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Winter weather can wreak havoc on your skin. The harsh winds and dropping temperatures can deplete it of moisture making it feel dry, flaky, itchy and just not look its best.
To top it all off, it’s the season of cold sores, chapping and eczema flaring up. If you suffer from a skin issue at the best of times, the winter months can be positively dreaded.
So keep your epidermis in tip top condition, here are our top tips for protecting and caring for your skin during the cold times of the year.
Of course, we’re all aware of the obvious advice like, drink plenty of water and eat good food. While these are the most important things you can do, our list includes some more subtle and unexpected tips that will make a difference.
- Wash your face in lukewarm water
When you’re freezing cold, there’s nothing as desirable as a boiling hot bath or shower to heat you up. But when it comes to your precious face, wash it in lukewarm water to avoid stripping it of necessary oils.
- Don’t forget your sun cream
Yes, it might be frosty and cold, but in Ireland there are those odd cold but blindingly sunny days. Winter sun can be as dangerous as summer sun to your skin, so on these days, wear a good sun cream on your face.
- Moisturise more than you normally do
One of the main reasons why our skin suffers in winter is due to the cold temperatures which decreases the moisture in your skin. During winter you should wash your face a twice a day and moisturise your damp skin immediately after to seal that goodness in.
- Change up your beauty products
When we find a good product; be it a moisturiser, cleanser or eye cream, we like to stick to them but whilst products might be good in the spring and summer months, their ingredients might not be best for your skin when it gets colder. In winter, swap products that contain salicylic or glycolic acids for more natural, whole ingredients.
- Buy a serum
Contrary to popular belief, moisturisers doesn’t actually moisturise, they just help keep in the moisture that your skin already has. That’s why serums are so important. Serums work like moisturisers but penetrate deeper into your skin to deliver active ingredients. Adding a serum into your nightly skincare routine before you go to bed can leave your skin glowing and smooth by morning. Look for ones with hyaluronic acid as it is great for moisture; one molecule can hold up to 1,000 times its own weight in water.
When your skin is feeling dry and delicate, the last thing you might want to do is exfoliate it. But this is an important practice in winter, to get rid of the dry of dead skin cells and better protect the new ones. Stay away from harsh exfoliants or ones with beads that may damage your skin. Instead, use something gentle, a soft brush or silicone exfoliator to be kinder to your skin.
- Remember the rest of your body
Don’t neglect the other parts of your body that can be affected by winter weather, like your hands and arms. Use soap-free hand-washes which are less drying, wear gloves, and gently exfoliate and moisturise your arms and legs to keep the skin in good condition year-round.
- Change your pillowcases
When it comes to skincare of any kind, changing your pillowcases regularly is one of the best pieces of advice. As you spend eight hours every night with your face attached to that fabric it can easily be a magnet for dirt and germs. Invest in good quality bed linen like Egyptian cotton or silk which are gentler on your skin.
- Layer up on the lips
There is nothing more irritating or painful than dry chapped lips in winter. Our lips have no oil glands which makes them more susceptible to cracking and becoming painful in the colder weather. When it starts to get cold, lather your lips in good quality balms and moisturising products even before they show signs of drying.
- Pat down
When you get out of the bath or shower, resist the urge to dry yourself in a rush and jump straight into warmer clothes. Rubbing your skin with a towel too aggressively can harm it, especially if you have sensitive skin. Instead, pat yourself dry so you leave in a little bit more moisture and seal it in with a good cream straight afterwards.
- Use a humidifier
As it’s the dry air which is the main culprit of damaged skin in winter, you can try using a humidifier in your home to make the atmosphere more moist. This is especially important if you’re spending time near a fire or heaters to keep warm.
- Shave less
One of the main benefits of winter is the need to shave less. Your legs aren’t out as much, so if you’re someone who likes to be silky smooth, you can tone it down in the winter. Shaving can cause your skin to become more dry, especially if the blade is a little bit blunt. So, if you are shaving or hair removing, use a sharp, new razor and apply a moisturiser afterwards.
Tell us your best winter skincare tips in the comments below!
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