Why Does Your Skin Suffer in Winter?
Cold weather, wind and central heating conspire to leave skin feeling tight and dehydrated as the dry air saps moisture from it. What’s more, hurrying from the cool outdoors into centrally-heated buildings and vice versa causes capillaries in the face to contract and expand quickly, which can lead to broken veins and redness. Your skin can become dull, dry and be susceptible to breakouts of all sorts – Spots, Rosacea, Eczema & Psoriasis.
The information below covers how to care for your skin over the winter and also explain how it’s not just about looking after the skin itself, but also how to achieve a glow from the inside out!
Water makes up 64% of our skin, plumps the skin, encourages collagen production & flushes toxins from our bodies. One of the best ways to keep your skin glowing in the winter is to drink PLENTY of water. As it is cold in winter, we often resort to hot drinks like coffee, tea, hot chocolate and tend to ignore the body’s need for water. Caffeine is actually a diuretic & encourages your body to release water! It is AS important to drink water in winter as we do in summer. Herbal teas are mostly OK too or perhaps try drinking hot water with lemon – gives you a bit of Vitamin C & helps to detox the body – great for keeping your skin clear.
As Christmas approaches it’s easy to fall into bad habits of comfort food, a lot more sugary foods & alcohol, which have an ageing effect on the skin & can contribute to it looking dull & lifeless. Be mindful of what you are eating & drinking & how it may impact on your skin. Here is a summary of some foods that are good for your skin;
Nuts! – particularly walnuts, almonds & brazils (oh and sunflower seeds) – preferably raw ones, not roasted & coated with things. Berries – Strawberries, raspberries, blueberries (also great for the immune system ladies!). It’s the perfect time to stock up on seasonal veggies like sprouts, cabbages, carrots and sweet potatoes. Mixture of other foods such as – Sweet peppers, pomegranates, oranges, apples, oats, green tea, olive oil, yogurt and my FAVOURITE – DARK CHOCOLATE! (But only 2 squares a day though!!)
I would now like to mention the MUSCLES on your face! The muscles on your face are the only muscles in the body that connect directly to the skin. Improving your muscle tone can give you a healthy glow & actually lift years off your face. Massaging & exercising the muscles stimulates the blood supply, encouraging a better supply of oxygen & nutrients up to the surface of the skin improving the removal of toxins and speeding up the skin cell renewal.
Massaging the Muscles
Massaging the muscles is something you can all do for yourselves every day. When you rub in your cleanser and moisturiser, give yourselves a firm massage all over your face, in little circles, upwards & outwards. You can actually press quite hard. It stimulates the skin & the muscles underneath, releasing tension, increasing blood flow & nutrients up to the skin surface.
I would also recommend a face lift massage (well I would wouldn’t I?) every 6 weeks over the winter (which is the length of one full skin cycle) to help tackle dullness & increase skin cell renewal. It also helps to minimise breakouts. You COULD go for a facial, however a Face Lifting Massage works at a deeper level, helping to plump the skin, release tension in the muscles & also to tone them.
Exercising the Muscles on your Face
…is also a great way to give your skin a glow from the inside out! I created a programme called Facetastics which is a workout for the face to help you tone lots of different muscles, reducing tension, plumping & lifting the face & minimising fine lines. There are a few exercises below from my Facetastics Programme that will help you tone your facial muscles through the winter.
A deep tension reliever and toner for the face
Open your eyes wide
Drop your jaw down
Create the biggest smile you can
Stick your tongue out and hold for 10 seconds
Repeat 3 times
Feel it: Relieves tension around your eyes, cheeks and jaw
Lower Lid Lift
Good to tackle bags under eyes and crow’s feet
Open your eyes as wide as possible
Place your fingers on your eyebrows
Try to close your lower eye lids 15 times
Feel it: In the muscles underneath the eyes
Builds up cheek muscles to help lift cheek creases
Put your lips over your teeth
Drop your jaw down (small ‘o’)
Smile widely (big ‘o’)
Repeat Small ‘o’/ big ‘O’ 10 times
Feel it: Works the muscle that links your mouth to the back of your jaw
Now you’ve had a bit of fun pulling faces, I’m now going to cover how to care for the skin itself!
