Best winter skincare secrets

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The winter months are just a great excuse to get a new wardrobe and to dig out your favourite boots, they also mean rethinking your skin care regime. Harsh winds, cooler weather and central heating can all take their toll so it’s important to really nurture your skin during this time.

Moisturise

It’s very easy to fall into the trap of using the same moisturiser all year round. In the summer months you’ll need something lighter, whereas the winter months demand a richer cream. It is still vitally important that you include SPF in your day cream as there is still risk of sun damage even if you are no longer at risk of burning. If you are lazy with night cream then the winter months are the perfect time to correct that habit. As your cells regenerate as you sleep you need to help them along their way a bit, ensuring that your skin is thoroughly cleansed and moisturised will help the renewal process.

Hydrate

Central heating robs our skin of essential moisture and aside from investing in a good quality moisturiser, we can also keep our skin hydrated from the inside out. Drinking plenty of water is essential. Many people who were a slave to their 8 glasses a day water habit in the summer months soon forget the practice when the weather cools. The colder weather sees us all reaching for hot drinks instead, as cups of tea are diuretic they don’t serve as an adequate replacement. Keep up your water intake. Don’t forget that you can get water through certain fruit and vegetables too. Salad vegetables (cucumber, iceberg lettuce, radishes, celery) are ideal but many people eat less of them once summer is over. Peppers, cauliflower, watermelon, spinach, strawberries, broccoli and grapefruit are also excellent sources of water.

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Humidify

If your skin is feeling particularly tight and flaky then this is a sign that central heating is drying it out. You need to restore moisture to the air by investing in a humidifier. This is especially important if you spend a lot of time at home, or could even be used to add moisture to your skin as you sleep.

Skip the peels

While peels may help to give you glowing skin in the summer months, they can be too harsh for winter skin. Avoid any treatments that will strip the natural oils from your skin. This is also true for alcohol-based toners and astringents. Opt for masks that hydrate or deal with dryness rather than anything that includes clay as this can suck the moisture from your skin.

Exfoliate

With more skin on show in the summer months we all tend to out more effort into our bodies. It can take up to four weeks for the epidermis to renew, so if you have any intention of bearing your arms or venturing out in a little black dress later on in the season then it is certainly worth keeping on top of your skin care routine and keeping up the full body exfoliation sessions. Although we can hide our legs away in this seasons patterned tights and conceal our arms in chunky knits, dull skin takes time to lift. Think of your Christmas social calendar and keep scrubbing.

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Foundation

It is natural for our skin tones to lighten over the winter months which calls for a lighter shade of foundation. However, you may find that you need to opt for a different texture too as your skin behaves differently during the winter months. Rather than struggling on with what you are used to, get to know your skin again. After a shower simply dry your skin without moisturising or applying any products to it. After an hour, sit an examine the texture of your skin. Are there any dry patches? Does it feel oily? Is it dry across the cheeks but oily in the T-zone? Ideally, you’ll be able to conduct this experiment throughout a whole day to really get to grips with your skin. It is likely that you’ll need a richer foundation during the winter months.

Exercise

Most of us are far more active in the summer months and often find that poor weather feels like a worthy excuse for skipping our run or abandoning our gym sessions. Exercise is a wonderful way to bring nutrients to the skin’s surface with the increased blood flow, resulting in a more glowing complexion. If exercise feels last the last thing on your mind, then you may need to rethink your routine. Opt for something that you can do without leaving the house, such as dance or aerobics on youtube, weighted hula hopping or some core exercises using a stability ball. For a really stress-busting session, close the curtains, crank up the stereo and have a bit of a freestyle boogey.

Skip the steaming baths

Hot baths can feel like a welcome treat when the weather gets cooler, but they can also rid our skin of essential moisture. If your skin is getting flakey or feeling tight and dry, then try to keep your baths warm rather than hot. If your skin is especially irritated then you can simply soothe it by adding some oatmeal to the water. This will soften the skin and help it to retain moisture.

So whether your skin is simply looking a little dull or feeling tight, dry and flakey; it’s time to sort out your winter skincare routine and keep a radiant complexion going all winter long.

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