Winter is upon us and as wonderful as this time of year can be, with all those festive parties and nights out celebrating in style with friends and family, it can really take its toll on our skin, leaving it looking and feeling dry, discoloured and even painful if we’re not careful. It’s not just the partying – the weather can have a big impact as well, leaving your skin feeling red, itchy and irritated.
The good news is that there’s a lot you can do to make sure that your skin takes the winter weather in its stride, no matter how many nights out you go on and no matter how much the wind, rain and snow tries to break you. You do have to be on top of it, however, so here are a few tips to help you make sure your skin stays looking healthy and glowing from now right through until spring.
Hydration will always be your skin’s first line of defence and you must make sure that you drink enough water each day to keep you well hydrated. If you wait until you’re thirsty, then you’re already dehydrated so try to have six sips of water or so each hour to keep you properly hydrated throughout the day.
Your skin will really thank you for this as drinking water can help to flush out toxins in your body that can result in breakouts, acne and dry skin. Remember that if you’re exercising you should drink an extra one to two litres of water per hour of exercise to keep your hydration levels up.
Take your makeup off
Again, this rule applies no matter what time of year it is but it’s perhaps especially important during the festive season when you’re likely to be out and about more, celebrating with loved ones. Always make sure that you take your makeup off at the end of the night before you get into bed, even if you can’t quite get it together enough to do your full nighttime skincare routine.
Remember that if a job is worth doing well, it’s also worth doing poorly – so always do the most that you’re able to at a particular moment in time, even if it’s just wiping your makeup off at 2am before falling fast asleep. Your skin will thank you for it in the morning, we promise.
Avoid foaming face wash
Your skin is likely to be drier at this time of year and if you find yourself really suffering, you might want to change the face wash you’re using, as this could be having an impact on the look and feel of your skin.
If you find yourself really struggling with dry skin right now and are worried that it’s only going to get worse, avoid foaming face washes like the plague. While these do make your skin feel incredibly clean, they strip it of all its natural moisture – which you really need during the winter months.
Instead, use an oil-based cleanser to take your makeup off and follow it up with something like this Ultra Facial Cleanser from Kiehl’s, which features avocado oil, vitamin E and apricot oil to keep your skin feeling soft and well hydrated.
Don’t forget the sun cream
You might think you don’t need to wear sun cream at this time of year but you’d be wrong… you should always make sure that you include sun cream in your skincare regime somewhere to make sure you’re protecting your skin from harmful UV rays. The easiest way of doing this is investing in a day cream that already has SPF in it, so you don’t even have to think about it.
Remember that if you’ve gone away for a snow holiday that snow can reflect the sun’s rays and increase your risk of exposure, so always make sure you protect your skin properly – even if you think it’s a bit of a grey day and the risks are minimal.
Temptation is rife at this time of year and you should never feel guilty for overindulging on the cake, sweets and chocolates… but bear in mind that your skin may well reflect your dietary choices over the next few weeks so try and balance the gluttony out with lots of fresh fruit and vegetables as well.
Use a humidifier
Never forget that the drier the air at home, the drier your skin will be so you may want to increase the amount of water in the air. You can do this easily by using a humidifier either in the living room or the bedroom (or wherever you spend most of your time at home). This will increase moisture levels in the air and help your skin stay properly hydrated.
Try some light exfoliation
Exfoliation is essential for healthy skin and if you suffer from dry skin, you won’t be able to get rid of it easily without a bit of buffing each week. Go for a gentle product to help get rid of all those dead skin cells and make sure that you use soft gentle movements while exfoliating to avoid damaging the skin itself.
Exfoliate once or twice a week and remember that doing it more than this can actually have a negative impact on your skin and even make your skin look older than it is.
Don’t forget nighttime skincare
Make your products work hard for you even as you sleep, hydrating your skin without you even having to think about it. Anything with avocado in it will really help give you a hydration boost and you could even go for an overnight hydrating mask to make sure you wake up looking fresh as a daisy, no matter what the weather is doing outside.