Drops in temperature, strong winds and the heating cranked all the way to the max - all of these contribute to the air turning dry and consequently causing havoc on your skin.
Not to worry, simply follow these top tips to banish dull and dry skin and ensure you make it through the winter flake-free.
Tip 1 – Moisturise
A good moisturiser is essential during the winter time. Don’t be tempted by the thickest, oiliest option as this doesn’t typically mean it will be the most hydrating. Instead, look out for those that contain ingredients such as shea butter, as it is naturally hydrating. For optimum hydration, apply when you’ve just got out the shower as you skin is still porous and will lock in moisture better.
If you feel as if you need additional moisture or suffer from extremely dry skin, use a serum before your moisturiser. Serums are designed to penetrate the deeper layers of skin and combat dryness and flaking.
Tip 2 – Bath Time
When it’s cold outside, jumping into a steaming hot bath or shower may seem like the best idea, but this is a recipe for dry and irritated skin.
Hot water strips your skin’s natural oils faster than cooler water. Turning the water temperature down to lukewarm and making your showers brief will ensure your skin’s natural moisture is retained.
This also applies to your hair. Keeping it cooler can help to lock in natural oils, resulting in shiny, soft tresses. Use a hair mask once a week to keep your hair at its best.
Tip 3 – Stay Hydrated
It’s not just what you apply to your skin that makes a difference, but also the things you feed your body.
Skin is a big indicator of someone’s diet – a glowing complexion usually means a healthy, nutritious diet with plenty of water. Dehydrated skin tends to look dull with less resilience, causing fine lines to show and an overall greyer complexion.
Although it is recommended to drink 2 litres of water a day, this isn’t always feasible for everyone. It can be hard to hydrate your skin through drinking water alone so consuming foods with high water concentration is another way for you to up your intake. Foods such as watermelon (92% water), carrots (87%) and peppers (92%) are a tasty and healthy way for you to hydrate your skin and body. Plus, they also contain powerful antioxidants such as beta-carotene which help to prevent winter illnesses.
Tip 4 – Don’t forget Your Lips
Just as the air and the rest of our skin start to lose moisture, our lips follow suit.
The skin on your lips is very thin and has no oil glands to prevent them from chapping or to provide moisture. This means they can quickly become dry, flaky and in some cases, severely chapped. This is painful, doesn’t look great and can make them open to bacterial infections or cold sores.
Gently exfoliate your lips with a toothbrush to remove flaky skin and create a soft, even lip surface. Then, apply a nourishing, moisture-rich lip balm and top up throughout the day. SPF lip balms are an added bonus as they will also prevent lips drying from the sun.
Tip 5 – UV Protection
The air may be cooler, but this doesn’t mean you aren’t at risk from harmful UV rays during the winter months. The glare of the sun can still be severely damaging to your skin, drying it out as well as causing premature ageing and sun spots.
Always protect your skin with sun cream! If this doesn’t naturally slot into your winter skincare routine, then go for a foundation or moisturiser with a minimum of SPF15 protection.
Tip 6 - Pick the Right Makeup
Try to use liquid or cream forms of makeup. Using a moisture-rich foundation will hydrate your skin and you will find that it glides on your face better. If you notice your skin becoming drier, try to avoid powders as these will only emphasise creases and fine lines.
Tip 7 – Winter Wear
You may find yourself with cracked knuckles and tight skin in the winter. This is because of your hands are exposed to harsh winds and cold air which cause water in your skin to evaporate quicker. That’s why it is important to wear gloves. These will not only trap in your body heat, but also act as a barrier to prevent the cold from drying out your hands.
For an extra moisture boost to your hands, apply a large amount of moisturiser over them and then put your gloves on. This will slowly lock in moisture and keep them hydrated.