Cold weather can play havoc with your complexion but these beauty tips will keep your skin as soft and supple as it is in the summer months
“The combination of dry air, less sunlight and colder temperatures can all contribute to winter psoriasis flare-ups,” explains Dr Ross Perry, GP and medical director of CosmedicsUK (cosmedics.co.uk). “A home humidifier may help alleviate some of the symptoms, as well as wearing soft layers to avoid irritating your skin. Choose soothing baths over hot showers, as long showers in hot water remove moisture from your skin, it's better to shower in warm water for just long enough to soap up and rinse off. Soak in Epsom salts, or dead sea salts for around 15 minutes to help ease symptoms of psoriasis such as sloughing off scales and soothing itching.” Neom Real Luxury Multi Mineral Bath Salts, £38, neomorganics.com
“Opt for a BB cream or a CC cream during the winter as they have curative and emollient ingredients, plus the coloured pigments act as a light foundation,” says Nicole Furia founder of Lakshmi skincare. “As the cold tends to dry skin, favouring creamy, liquid or gel variants for your make-up allows a more comfortable application. Choose formulas enriched with precious nourishing oils.” Nude by Nature Sheer Glow BB Cream, £22, feelunique.com
“Having an oil in your regime will strengthen and prepare your skin, making it more resistant to environmental changes come mid-winter,” advises skincare expert Corrine Morley. Trilogy Rosehip Oil Antioxidant + is a great option (£31.50, trilogyproducts.com). “The oil combines potent antioxidants, lycopene from tomato, and phytosterol from acai to help protect against environmental free-radical damage. Nourishing essential fatty acids from cranberry and rosehip to moisturise and repair, and a vitamin-rich oat extract gives a soothing, luxurious feel on the skin.”
“Continuously moving from the warmth of central heating to the chilly outdoors can cause skin to go a bit haywire,” says Dr Howard Murad (murad.co.uk). “Exfoliate your skin once or twice a week to increase cell renewal and remove dead skin cells, which can build up and result in excess oil and clogged pores, leading to breakouts.” Try Temple Spa's In The Beginning Deep Cleansing Melt (£30, templespa.com) – it has tiny crystalised beads that gently exfoliate skin before completing melting to reveal a vitamin-enriched complexion.
“Modern cleansers are designed to be most effective when used with lukewarm water, as this breaks down the dirt and make-up without stripping the skin of the natural oils needed to protect your skin,” explains Dr Howard. “By using lukewarm water, you get all the cleansing benefits of the warm water, which activates the cleansing ingredients to maximise its effectiveness, and reduces the risks of broken capillaries and over stimulation – especially important on more sensitive skin.”
“The best piece of advice I could give to anyone is to wear sunscreen every day, even in winter,” says Dr Howard. “The most damaging rays from the sun are in fact in the UVA spectrum so it’s important to look for products with broad spectrum protection, which provides protection against both the ageing UVA rays and the burning UVB rays. UVA rays are actually the same strength all year round and can even penetrate through clouds and through windows. Plus, they can contribute to premature ageing, collagen degradation and even skin cancer.” Elemis Pro-Collagen Marine Cream SPF 30, £85, elemis.com
“Don't use aggressive cleansers to wash your skin with, especially ones that use the chemical sodium laureth sulfate (SLES) – a surfactant found in many personal care products as they deprive the skin of the natural lipid state making it more exposed to the aggressions,” says Nicole. “Instead, use a cleanser that respects the integrity of the epidermis.” NH recommends Baie Botanique Regenerating Face Wash (£19, baiebotanique.com) which gently removes make up and oil while also smoothing and revitalising your skin.
“Our skin’s protective barrier struggles to adjust when moving from warm to cold areas, resulting in dry skin,” says Dr Pauline Clerkin who is working with E45 on their Straight Up Skincare Project with 45. “Using a heavier face cream and applying it regularly throughout the day will help bolster your skin’s barrier to the cold air.” This could also help if you suffer with eczema which can appear worse in the winter. “This is due to dry air, which in turn dries your skin out and leaves it feeling itchy, but it’s important to try not to scratch,” explains Dr Ross. “Carry moisturiser with you and apply it liberally several times a day to protect the skin from cold, dry winter air.” Hope's Relief Intensive Dry Skin Rescue Cream, £17.49, available from Wholefoods, Planet Organic, Revital, As Nature Intended and Panacea
You may associate bees with summer, however their wax is of great use during the winter months, too. “Beeswax is rich in fatty acids and a variety of vitamins such as vitamins A and E as well as anti-oxidants which helps to protect and repair dry rough skin,” says Stephanie Lupton-Smith from Ultra Bee (ultrabeehealth.co.uk). “It has an irritation potential of zero and will naturally hydrate the skin without clogging your pores.” Plus, when beeswax is used in lotions and creams, it creates a barrier which helps to seal moisture into the skin and protect it from environmental toxins making it great for sensitive skin and those who may be prone to eczema, psoriasis and dermatitis as there's no harsh chemicals, preservatives or parabens. Ultra Bee Exeskin Skin Balm £13.95, ultrabeehealth.co.uk
It can be easy to forget to drink water when it's cold outside but it's important to keep hydrated. The same goes for skincare too, so incorporate products that offer hydration such as Incarose Pure Solutions HA. “Apply this daily to protect your complexion against the rigors of winter,” says cosmetologist Elisabetta Albisetti of Incarose Laboratories. “Not only it is especially good for dry and mature skin but it will keep your face hydrated and enhance its elasticity as it contains hyaluronic acid.” This wonder ingredient is known for retaining moisture and plumping the skin. Incarose Pure Solutions Ha, £21, vitahealthcare.com
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