Oxford Street and Covent Garden Christmas lights are up, festive coffee paper cups are out, chapped lips and lip balm in hand- this can only mean one thing... Winter is here! Skincare tips for summer differ to those of winter when our skin has different neds.
Colder temperatures can be harsh for the skin, the lack of humidity, sun and cold winds strip the moisture of your skin increasing the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines during colder months. The more dehydrated your skin is the more visible flaws become, winter skin requires a skincare routine with plenty of humectants which help prevent loss of moisture by attracting water to the skin. No matter what skin type you have, your skincare routine needs to be modified in the colder months to provide protection to your skin. Here's our tips for healthy skin...
Switch your face wash
The changing environments (e.g. cold temperatures inside, toasty warm temperature inside) during cold season are some of the reason why our winter skin needs extra care to prevent drying. It's worth switching your face wash for an oil cleanser, cleansing balm (contains oils) or cream cleanser, ultimately chose whichever one works best for you. All three type of cleansers lifts the makeup and dirt off your skin, without stripping skin of its natural oils. Look for cleansers with shea butter-rich vitamin E which works in blocking free radicals from our body thus reducing wrinkles and making the skin look youthful and Vitamin A, with antioxidant properties, aids collagen production and helps damaged skin heal like Sönd Cleans Slate Cream Cleanser containing; shea butter, cocoa butter, chamomile, marigold, apricot, and jojoba.
Just like sunscreen in the summer is fundamental to our skincare routine, moisturiser needs to be equally as important especially during the colder months. How to look after dry skin is especially important in the winter. The cold air can strip the moisture out of your skin and shrink your pores, which can cause heat to increase under the skin and produce oily skin, redness rashes and acne. It's worth looking for a pre-moisturiser serum with hyaluronic acid, a naturally occurring substance found in our joints, eye sockets, skin and other tissues in the body providing help in elasticity, flexibility, moisture and retaining collagen. For an extra daily hydration look for products containing olive oil abundant in antioxidants, vitamin E, and fatty acids omega-6 and omega-3. You can also use organic olive oil directly on your skin or mix a couple of drops to your skin moisturiser for extra hydration. Moringa Oleifera is another ingredient to look out for as it is rich in vitamin C (helps the repair of body tissues and formation of collagen), vitamin B (retains moisture), vitamin A ( helps develop tissue necessary for firm skin) and contains purifying skin properties. You can find products containing hyaluronic acid, olive oil, moringa and other active ingredients designed to hydrate your skin as it penetrates to the deepest layer of the skin, helping to restore its natural barrier like our Sönd Strength Training Serum.
Adjust your diet
Winter months also equal comfort food. Make sure to apply the "rainbow" diet approach, incorporating fruit and vegetables to help strengthen your immune system and fight off infections. Yellow and orange foods are particularly beneficial for your skin. Stock up on sweet potatoes, mango and red pepper which are full of Vitamin A, that helps keep the skin healthy.
Naturopathic Dr. Isabel Sharkar recommends eating plenty of foods high in vitamins A, C, D and E in addition to zinc, selenium, and Omega 3s. A diet rich in dark leafy greens, ginger, garlic, fermented foods rich in probiotics, red bell peppers, broccoli, almonds, avocados, citruses like lemons and oranges, cayenne pepper (red capsicum), turmeric, sweet potato, beetroot, oregano, bone broth and chicken soup. Also, stock up on superfoods like Camu Camu, bee pollen, Manuka honey, and reishi mushroom to avoid getting run down in the winter, fight off illnesses and those nasty bugs.
Turn on that humidifier
Heating dries out the air in your home, so it is worth getting a few small humidifiers to place around your home, to prevent the dry warm air from drying out your skin.
Don't forget about your hands
The skin on your hands is thinner than on other parts of your body and has fewer oil glands. That's why it is hard to keep them moisturised in the cold, dry months. Before going to bed exfoliate your hands with homemade olive oil and sugar exfoliating scrub, if you suffer from extra dry hands during the winter time you can apply moisturiser after exfoliating before the skin is completely dry in order to lock most moisture and wear cotton gloves to bed. As tempting as it is, don't wash your hands with hot water as it strips your skin from its natural oils, opt instead for warm water and use a moisturising hand wash. Make sure to wear gloves when you go outside, and moisturise your hands regularly to prevent dry, cracking skin.
Be aware of hot baths
Hot baths have been proven to have many health benefits like encouraging a good night sleep, reduce cold symptoms and help with joint pains, however, if you suffer from rosacea it can also trigger flare-ups. That does not mean you have to deprive yourself of a nice bath, make sure you keep the temperature below 37°C at the warmest, ideally between 23.8 °C to 29.4°C, temperature. Tolerance varies among individuals if you want to find your limit listen to your body and start at the coolest temperature and work your way up to warmer temperatures.
If you want to enjoy baths without worrying about your skin being stripped of its natural oils you can add table salt or any of another salt like pink Himalayan salt and drops of your favourite essential oils to your bath or buy Epsom salt with essential oils. It helps the body expel toxins, increase blood circulation and heal dry skin by helping the absorption of oils into the skin. Make sure you moisturise after you bathe while the skin is still damp to lock in moisture.
This article is not meant to treat or diagnose. Please visit your doctor for advice about any health concerns you may have.