By Lora O’Brien
Wind. Freezing temperatures. Indoor heating. All of these factors can wreak havoc on our skin. The mix of cold with low humidity steals all moisture, leaving us with a dull, dry complexion that’s prone to flaking, redness and even cracking. What’s worse, to combat the cold, we turn up the central heating and take longer, hotter showers and baths – all of which magnify the drying effect on our skin.
Of course, the products which you choose to moisturise matter greatly. But alongside your skincare routine, I have a few tips for winter skin survival:
Choose warm over hot water
Sure, when it’s freezing cold outside, every part of us craves a long, warm bath to bring us back to life. But whilst this can momentarily warm you up it can also make your skin suffer more. Hot water strips essential oils away from the skin, so when taking a bath or a shower keep the water warm, and resist the temptation to spend more than 5-7 minutes in the shower.
Moisturize immediately afterwards
Your skin is screaming out for moisture during winter, and no time is more pivotal than after we wash. I know placing cold cream onto cold skin can feel like torture, so do so right after you’ve washed. Applying a moisturiser to skin when it’s damp will help lock in moisture.
Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate!
We tend to forget the importance of water during winter, and who can blame us? Every coffee shop we passes has the alluring scent of sugary winter beverages. But remember that to hydrate our skin on the outside, we need to hydrate from the inside – and that means water. Try to swap your morning coffee for a hot tea or infusion or warm water with lemon; not only will it freshen your breath it will also hydrate and perk up your skin.
Choose your skincare carefully
In winter, we need to slather on creams from nose to toes – and if you’re not using clean beauty products, that can mean you’re covering yourself in nasty chemicals! Choose a pure skincare product with lots of natural, nourishing ingredients, like shea butter, coconut oil, chamomile or jojoba oil, for example. Not sure what to buy? Check our guide, below.
When the weather’s dry, it’s wise to switch to an oil based cleanser. Foaming cleansers can strip your skin of its natural oils, making dry skin even worse, but this gorgeous cleansing oil is enriched with super-nourishing ingredients such as jojoba and sunflower oil, which work to wash away grime and dirt.
When your skin is dry, it can clog up your pores, causing dullness or breakouts, so you may need a little extra pampering to keep your skin clean and healthy. Using a peel will naturally scoop out crap from those tiny holes in your skin, without leaving you dry. This gel-like formula also gives your skin a shot of anti-oxidising vitamin C.
With the tough weather your skin faces on a daily basis, it needs to be rewarded every now and then with a moisture rich mask. This is a lusciously, creamy formula is a much loved (and purchased!) product that’s packed with natural botanicals that work to soothe, protect and detox even the dullest of complexions. Prepare for skin that glows right after using this!
Whether you’re used to applying a nightly serum or not, you may want to include one into your beauty routine in winter. This carrot seed oil serum calms skin that tends to turn red when dry, and also hydrates and soothes your complexion back to health thanks to the anti-inflammatory properties of evening primrose seed oil. For an added boost of moisture, you could add this to your daily moisturizer.
Made with 4 simple ingredients – avocado oil, geranium oil, turmeric oil and coffee oil – this is one kickass serum! It feeds your skin a potent mix of nutrients that work to correct any imbalances, whilst locking in moisture all day long. If you’re wary of using an oil, you’ll love this one; it’s super lightweight and sinks into skin in seconds.
Ohhh how we love this stuff! Experience new-found flawlessness with this serum by Luxe Botanics. It calms and repairs the skin thanks to the high content of vitamins C and B3, which also fade away dark spots and imperfections, leaving you with visibly brighter skin. This serum is also a gentle yet potent antimicrobial and antibacterial agent that prevents and minimizes blemishes. But that’s not all! It’s able to stimulate collagen, making fine lines disappear, whilst uplifting the skin.
This is literally food for your skin! There’s kale, spinach & broccoli sprouts mixed into this nourishing mask, all because their high levels of natural antioxidants work to keep skin infused with vitmains and antioxidants, whilst citrus fruit oils and avocado oil add hydration, just the thing you’ll need is skin feels dry and tired.
Toning is a vital part of taking care of your face, and if you’re lacking hydration, this mist provides a mega-moisture surge. Hyaluronic acid works to plump, soften and promote the bounce to your skin whilst rose, orange blossom and pomegranate oils will quench and nourish. Hello, healthy, cleaner skin!
This. Stuff. Is. The. Bomb! It’s ultra-rich, packed with nutrients and smells of absolutely nothing. I’ve applied this after a bath in nasty, hard London water (which usually leaves my skin so dry it cracks), and this left me feeling silky smooth and dewy, without any sickly perfumes. Basq NYC’s unique triple blend of illipe, shea and jojoba butters gives your skin a super-charged dose of omega and antioxidant rich oils that will fix damage on both the body and face, and help it to build resilience to the elements. And did I mention that it melts into the skin with only minimal effort?
This body cream has the rich moisture of a butter, but all the lightness of a lotion. The ‘natural science’ formula behind it promises to soothe, smooth and repair all skin types. It does go on easily, and not much is needed for full body coverage, but the green-teaish scent may not be for everyone – it’s so strong, I have to wonder how natural it is. But if green scents are your thing, you’ll adore this one!
Unlike cheaper water-based products that soon evaporate and leave your skin in dire need of hydration again, this baby is packed full of hydrating goodness. Organic shea butter, organic extra-virgin coconut oil and organic extra-virgin olive oil blend together to make an incredibly rich cream that sinks deeply into your skin and stays there, leaving your body super soft. You can also use this on your face if your skin is in need of a little TLC!
Aren’t multi-tasking beauty products fabulous? Skin Saviour does so much! It removes dirt and makeup without stripping the skin at all. It then works to moisturise with an antioxidant-rich blend of coconut oil, mango butter, jojoba and chia, before illuminating skin and even turning into a makeup foundation treatment, allowing your skin to look its best all day long.
13. Weleda Skin Food
There’s nothing quite as rich as this thick, rich, slightly citrusy scented cream. It’s a bit goopy in texture, but penetrates even the driest skin fast and deep. Some say it’s too rich for the face, as it leaves a bit of a sheen, but I’d prefer to say it’s more of a ‘glow’ – I do use it on my face, but it’s especially miraculous on cuticles, elbows and heels in winter.