Old Jack Frost is starting to do his work isn’t he? You can feel that slight icy sting in the wind; the cold tingle on the tip of your nose when you’ve been outside, and of course, the dryness in your skin that this time of year brings for a lot of us.
I love Autumn and Winter, but my skin…not so much. My face gets red, dry and sore. I get chapped lips and super-dry hands. I’m not alone in this – so many of my friends are starting to pipe up about these concerns. It seems (in the UK at least), the central heating is on and the gloves need to come off (skincare-wise that is…see what I did there?).
Every year around this time, I start to really whip my skincare routine into shape. I follow a simple set of do’s and don’t’s that usually get me through the colder months with softer, brighter and happier skin. There’s a chance you do all this already, ‘cos you guys are very savvy, but there might be something new here.
|Some of my Winter Favourites|
Of course, I know it’s most likely that like me, you’re reading this to scout out some products – oh we do love new stuff eh? So I’ve put a note of some current favourites of mine after each ‘do’ or ‘don’t’.
Here we go!
1. DO change up products to fit the season. It may seem obvious, but I know a lot of people who use their same faithful moisturiser all year round. Winter calls for those heavier or richer textures that protect and nourish the skin.
I love: Decleor – Hydra Floral Creme Riche
2. DON’T forget sunscreen. Yes, it’s f-f-f-freezing outside, but we still have that big ol’ yellow ball in the sky somewhere behind all that cloud. Just because it’s not keeping us toasty-warm, doesn’t mean we can’t get sun damage. I use a good broad spectrum SPF either a dedicated product, or in my moisturiser or makeup base. Unless I’m hibernating indoors all day of course, then I skip this step and give my skin a break.
I love: Estee Lauder – DayWear UV Base
3. DO oil it up! This is the best time of year to introduce or step up the use of facial oils. They’re so beneficial for your skin in that they have hydrating, balancing or nourishing benefits (depending on the products you go for). Some people find oils too heavy for the day – not me, I slap ’em on at any given opportunity, all year round – but if you do, they’re the perfect pre-cursor to your night treatment!
I love: Jurlique – Skin Balancing Face Oil (and a lot of others too!)
4. DON’T use harsh cleansers. I STEP AWAY FROM THE SLS. Foaming, harsh cleansers will strip my skin and cause dryness and that tight-feeling that comes with it. So I…
5. DO get cleansing balms, oils, milks – all that nice lovely soft stuff that I can smear and smooth over the face, use to massage in and stimulate that circulation and wipe off with a lovely hot flannel/muslin cloth/washcloth. Twice a day, every day.
Standing in my bathroom with a hot flannel over my face is probably one of my favourite things to do this time of year. Yes, I know that sounds sad, but it’s true! It warms you up, soothes your skin, makes you feel clean and fresh. Love it.
I love: Alpha H Balancing Cleanser (My current favourite. There’s too many to pick from!)
6. DON’T overdo the syrupy lattes, hot chocolates or cups of sweet tea. Yes, it’s what I want, but this time of year it’s so important to keep up the water intake. I make a real effort to drink at least 8 glasses of water a day as I know the caffeine in those ‘festive’ drinks won’t do my complexion any favours, and neither will all the refined sugar in the syrup! I keep them as an occasional treat, and try to have herbal tea, hot water and lemon, or even the odd black coffee as an alternative. I know that being hydrated inside shows on the outside. Skin needs all the help it can get this season, especially with festive parties and eating on the horizon.
I love: Heath & Heather – Peppermint Herbal Tea
7. DO hydrate with toner. There are some great gentle, hydrating and softening toners out there in both traditional and spray formats. It’s such a helpful step – it rebalances skin after cleansing, preps it for product and is another chance to douse the skin in moisture. I love the feeling of a lovely soft toner. Ahhh.
I love: Nuxe – Gentle Toning Lotion With Rose Petals
*update: Feb 2014. Nuxe have a lovely little blog post on their site about Winter Skincare, I reckon you might like it! Click here.
|Some more of my Winter skincare saviours|
8. DON’T forget targeted skincare step(s). For me, this is usually a serum, or another oil (told you I liked them). I always think even though I’m using gentle cleansers, soothing toners and rich creams I still need this extra layer of comfort (and help!). This also applies overnight, I like to mix up my routine every other day and switch between balms, serums, oils and Alpha H Liquid Gold.
Obviously, if you are lucky to have beautiful, young skin, you can probably skip this step or use a light serum or oil. If you’re under 25 there’s no need to use things like Alpha H or Overnight Facial – I’d save your money and wait til you’re a bit wrinkly, saggy, discoloured etc (and buy makeup or clothes instead – yes! Shopping excuse!).
I love: (Oil) Nude – ProGenius Oil; (Serum) Jurlique – Herbal Recovery Serum
9. DO invest time in pampering. I stick a lovely face mask on and relax in a warm bath with lovely oils, bubbles or melts; light some candles and listen to great music. Bliss!
I alternate between hydrating, clarifying and glycolic masks each week, and my skin really shows the difference.
I love: Origins – Drink Up 10 Minute Mask (to quench skin’s thirst)
10. DON’T stress. Regardless of weather, I know that the biggest thing to show on my face is stress. It causes me to look dull, grey, tired (usually as I don’t sleep when stressed!), spotty. You name it. I try to relax as often as I can either by reading, listening to music, even using meditation apps on my phone. It makes a huge difference to how I feel.
I’d love to know what your winter skincare tips are. Let me know in the comments. Also, if you want any more product recommendations, or would like a specific product review of any items mentioned here, just say and your wish is my command!
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