things to help.
1. WATCH THE WATER TEMPERATURE
Even though all we want to do in winter is have a steaming hot shower and just get warm to our core, it is so detrimental to the skin. It really strips all the natural oils in our skin, and in winter your skin is probably already quite dry so we need all the natural oils we can get! However I think that it is fine to have an initial couple of seconds of heat to open up the pores, and let's be honest, it's just more realistic, however after that, just back to warm would be the best option.
This goes for washing your face as well, I know sometimes I'm so cold at night the only way I want to wash my face is with really warm water, but again, it will have the same affects, and worse as the skin on your face will most likely be more sensitive due to the constant changes in temperature.
2. MOISTURE IS KEY
As your skin is more prone to dryness as a result of the cold air and heated indoors, this is the time when you want to use a bit of a thicker moisturiser or put an oil with your current one to ensure that all of the moisture and natural oils in your skin are locked in and won't escape. If your skin is dry, it is also prone to bacteria as they flourish during colder months due to the lack of UV, so by keeping your skin moist you are keeping it from infection and pimples.
It is best to moisturise right after you have a shower or wash your face as the longer you wait the more your skin will dry out. I like to pat my skin dry and still have it a tiny bit damp when I put my moisturiser on for the best effects.
3. HYDRATION IS KEY
In winter it is so difficult to keep up your water intake as its the last thing you want, however it is so important as your skin can also get dehydrated but may just seem like 'dry skin'. In this case, moisturiser won't help as dehydration is an internal problem while 'dry skin' is a skin type. If your skin is dehydrated it will look dry, dull and your skin will also try to produce more oil to help, but will only cause pimples and blemishes. So you may find yourself having both flaky and oily skin and think, whaat? How can I have both? Dehydration is why!
To help with my water intake, I up my herbal teas so it's more appealing to drink when I'm really cold! I also like to put something in my water to make it more fun like lemon juice, berries, chia seeds or vitamin drops.
4. EXFOLIATE AT LEAST 2 TIMES A WEEK
As your skin is usually going through different temperatures, from being really cold outside to probably a heated room, your skin cells tend to dry out and die quicker than the other months. As a result, buffing away these dead skin cells will help the skin to look fresh and revitalised. It will also help your skin care products to penetrate the skin better giving optimal results.
Having sensitive skin, I usually like to exfoliate with an enzyme mask as it is more gentle than scrubs. Rather than just smoothing it on, I like to rub it on to stimulate the skin and almost do a gentle manual exfoliation as well to get the very best out of it. Then I just leave a thin layer on for about 10 minutes or until it feels like it's going hard. Make sure you take masks off at this point as to not dry the skin out.
5. LIMIT YOUR EXPOSURE TO HEATERS
My favourite thing to do in winter used to be getting as close to the heater as I could and just stay there until my skin was all red! Now I know better, but I definitely miss it haha! Heating causes such harsh dryness that it is probably the winner in causing bad skin in winter. Now I just turn my heater on in the car or my house just enough so that the room is now warm, and then turn if off again. It is also a great money saver!
6. USE CALMING PRODUCTS
Your skin is often more sensitive in winter as a result fo the constant changes in temperature, so by using calming products with things like chamomile in it will really help. Your skin may also get red and irritated more easily as a result of the weather, so it would be beneficial to really look at the ingredients of what you're buying. Certified organic ingredients would be the best option for this!
Using natural fibres would also help when you're skin is more prone to irritation so things like bamboo sheets, pillow cases and clothing.
7. INCREASE YOUR VITAMIN INTAKE
It is important to up your vitamins as it will help your immunity and also boost your skin health! Make sure to have things like vitamin A, C, D, E and Folic Acid. It is better to get these vitamins from fresh food rather than supplements as the food will give you other benefits as well!
8. BE KIND TO YOUR BELLY
I know in winter that all I feel like is hearty, comforting meals and of course, lots of chocolate! However as the weeks so go on you just feel sluggish, no motivation to exercise as its cold and your skin would be getting worse as well. However if you limit your intake treat meals you will see the benefits almost instantly, both mentally and physically. Even swapping chocolate to something like dark chocolate or dairy free chocolate will still give you the satisfaction without the negative impacts. Try to incorporate more leafy greens, healthy fats and good protein. I also like to season things with things like chilli and paprika so it will warm our bellies from the inside!
I hope these tips will help keep your skin glowing all winter long!