Six steps to happy skin this winterPosted on: 08 November 2017 by Katy Hull
Love your skin and it will love you back. Anti-ageing skincare specialist Katy Hull offers her top tips for happy skin this winter.
As we’re now in the beautiful season of rich colours, crisp mornings, warming comfort foods, boots and cosy knits… we’re also in the season where we need to make some adjustments to our skincare regime if we want our skin to remain hydrated, moisturised and happy.
Just as we make natural choices to nurture and nourish our bodies differently as the seasons change, it makes sense to do the same for our skin.
The central heating going on makes a big difference to how our skin looks and feels. Central heating sucks the moisture from skin. Combine this with trips outdoors with contrasting temperatures and chilly winds and you’re left with skin that feels dry and dehydrated. It may be prone to more redness and generally have a more ‘lacklustre’ appearance – not what we want with the festive season upon us!
The following tips can be implemented easily and will help your skin to stay happy this season
Hydration is key
As tempting as it is to reach for hot drinks such as tea and coffee during the colder months, it’s just as important to ensure we’re drinking enough water. I always start my day with a coffee, but not until I’ve had some water to hydrate my body. If you can drink some water (perhaps warm water with lemon) first, this gives your body a nice boost of hydration that it needs after resting all night. Throughout the day try and switch regular tea and coffee to herbal teas that are antioxidant rich. If plain water isn’t your thing, try it infused with different fruits or some ginger.
Use a cream or oil-based cleanser
As we age, and hormone levels decline, skin becomes drier. Using a cream cleanser or an oil-based cleanser is usually a better approach, and certainly in autumn/winter when the need for more moisture is even greater. A creamy cleanser will remove makeup and impurities without stripping the skin of much needed moisture. It will also help to leave skin feeling more moisturised and supple.
Layer hydrating serums and creams
Layering skincare products more during the autumn/winter months is a good idea. Just as we layer up with our clothing, our skin appreciates light layers. Think of your serums as your light layers and a replenishing cream as the coat you wear outdoors or your duvet at night. The serums are the potent concentrations of vitamins, antioxidants and ingredients that work hard to treat skin issues and protect against free radical damage with antioxidants.
A thicker, hydrating cream at night layered over the top will ensure you wake up to skin that feels soft, moisturised and nourished, rather than dry and parched. Make your evening skin care regime a priority and some time out for self-care. As we’re sleeping our skin is being repaired and rejuvenated, so ensuring it has a supply of nutrients via our skincare products really makes a big difference. Take the time to really massage your products into your skin too. It boosts circulation and encourages product absorption, rather than products just sitting on the surface of the skin.
Protection is still essential
Wearing a good quality SPF Cream daily is still essential. The days may be darker and cloudier, but UV rays are still present and able to damage skin if left unprotected. Make SPF a part of your daily routine all-year-round, just like brushing our teeth is a daily habit. This step is not one to be missed and will really help to delay those lines and wrinkles for much longer.
As we age skin cell turnover slows down much more and can be sluggish. This decline means that dead skin cells can tend to build up, giving skin a dull appearance. Cell turnover can be encouraged, and dead skin build-up removed via exfoliation. Gently exfoliating the skin regularly will give your complexion a fresher appearance. It will help to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, whilst promoting a more even skin tone. Any products you use will also be able to work more effectively as they are absorbed more easily. The best ways to exfoliate are with products that contain Enzymes and AHA’s, or manually with an exfoliating tool. Harsh scrubs are not recommended and can do a lot of harm to your skin. Two to three times a week may be ideal when it comes to exfoliating, but do pay close attention to your skin as this is a general recommendation and we’re all different. Not everyone’s skin will like that much exfoliation and it can be easy to overdo it.
Top up your good fats
Fatty acids are often referred to as ‘essential fatty acids’. They’re exactly that! Essential for our well-being and good health. They’re certainly essential for good skin health which is a reflection of our overall health. Good fats in our diet help to promote skin that feels suppler and has better elasticity. Skin that is lacking in essential fatty acids will feel dry, thinner and look more wrinkled. Fatty acids help our skin cell membranes to be strong and firm, which results in thicker and firmer skin that has a certain glow about it. When our skin’s cell membranes are strong, they’re able to hold more moisture in our skin, which makes such a big difference to how skin looks and feels. To ensure you’re getting enough in your diet, include olive oil and coconut oil. Eat avocados, nuts and seeds. Oily fish is good too. Top up your levels with a good quality fish oil, rich in omega 3. When you do this, you’ll be amazed at the difference it makes to your skin.
Just a few simple swaps and your skin will remain happy and glowing throughout the autumn and winter months!
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