My 10 healthy skincare tips to maintain a natural winter glow
I find winter to be my least favourite season because I don’t really like the cold, I love summer fashion a lot more over winter clothes and it’s definitely not fun having sick kids with runny noses. The winter season can cause havoc for my skin too which gets very dry leading me to always upping the ante with my skincare needs.
Cold weather and low humidity levels result in dry air, which eradicates moisture away from the skin all day long. Your skin is your body’s largest organ and therefore the first line of defense against the harsh elements of the outside world, and the elements get even harsher in the cold months of winter. Without immediate care, dry skin can lead to cracking and perhaps bleeding, and harsh winter wind makes the problem worse. Indoor heat further steals the air of moisture, as do hot showers or baths and harsh cleansers. If left untreated with those of you that have extremely sensitive skin, it can leave uncomfortable and unsightly rashes.
If you’re still using your summer products in your routine, it’s time to reevaluate. The skin naturally needs more moisture in winter, as the air is drier and tends to steal more hydration from the skin. If you don’t respond to this change in needs, your skin will end up dry, dull, and damaged. You may want to change your lotion to a cream, and consider liquid foundation or a simple BB cream foundation over powder. You may also want to change up your cleanser from a gel or lotion to a more cream-based formula. If you haven’t already, add an anti-aging serum to pump up the hydration. Your skin should feel soft, smooth, and comfortable. If you notice tightness, dryness, or itchiness, something is off and you need to try something else.
Increased moisture is the most common requirement to actually counteract these effects and keep skin looking youthful and smooth so here are some tips to try.
- Wash in lukewarm water
I absolutely love hot showers as they feel so feel good in the winter, but when you can, particularly when just washing your face or hands, choose lukewarm water to avoid stripping oils away from the skin and dehydrating your skin. Lukewarm water is best, however if you have redness in your skin try washing your face over a basin using cooler water not cold as it helps to constrict blood vessels.
- Moisturize immediately after washing
Your skin not only needs more moisture, but moisture right after you wash. Applying moisture to damp skin helps seal that dampness into the skin and helps the skin to retain its natural moisture. Keep a bottle near the bathtub, shower, and at every sink and use liberally every time you wash whether your washing your hands, body or face.
- Choose your moisturizer carefully
Some over-the-counter moisturizers have petroleum-based ingredients that can actually further dry your skin in the winter months. Be sure to choose a clean formula that has natural, nourishing ingredients. Go for an oil-based rather than a water-based solution, as it’s more likely to help your skin retain moisture in the winter.
Make oil your best friend in winter. While many of us try to avoid oil, certain products can be a miracle cure for almost any skin ailment, especially those of us plagued by dry winter skin. Oil not only adds essential oil to your stressed out skin, but seals it in to keep it healthy long after you apply it.
- Avoid neglecting your hands and feet
Dryer areas like hands, feet, elbows, and knees have thin skin and tend to lose moisture faster than other areas on the body. We tend to focus on our faces while neglecting our hands. In the last few years, I’ve realized that hands can quickly betray our age faster. It’s time to extend your skin care routine to your hands which are the first to suffer in rough, winter weather. We wash them more often to avoid getting sick, and we expose them to the elements sometimes anti-bacterial hand wash. While these products are important in avoiding the spreading of germs they are drying out your skin, a sure recipe for dry, callused old looking hands. So maybe alternate and use some natural soap and warm water occasionally. Carry a good, quality hand cream with you. Put it on after each washing. This is critical if you want soft, smooth, and young-looking hands. Step up your hand care at night. Exfoliate your hands (you can use the same product you use on your face) and apply a deep, anti-aging moisturizer.
Once we stop wearing sandals and thongs, a lot of us forget about our feet. This is a bad idea in winter. Feet (along with hands) take the brunt of the abuse, and are often the first part of the body to feel the cold. You know that the second something’s wrong with your feet, your whole body can feel off. Besides, the longer you neglect them, the harder it will be to get them looking healthy for spring.
A warm footbath can wash away all your stress in the winter, and if you add some deep moisturizer and self-massage afterwards, you’ll feel like a new person! Add Epsom salts to your bath to soothe any foot pain and soften skin, and regularly buff the soles to keep them soft and healthy. The best advice is to apply a deep moisturizing balm on your feet then wear cotton socks overnight to seal in the moisture until morning. I do this a lot as my feet are the driest area of my body.
- Protect your skin from the cold and the sun
Wearing gloves and scarves can assist from those windy days and don’t forget your SPF sunscreen. Winter sun can be just as damaging as summer sun, so apply a safe natural option to any exposed areas.
And remember, even in the chilly days of winter, the sun can damage your skin.
- Humidify your home
Heating systems dry out the air so consider installing a humidifier in your home, particularly in your bedroom, to put moisture back into the air and help prevent your skin from drying out.
- Stay hydrated
We tend to drink less water in the winter because we turn to hot drinks like coffee, cocoa and tea, but don’t forget that your skin needs hydration from the inside out. A little warm water with lemon can be very refreshing and hydrating at the same time. This is particularly nice to enjoy in the morning.
Eating foods high in water content can help hydrate your skin from the inside out. Try watermelon, cantaloupe, apples, oranges, kiwi, and watery veggies like celery, tomatoes, cucumbers, zucchini, and carrots. Make sure you’re getting enough vitamin C and zinc to support the healthy production of collagen and elastin. Also consider consuming more fatty fish and flaxseed to give your skin the building blocks it needs to appear supple and smooth.
We often forget to help the skin slough off dead cells in the winter. The first thing I would suggest is to dry brush your entire body. It helps to remove all those pesky dead skin cells and therefore brightens your skins overall appearance. It also stimulates the lymphatic system to rid our bodies of harmful toxins. Do it in the shower prior to turning the water on. Start with your feet with long light strokes upwards to your heart and then wash your body as per normal.
Use an exfoliating mask on your face and your hands, as well as gently on your lips, then follow immediately with moisture to truly see a smoother difference. Exfoliating body washes are also helpful in the winter months. I suggest exfoliating one-to-two times a week, but in the winter, that may not be enough. If you notice flaky skin, go ahead and exfoliate—just make sure you’re using a gentle product. Avoid nut-based and plastic-based scrubs, as these cause damage and irritation that can lead to redness and acne breakouts. Instead, look for Dead Sea mud or clay, papaya and other natural enzymes, oat ingredients, fruit-based ingredients, gentle acids, and essential oils. Then make sure that your moisturizer is giving your skin what it needs and add a serum for a perfect balance. Moisturizing masks can also be a saviour.
- Avoid toxins, specifically allergens and irritants
Particularly if you have eczema, dermatitis, or psoriasis, you have to avoid allergens and irritants that may trigger a flare up. Winter skin is more fragile, so avoid irritating fabrics and chemical-laden detergents, and use natural cleansers and moisturizers designed for sensitive skin.
- Use DIY masks or a hydrating sheet mask
Homemade hydrating masks can provide needed moisture in the winter months. Use natural moisturizing ingredients like honey, avocado, yogurt, olive and jojoba oils, almond oil, bananas, and aloe. Mix what you like together to create a cream or paste, and leave on skin for 10-30 minutes for lasting hydration. Natural Sheet masks are packed full of nourishing ingredients and will add more hydrating benefits to your face.
Thankfully, there are plenty of simple and easy dry winter skin solutions and check out my insta page for some of my favourite products that I love and have thoroughly reviewed that will benefit your skin naturally. By following these great quick tips, you can fight off dry winter skin in just a few minutes each day.
If you have any queries please do not hesitate to email me anytime.
And don’t forget, keep warm too!