Just like the seasons change, so does our skin.
During the colder months, our skin needs are different to the warmer months of spring / summer.
During the warmer months we are looking to hydrate and balance our skin with light textured, mattifying products compared to the colder months when we are looking to hydrate and repair the skin with richer products.
Our skin is constantly changing due to stress, climate, diet and ageing so it is recommended we switch up our products from Spring/Summer to Autumn/Winter.
During winter, we are faced with the cold air, harsh elements such as pollution, free radicals and now face masks to contend with. Not forgetting central heating which may keep us lovely and warm, yet strips vital moisture from our skin.
Remember our skin is our bodies largest organ. Our body is mostly water, 70% in fact. So when we do not drink enough or no water our body becomes dehydrated, as well as our skin. Aim to drink 2-4 litres of water each day. When we drink water, it goes straight to our internal organs, not our skin.
Try drinking 2 litres of water a day for 28 days without skipping a day and see the difference in your skin and how you feel.
So what can we do to help the skin on our face and body during winter?
Whatever your skin condition, we always need hydration. Even oily skin is some form of dehydrated/dry.
Oil is your best friend if you have oily skin. Oil applied topically works with your own natural oil to balance the amount of sebum naturally produced by the sebaceous glands. If you have oily skin, we tend to appreciate this a lot more as we get older than in our teenage years but why? Oil is our own natural moisturiser and also is anti ageing!
If your skin has no oil or lack of present in the skin, don't worry it just means your skin is more on the dry side. A drier skin lacks oil simply unable to produce much due to the skin being dry.
The oiliest part of our body is our back and shoulders. Who remembers break outs on this area when they were younger or may still do.
Do NOT strip the oil present in your skin by applying really harsh products or constantly applying detox products such as peel off masks and charcoal / clay based products. You will strip away all the oils leaving your skin dull, dry and miserable. All skin types suit facial oils and it is an essential in everyone's skin care regimes. You just have to embrace them, understand about your skin by listening to your facialist, a la me, and invest in good quality products. Monthly skin treatments also keep on top of your results as well as checking if your skin care needs are in need of a little adjustment.
So how can we help keep our skin 'happy' during winter?
Firstly, everyone should have some form of skin care routine, not once a week or here and there but every single day for face and body.
Did you know our skin is classed as mature at age 30. I actually started using anti ageing from a young age, probably 18 as an age preventative.
We also loose 1% of collagen from our skin a year, might not sound a lot but neither does when you hear someone say I have only lost 1lb of fat - it is actually quite a lot.
Our skin on our bodies, including our face naturally sheds every 28 days during our skin cell renewal process. Again as we age, our skin needs a helping hand. During the colder months our skin does not shed away as easily and tends to stick to our skin more. Skin can then feel scaly, dry and itchy.
Our skin is made up of 3 layers, the dermis, epidermis and subcutaneous layer. The dermis consists of 5 layers, the epidermis consists of 2 layers, made up of connective tissue and then the subcutaneous layer is the layer of skin that cushions our organs (fatty layer)
Everything external is essentially dead. Our hair, our skin and even nails.
Applying moisturiser on a layer of dry, dull dead skin cells means you are just moisturising the top layer. The product can not work through so always remember to do your exfoliation.
Exfoliate the skin on the face and body once a week, some products say 2-3x but personally I just exfoliate my skin once a week. I love a salt scrub soaking in oil. When showering off, a lovely light film of oil veils the skin - this does not mean skipping on moisturising!
Lets break things down - - - -
Dry Body Brush Daily - Am and Pm 2 minute each time. Always brush up towards the heart, skipping over the back of the knee and crease in your inner arm. NEVER body brush your face.
For best results invest in a good quality body brush, the rougher the better" Choose one with cactus bristles which enables the skin to go nice and pink. This is called erythema, where you are stimulating and increasing blood flow to the skins surface. Blood is packed full of oxygen and nutrients. This does act as an exfoliation, but should never be used instead of an exfoliator. Dry body brushing towards the heart (upwards strokes) also helps to stimulate your lymphatic system, helping to push along and release toxins from the body at the nearest lymph nodes which can can be found all over the body including; back of the knee, groin, behind the ears and underarms.
Exfoliation - once a week face and body
I love to do my exfoliation of an evening as it allows better penetration of products to absorb better. Apply your face mask or nourishing body butter / body oil and let the products absorb overnight.
Layer Locking - you will hear me speak of this a lot whether face or body.
Layer Locking means applying a product then another on top.
Example Serum, Oil, Moisturiser. This applies for face and body.
