Two-thirds of women in the northern hemisphere suffer from dry skin in the winter months. For many of us, moving from hot, centrally heated rooms into the cold, and using harsh cosmetics and lotions are all contributing factors. When you couple this with all the toxins you’re likely to consume at Christmas in the form of fatty, sugary foods and alcohol, it’s no wonder our skin tends to lack its usual glow at this time of year.
We’re firm believers that prevention is better than the cure so we’ve put together a few tips to follow to help you prolong your glow through the winter months.
#1 Drink more water
Yes, we’ve all heard it before, drinking plenty of water helps keep your skin plump and hydrated. But in winter the need to hydrate becomes even more important. During the summer, it’s warm so we’re more inclined to drink water for its cooling, thirst quenching properties. At the first sign of cold weather we’re swapping water for warming hot chocolate! Try pouring yourself a glass of water for every hot drink you consume. Your skin will also thank you for limiting your consumption of caffeine and alcohol. At the same time, eating foods rich in oils, such as salmon and avocado will replace lost essential oils in your skin.
#2 Avoid very hot baths and showers
If your skin is lacking in hydration, exposure to very hot water is likely to make it worse. If you can’t do without a hot shower after a bracing winter walk, turn down the temperature and spend a little less time in there. Adding a few drops of essential oil to the warm water – we recommend Jasmine and Neroli oils – will help to nourish dry skin.
A warm bath or shower is the ideal time to slough away dead skin cells and reveal replenished and smooth skin. Exfoliation prevents clogged pores, which dull skin and cause breakouts. Avoid harsh exfoliators and opt for a natural product instead. We love Neal’s Yard Remedies’ Frankincense & Mandarin Body Polish, which moisturises at the same time as gently exfoliating. The scent of frankincense should also get you feeling ultra Christmassy!
For a real treat, why not try our Top to Toe body scrub. We guarantee to leave your skin firm and rejuvenated.
#4 Apply plenty of moisturiser
After your warm bath or shower, slather on the moisturiser whilst skin is still wet to lock in moisture. An oil-based cream containing shea butter, cocoa butter, jojoba oil or sunflower oil will do the trick. Treating yourself to a quality natural moisturiser increases the water content of the skin and gives it a soft, moist appearance.
At the same time as you swap your summer dresses for chunky knits, change your usual facial moisturising lotion for a thicker oil-based cream. We’ve switched to Neal’s Yard Remedies’ Jasmine Enriching Cream. It nourishes and replenishes skin whilst helping it to retain moisture. Combining your cream with an oil or serum will also up the plump factor!
Dreaming of a white Christmas? If you’re off skiing or building snowmen with the kids, your skin is still susceptible to the sun’s rays. Winter sun gains intensity as it reflects off the bright white snow and on to any exposed skin. Check that your new moisturiser offers SPF protection, or wear an additional sunscreen.
#5 Cover up
Always wear gloves to protect your hands when you’re out in the cold and wind. If you have time, slather on some replenishing hand cream before you pop your gloves on. To combat dryness, try applying a thick layer of hand cream before you do the washing up. The combination of protective gloves and warm water helps the cream to soak in, leaving your hands beautifully smooth and hydrated. It may not be as glamorous as a luxury manicure, but it sure does the trick for us.
A quick slick of lip balm will help prevent dry, flaky lips and, if you know your cold sore trigger is dryness, help prevent those nasties too. Dry lips are a clear sign of dehydration – so if you have those, it’s back to drinking plenty of water again!
Share your winter skincare tips
If you have any of your own natural remedies for preventing or treating dry skin, we’d love to hear them. Leave us a message below and we’ll share them on our Facebook page.