After the intense heat of summer, winter is a welcome relief to most of us. Now in the changing of the season, we need to start thinking about our skincare routine and how it too should change as the weather does. You see, your skin – no matter how healthy you believe it to be – takes a beating from the weather. Many of us pay a lot of attention to protecting our skin during summertime. We’re flooded with information on how bad the sun is for our skin, we’re preoccupied with premature aging and wrinkles as well as dark spots and so on. But we seemingly forget that the sun doesn’t disappear in winter time. The glaring stark white winter sun that we experience when the clouds have cleared is just as intense as the sun in 36 degree heat.
There are some key differences though that are important when the seasons change from warm to cold. Because cold air affects your skin differently and it can be harsh and just as damaging. You need the right protection to battle the elements correctly and in a way that your skin experiences minimal negative side effects. And this is not only important for your sensitive facial skin but for the rest of your body too.
You need a deeper, richer moisturiser
Your moisturising routine should include every part of your body and when winter hits, you need products that are richer. Your skin can dry out quickly in winter time and will need daily attention. Look for moisturisers that offer a barrier of protection too. If your skin is sensitive or you are prone to issues such as eczema, you need to find a product that will protect against an outbreak.
Cool down your showers
Jumping into a steaming hot shower after a day of wet, rainy and cold weather sounds and feels like heaven but it’s not the best idea for your skin. In fact, the steamier and hotter your shower, the more your skin will dry out. And if your skin is more sensitive than not, this practise can even irritate your skin. Rather, start off in a hot shower and then cool it down and keep the time in the shower short. Also, consider investing in an in-shower moisturiser that can be applied to wet skin and which is easily and quickly absorbed. This is an excellent dry skin treatment and as you do with your face, pat your body down to dry yourself rather than rub the towel all over.
Pay extra attention to exposed areas
Everybody has experienced winter lips. This is when your lips become dry and cracked because they have dried out from the cold air. You must invest in a quality lip balm so that your lips and the corners of your mouth remain healthy. There’s nothing worse than sore, cracked lips that bleed everytime you laugh or eat something. What’s more, when last did you consider your hands and nails? They are also prone to becoming dry and cracked in the winter months and you should treat them in a preventative manner. Barrier hand creams that are deeply moisturising are excellent for the winter time. And just as you would moisturise your feet and then cover them with socks to ensure all the moisturiser is absorbed, in winter you can do the same with your hands but use gloves. Make sure to look after your hands and lips during the winter time as there’s nothing less attractive or more unprofessional than chapped sore lips and flaky, rough feeling hands.
There’s no point to any of this unless you exfoliate
Preparing your skin for winter means you must exfoliate. This is the only way to ensure that your moisturiser actually seeps into your skin and does its job. Plus you need to regularly remove the dead skin cells from your body, this keeps your new skin healthy. Also, because the cold air is drying, when you exfoliate in winter time make sure to moisturise immediately afterwards so that the new skin doesn’t become dull and flaky. If you’ve ever noticed your elbows, knees or even nose looking ashy then it’s because the skin is dry and you are in need of a serious exfoliation.
Watch your diet
Clear and beautiful skin starts from the inside first and foremost. You need to watch your diet and eat foods that will keep you healthy and aglow. Don’t stop drinking water because it’s cold (this happens to the best of us), if you are more interested in warm beverages, then limit your caffeine intake and drink some black tea so that you remain hydrated. Also, familiarise yourself with foods that keep your skin healthy. For instance, avocados, sunflower seeds and oatmeal are all good options for good clear skin.