Cleanse your skin - daily am and pm
Obviously a conditioning, natural body wash for the body and a conditioning cleanser for the face.
Opt for creamy based cleansers or cleansing balms which are nourishing to the skin and do not drag the skin or take away any moisture out. Massage the product into the skin for a minute or two to activate the ingredients and to ensure you have covered all areas. During your shower (or bath) never have the water piping hot. This depletes the capillaries, resulting in them bursting but also you are causing trauma to your skin the hotter the water. Not forgetting stripping all the moisture from your skin.
Eye Care - Daily am and pm. I find a lot of people do not bother with using an eye product. These are available in the form of gels, creams or oils. I would recommend using a cream or oil eye product during the colder months. The skin around our eyes is naturally thinner and ages quicker due to the thinness. Naturally this means this area has less moisture and looses more moisture more quickly.
When it comes to removing your eye make up, to hydrate the delicate eye area, opt for a oil based make up remover designed for the eyes. You can get eye make up remover gels, which are great to use in the summer months to cool and refresh the eye area but they can feel a little drying on the thin skin around the eyes during winter as the skin here is thinner so does not hold as much moisture.
Toner / Tonic - Use daily am and pm. (not a Micellar Water) Another product that is often not used or over looked. Did you know toners help restore the skins pH balance, they also allow better absorption of other products you apply to the skin after cleansing. Think of a toner as a primer used before make up application. Choose a toner suitable for your skin needs, soothing, hydrating, balancing.....
Shower Products - Use daily am and pm. Another great way to lock in moisture and re hydrate the skin during winter, is to use a shower oil. I am personally oil obsessed and love the texture of an oil on my skin. When using a shower oil when mixed with water you are left with a delicate veil of oil on the skin which absorbs in to the skin, ensuring skin hydration. Remember not to have your shower water piping hot as this damages the skin, depletes capillaries and dries out the skin.
If shower oils are not your thing, try a shower cream designed for hydration.
Body Oil, Body Serum, Body Moisturiser - Daily am and pm
Ok so this sounds like a chore but it really does not have to be. Self care is important and essential. If you do not have time in the morning to layer lock your products, ensure you do during the evening. By layer locking you are ensuring maximum hydration. Apply your body oil first then serum and lastly your moisturiser. Massage using upwards sweeps to stimulate the blood circulation and drain toxins away.
Face Mask- Apply 1/2x a week. Is there nothing more luxurious than applying a face mask. As you all know, I personally love to apply a mask and leave it to absorb over night. For obvious reasons this does not apply to deep cleansing masks that are clay based. To ensure your skin is well hydrated, apply a creamy based mask to the skin and leave on over night. If you want to be 'extra' add a couple of drops of facial oil to your mask. The evenings you do not use your face mask, apply a few drops of facial oil to your skin and using upwards sweeps massage into the skin. By stimulating the skin you are awakening the blood circulation, bringing oxygen and nutrients to the skins surface. As well as draining away toxins and lifting the facial contours. Follow with face serum as these penetrate further in to the skins deepest layers, and are more active than moisturisers) followed by your moisturiser. NEVER skip your SPF 30/50 during the day.
Lips - Do you find your lips become dry and cracked during the colder months? Our lips deserve some winter care too. Exfoliate your lips once a week, I like to do this of an evening and then apply a nourishing lip oil or lip balm. I always apply lip balm to my lips just before bed so it can work overnight.
Hands - Our hands not only show the first signs of ageing, but they also get pretty dry during winter. Red, cracked, chapped etc... Now with harsh alcohol based sanitisers, our hands need extra moisture more than ever. Apply your hand cream daily, when required. Ensure you apply your hydrating cuticle oil to nourish cuticles and then apply your hand cream, wake up to super soft hands by morning.
Feet - Our feet are often neglected. The feet are the bodies driest body part, containing no oil glands, just like our hands. It is highly advised you use a specific foot cream to your feet and not your usual body moisturiser. This is because foot creams contains specific ingredients to nourish the feet, just like a face cream is designed for the delicate skin on our faces and so on....
Apply your foot cream daily, a great tip is to apply before bed or whilst relaxing watching tv, apply and pop on some cosy socks and let the foot cream absorb.
For product recommendations
Hair - Our hair becomes dry and brittle during the winter. Central heating, hairdryers and other hot appliances strip moisture from our hair daily. Opt for a nourishing shampoo and conditioner. Treat your hair to a weekly hair treatment. Smother your hair in oil and leave on over night or a few hours. Always use a heat protection spray throughout the year and reduce the amount of time you wash your hair / use hot appliances where you can.
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