Although Christmas is a time for indugence, winter can be a stressful time for our skin. The colder weather can leave our bodies in need of some extra nourishment since the humidity is generally lower. And as we tend to use more central heating, this can cause dryness, making our skin become tighter and uncomfortable. For many, trying to find ways to keep your skin glowing can be a never-ending quest, so we’ve complied a few care tips and tricks to help keep your complexion hydrated and soft.
Hydrate from the inside out
During the winter months it can be tempting to overindulge in hot chocolates and coffees. The caffeine can acts as a diuretic, which increases fluid loss and can lead to dehydration – so the best way to tackle this is to drink eight glasses a day. But reaching for coconut water is an even better choice, suggests Dr Goldfaden. Coconut water contains high levels of potassium, which is an electrolyte needed to maintain balanced hydration. You can also encourage yourself to drink more water by putting a bkr water bottle on your desk, on your bedside table or in your gym bag!
Rather than using overly greasing products, light textured creams can absorb well and leave the skin softer and smoother. Elizabeth Arden PRO Intense Hydrating Cream and Hydrating Antioxidant Spray (available from Fragrance Direct) are great products for soft, dewy skin. Dr Robin Stones, Medical Director at Courthouse Clinics, says: “During the colder months the lower temperatures challenge the barrier function of the skin making it feel drier, tighter and more sensitive. Normally the skin has a firm barrier of dead skin cells held together with essential fats and ceramides, this barrier prevents water loss through the surface and keeps a strong physical barrier against the environment and extremes of temperature.”
Step up your skincare at night
After removing makeup and the day’s pollutants from your skin, wash your face once again with a gentle cleanser. Quickly apply a heavier moisturiser, like the Overnight Mask by Clinique, which will sink into the skin throughout the night.
Use SPF all year round
Vicky Beckett, from wellness company Arbonne, explains: “The drop in temperature doesn’t mean the sun isn’t out – winter sun can cause the same amount of damage. Cloudy weather does little to protect us from harmful UVA and UVB rays which can damage the surface of the skin and cause wrinkles.” Arbonne’s Extra Moisture Restorative Day Crème has been formulated with SPF 20 to protect the skin’s youthful appearance. As an additional boost, try eating more citrus fruits, which can naturally provide UV protection.
Oils can help maximise the skin’s elasticity and replenish dehydrated skin, which is especially important during the cold winter months. Bio-Oilcombines some of the most important skincare ingredients including vitamin A and E with Calendula, Lavender, Rosemary and Chamomile oils. Justine Hextall, Consultant Dermatologist on behalf of Bio-Oil says: “When the skin becomes dehydrated it becomes dry and flaky and sometimes irritated. The skin barrier is less efficient and our skin can start to look dull and lifeless. Keep hydrated during the day. Using the right cleanser and a good moisturising cream or oil will definitely protect the skin barrier against water loss and irritants, which we encounter on a daily basis. Calm, hydrated skin glows!”
Exfoliate your body with a decent scrub to remove all of the dead and dry skin cells as well as makeup residue. Spa Find Salt Brushing, from the Spa Find Heavenly Hydration range, is an invigorating spa treatment using Dead Sea salt to naturally exfoliate the skin. Salt Brushing is a delightful blend of salts and minerals with Vitamin E and Coconut Oil. Skin texture is revived as dead skin cells are removed. Skin is repaired, protected, smooth and hydrated.
Dr Gary Goldfaden, creator of Goldfaden MD Skincare, suggests foods with high water content such as watermelon and cucumber can battle dehydration. He explains, “Eat watermelon or other fruit that has high water content – you get around 5 ounces of water per serving of watermelon so it helps to counteract approx. 1 ½ glasses of alcohol. Eating asparagus may help to protect the liver and has high levels of amino acids.”