Winter months are gruelling for your skin: the air is drier and harsher both inside the home and out, we turn to comfort foods to keep us warm, statistics show we exercise less – and yet, most of us keep the same skincare routine as we have done all summer long. You look in the mirror and are faced with dull, dry skin… but you can have radiant and glowing winter skin, and protect it from the elements too! Here are my tips for achieving your best ever winter skin:
1. Add humidity back to your homes and offices: we search for cover from the cold in heated homes and offices, and the air here is so much drier because of heating systems taking moisture out of the air. See the difference made to your skin by investing in a humidifier. Not only will your skin thank you, but you can say goodbye to sore throats and dry eyes too. You can either buy a humidifier, a humidifier bag (there are some for the car too), or put a damp towel over your radiators as an economic option.
2. Cleanse once a day (preferably at night) with a gentle cleanser like Pure Balancing Cleanser that doesn’t dry out your skin and wash with lukewarm water: your skin’s primary function is as a barrier to pathogens and therefore contains millions of microbe colonies on its surface. These microbes have recently also been proven to help immune function and fight off infection. Your skin’s surface is also made up of fatty acids that protect the skin’s integrity and elasticity and many cleansers rob the skin of this essential skin component. Both of these pieces of information are further proof to the theory of once a day cleansing. You can also try oil cleansing a couple of days a week! And don’t forget to pat your face dry with a towel, rather than aggressively pulling and swiping which could lead to damage.
3. Moisturise with an oil-rich cream: this does not mean the cream is heavy, but the percentage of oils in the cream should be high to reinstate the moisture to your skin to keep its elasticity and suppleness, ideally our Intense Hydrating Cream which is made especially for the winter months. The cream should still feel like it is there and keeping your skin moist at the end of the day, and should ideally not contain silicones. If your skin is really dry, try 3 or 4 drops of Complete Replenishing Oil under your moisturiser and make-up.
4. Exfoliate once every 10 days: your skin needs a rest during the winter and you should not be pushing it to regenerate itself via exfoliation or peels too much due to the external exfoliation it is already having to endure with the cold air. I suggest mild exfoliation at one of our Elethea facialists, once every 10 to 14 days.
5. Clean up your diet: An occasional glass of alcohol is unavoidable in the winter months with all the parties, but there are other ways to clean up your diet and still feel like you are eating for comfort. Swap sugar for agave or medjool dates – instead of chocolate, how about our sugarless raw-cacao truffle which is incredibly delicious as so many of you have told us! Also, include oily fish a minimum of 3 times a week in your diet for your omega-3 and omega-6 intake, be generous with the amount of vegetables you intake and avoid pasta, potatoes and white rice and bread as much as possible. It’s also a great idea to get your water intake through herbal teas or green teas. Green tea contains antioxidants called polyphenols, which in a recent study were shown to increase the blood flow to the skin structure and thereby visibly improving the skin.