A Proper Skincare Routine
A proper winter skin care routine is essential to counteract the harsh effects of winter and keep the skin looking youthful. To reduce dryness, itching and flaking. Here are some basic winter skin care tips to keep the skin feeling soft and glowing.
It’s common to become exhausted over winter; Hectic schedules, tiredness and illness can cause people to skimp on their everyday skincare; make sure you continue to cleanse, tone and moisturise every day – and never sleep in your makeup (no matter how much fun you had at a Christmas party!).
Luke Warm Water
Though hot water seems tempting in winter, it strips the skin its moisture, leaving the skin dry and itchy. It can also increase redness, particularly noticeable on the cheek area. It is always better to rinse your face with lukewarm water instead & choose warm rather than hot showers & baths.
Moisturise on WET skin
Moisturising after every wash is essential. Moisturising wet skin really helps to seal in the moisture and keeps the skin soft. After every wash, apply moisturiser liberally all over the skin.
Exfoliation is really important at this time of year with cold winds and central heating drying the skin & causing dead cells to build up on the skin surface. This clogs pores & making your moisturiser less effective as it can’t get to the layers below. Both your face AND your body can be just as prone to becoming dry and scaly in winter. Choose face & body scrubs that contain nourishing oils to leave your skin feeling smooth & moisturised. Ensure that you apply moisturizing cream as soon as possible after exfoliating to maximise the benefit. (Just be careful the scrub is not too abrasive – especially on the face & avoid any areas of redness). Tropic’s ‘Body Smooth’ is a fantastic body scrub, leaving your skin feeling silky & smooth after using.
Don’t Forget Your Hands & Lips!
Chapped lips & splits on hands are a feature for many people during the winter.
Skin in these areas is thin & they are exposed more than other parts of our body to the extremes of temperature & dryness – don’t neglect them! Cover them up, regularly use a hand moisturiser and nourishing lip balm.
Sun Protection Is Important Even in Winter
It’s deceptive, however Winter sun can be as damaging as the summer sun. There are fewer UVB rays to burn your skin, but the UVA (aging rays) that penetrate the deepest layers of the skin are still significant enough to cause damage. Apply make up with a sunscreen such as a BB cream foundation or a sunscreen when you step out of the house.
Also remember your Sunglasses! The sun in the winter can make you squint just as much – protect your eyes from sun damage and crows feet!
Use Natural Products
As an ambassador for Tropic Skincare I am always going to recommend you use natural plant based products on your skin, and there are some good reasons for this relating to the toxin build up in your body & hormonal imbalances. However in relation to caring for your skin in the winter, there are some key things to look out for:
Firstly, look at the ingredients in your cosmetics – common chemicals such as Sodium Lauryl Sulphate & other Sulphates are widely used in many soaps, cleansers, body washes & shampoos. These chemicals breakdown the top layer of the skin & remove it’s protective oils and can leave skin feeling tight, dry & irritated.
Some High Street moisturisers have petroleum based ingredients that can actually cause skin to become dryer in winter. Using natural ingredients eliminates side effects.
Always choose an oil-based moisturiser rather than water based, as oil based cream helps retain the moisture in the skin leaving it soft & supple. When it comes to toning, avoid using alcohol-containing products, as these will dry your skin out further.
There is an APP called Think Dirty that you can use to help you understand the ingredients in your personal care products & whether they might actually be damaging for your skin & body.
Thank you for reading I hope you have learnt something that will keep you glowing through the winter! Please contact me if you would like any more information on Holistic Therapies, ‘Facetastics!’ exercise programme or Tropic Skincare!