Cold, winter weather outside and central heating on when you’re inside can really beat up your skin at this time of year. But if you step up your skincare regime, your complexion can go from tired, pasty and puffy to radiant in no time at all.
First off, have a look at your diet. Almost all of us are wolfing back things we might avoid in summer, thinking that we don’t have to watch our waistline until bikini season. But, refined sugar, processed food and a distinct lack of fresh fruit and veg in our diets can result in mini patches of inflammation, this leads to all kinds of issues from blackheads, to enlarged pores, to dark circles under our eyes and, spots – as well as flare ups of eczema, or dry, flaky skin. You know the drill; more water, more oily fish, more anti-inflammatory and antioxidant-packed food. A really good way to avoid any temptation is to do your grocery shop online if you don’t already, that way you can ensure you have lots of water and healthy food to hand at home and you won’t be tempted by the bakery and biscuit aisle or take away food.
LA-based Adina Diaz of Natural Feeling Spa adds: “Internally, you want to make sure you increase your intake of Omega 3 essential fatty acids. The best supplement for this is Flaxseed Oil. Of course the almighty water intake is a must, even in the winter.”
While the odd glass of red wine is definitely not a bad thing, don’t forget that if you’re drinking every evening then that will show up on your skin, because alcohol does dehydrate you and interrupts a deep, healing beauty sleep, as well as being a depressant that can also cause anxiety (and being stressed plays havoc with your skin.) A good swap is to sip fizzy kombucha tea in the week, then save wine or your favourite tipple for the weekends if you want your skin to glow and your eyes to sparkle.
Next, it’s time to break out the big guns; top skincare gurus often advise changing your skincare routine each season when the weather changes: Now is a good time to invest in a quality oil and try oil cleansing instead of washing your face with a scrub in the shower, or using more drying ways to cleanse. Oil adds extra moisture, gives your skin a youthful vitality, and it heals problem areas as well as acting as a barrier against the cold.
Once you have found an oil that you like, which suits your budget, cleansing is simple: Put a few drops of your preferred oil into the palm of your hands, rub together until gently warmed then dot under your eyes and lightly all over your face. Next, take a warm fluffy hand towel or wash cloth that has been dipped in hot water and put it over your face for about ten seconds, breathe in and out and then smear any excess off. You can dot a little extra oil under your eyes and over your lips at the end. The very best time of day to do this is about an hour before bed, so the oils work their magic overnight. There’s an extensive how to guide here, but remarkably, instead of making spots flare up, oil cleansing is one of the very best methods for cleansing, healing and moisturising sensitive skin.
If you can afford it, the winter months are the best time to take yourself off for a facial with an expert. If you pick one with a waiting list, or book one at a spa, you’ll find you up your skincare game significantly in the weeks while you’re waiting to see them (nobody wants to be told off by their facialist for not drinking enough water, for example) so you come out glowing.
What are your favourite winter skincare tips? Let us know in the comments.