Winter can be extremely stressful for our skin due to constant changes in the environment. From high winds, rain and cold temperatures outside to hot, dry, low-humidity heating inside, it all wreaks havoc on our skin.
Cold weather leads to poor circulation in your facial skin, causing your complexion to lack nutrients and oxygen and the normal healthy, regenerative processes to slow down. Hence, the skin looses its radiant healthy colour and becomes dull and pale.
Staying indoors is no safer. Your skin loses moisture thanks to the environment created by heating. As a consequence, it feels tight, dry and can start to flake.
When you shift between these environments, the difference is so great and so stressful for your skin that it cannot naturally balance itself quickly enough. This results in loss of hydration along with irritation, widened capillaries and redness. All of the above contributes to skin stress, sensitivity and increased dryness.
Survive the winter wilds with these must-have products:
1. LIP BALM
Cold weather equals dry, chapped lips. Choose a specialised nourishing balm with macadamia or coconut oil to repair and soothe. Apply it each time you go outside as well as before going to bed.
The skin requires assistance to regenerate and absorb the products you have selected. Continue to exfoliate two to three times per week with either a cream containing micro-polishing particles or a cream that you buff away. Either way, be gentle. Regular application is far better than one overzealous scrub a month.
3. FACE MASK
Combat the external aggresors with a nourishing mask after you exfoliate. Wheat and quinoa plant oils help put a stop to dryness, while horse chestnut and liquorice are good for strengthening capillary walls and preventing redness.
Skin protection is not cancelled in the winter! Continue your daily use of a minimum SPF 15. The sun shines every day whether you can see and feel the rays or not.
5. HAND CREAM
Take special care of your hands as the skin there is thinner than on the rest of the body. Hands are always exposed and they are among the first to show signs of aging. Choose a rich, emollient-based hand cream and apply as required during the day. Treat your cuticles to a drenching of cuticle oil to prevent them from becoming ragged. This will also prevent flaking nails. Look out for evening primrose and aloe in the ingredient list and dig out your gloves for additional protection.
6. BODY CREAM
No matter what your skin type, it will tend to feel drier and more dehydrated during the winter. Avoid scaly skin by swapping gels and lotions for rich creams and oils. Apply daily after a bath or shower and you will be ready for exposure when the time comes.
7. BATH OIL
While it is not recommended to have long, hot baths in the winter, there is little better to warm the soul than soaking in a warm aromatic bath on a dreary evening. To protect your skin while escaping the winter blues, choose a product with a moisturising oil base. Select essential oils of rosemary and cypress to soothe aches, or lemongrass and grapefruit to lift the spirits.