How to Beat Your Winter Skin Blues
By Livia Mercer
With the onset of autumn and winter fast approaching, a lot of us are experiencing dry or drier skin. Our initial reaction can be to rush out and buy a heavier or more emollient moisturiser. While in some cases this is needed, for the most of us that is not the case.
Why do I say that?
To start with let me explain what a moisturiser is and isn't. The word moisturiser is actually quite misleading as it does not add any moisture to the skin. As we age our skin gets thinner allowing moisture to escape. The moisturiser simply acts as a barrier, prevents this water loss and helps maintain existing moisture levels in the skin.
So how do we keep and maintain baby soft and comfortable skin during winter?
Here are a few recommendations to go by:
1) Only use very Gentle Cleansers and Scrubs.
Sometimes our tendency is to scrub those dead skin cells away as fast as we can. This however can do a lot of damage to the skin. Rather try an exfoliating lotion like Clinique Clarifying Moisture Lotion or Shiseido Bio-performance Intensive Clarifying Essence. These chemically exfoliate the skin without harsh granules to scratch or irritate the skin.
2) Use water-rich products rather than oil-rich.
Sometimes all the skin really needs is literally water or moisture rather than oils in the form of a moisturiser. Especially if you are in a particularly drying environment such as air-conditioning, high winds, flying or extreme cold. In this case make sure your skin is moist before applying your moisturiser.
There are some great spitzes on the market that really hydrate the skin such as:
House of Herbs Organic Rose Hydrating Mist, Claudalie Grape Water, Shiseido The Skin Care Soothing Spray. Clinique also have a whole range called Moisture Surge and it contains a gel-cream, eye gel and a face spray. These are all great to stop your skin from dehydrating. Personally I always carry a small bottle of face spray with me in my handbag, because most of these sprays you can use over the top of your makeup. So use them throughout the day, whenever you feel the need to.
3) Remember the skin south of your neck too.
During winter, dry scaly skin on your legs, knees and elbows is not uncommon. A great way to solve this for me is to pour body oil in my bathwater. You don't need much - the same amount as if you would be applying it directly to your skin but it's the lazy person's way of making sure your whole body is covered in oil. Also pure olive oil is fantastic, especially for the elbows and knees. Joan Collins recommends this.
As both these areas have thinner skin and fewer lipids in the skin than the rest of the face, it is vitally important to look after them well. Not by applying heavy creams as this will only block the pores and cause milia and other problems but by using products that will retain the moisture levels.
5) Remember your hair.
Hair takes a lot of beating through the colder months. In summer it's the sun, salt and chlorinated water, in winter it's the hairdryer and the cold. Apply regular hair masks or oils. I love Unrefined Coconut Oil in my hair but some prefer olive oil. Whatever it is you like to use make sure you do it regularly.
Following these suggestions, not only will your skin beat the winter blues but you will also develop great skincare routines that you will take with you into next summer.
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