Freshers’ week is on the horizon, and eager students across the nation are gearing up for their first university experience.
During this time, a lot of alcohol is inevitably consumed which can wreak havoc on the skin. In this post we have come up with tips and suggestions to help students keep their skin hydrated during, and after, freshers’ week.
Source: Karolina Mis
Uni freshers’ week is a nerve-racking time. Keen to impress and make new friends, many students turn to alcohol as a form of ‘dutch-courage’. But this can have a devastating impact on their complexion, leaving their skin dry and lacking in moisture.
One of the most important—and perhaps glaringly obvious—ways to keep your skin hydrated is to moisturise regularly. Opt for products with water-attracting ingredients and essential natural oils, because they lock-in moisture and give your skin a radiant glow.
Products containing shea butter are also a good idea. This nutrient-rich, ‘super-food’ for your skin has many benefits, not least its nourishing qualities and moisturising effects.
Neal Schultz, a dermatologist in NYC and founder of Beauty Rx skin care, says that stellar formulas, such as those with occlusive agents that prevent water from evaporating to maintain water in your skin, are another decent option.
Eat Water-Rich Foods and Drink Lots of Water
Source: Harsha K R
Again, for many people this is an obvious one—but that doesn’t mean it’s not crucial.
Everybody knows that achieving healthy, hydrated skin is impossible without consuming lots of water. However, foods that contain mainly water can be just as hydrating for your skin as drinking H2O.
So, after a big mid-week night out, eat water-dense fruits and veggies, such as cucumber, berries, watermelon, plums, peaches, celery, bell peppers and lettuce—throughout the day. Not only will this replenish your body and blitz your hangover with nutrients and vitamins, but it will also give you a glowing complexion.
Exfoliate—But Not Too Much
Regular exfoliation is a great way to maintain hydrated skin. NYC-based dermatologist, Eric Schweiger, says that ‘exfoliation is key in removing the dead skin cells from the top layer of skin, which can prevent skin-care ingredients from doing their job. He also advises, ‘once you’ve exfoliated, always apply a water-attracting treatment.’
Although exfoliation is undoubtedly key in hydrating the skin, try to limit the number of times you do to about 2-3 times a week, as over-exfoliation can damage the skin in the long-run.
Being kind to your skin is important. Excessive rubbing or abrasive techniques can lead to damage.
Avoid sponges: they tend to trap skin and become riddled with bacteria. Instead, use exfoliating gloves or a sonic-powered cleansing brush to help your products penetrate beneath the surface.
Don’t exfoliate too much in winter because low humidity and temperature mean the sebaceous glands produce less facial oils, leading to cracked, dry skin. Exfoliate less at this time to avoid losing further moisture.
Use Natural Remedies
Funnily enough, applying raw honey can do wonders for skin hydration because, as it hasn’t been heat-treated or pasteurised, it is brimming with antioxidants and healing properties which are good for a range of ailments—including dry skin.
Honey, a natural humectant, is great at retaining and preserving moisture. Try applying honey to dry skin, leave on for five minutes, before rinsing off with warm water.
Olive oil is bursting with fatty acids and antioxidants which also help to keep your skin hydrated. It may feel strange, but gently massage olive oil into your skin, before you shower or bath, and it will help stop the warm water from drying out your skin.
Coconut oil is really good for treating dry skin. It has plenty of fatty acids which replenish moisture lost from the skin. Liberally apply it all over your body before you sleep and wash it off when you wake up. Repeat daily to make your skin supple and soft.
Apply coconut oil to your skin after you bath or shower, as when your skin is warm the oil will be absorbed more easily.
Yoghurt is a superb skin-hydrating agent. Plus, its lactic acid content helps to get rid of the germs and bacteria which can lead to dry and itchy skin.
Also, its antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties contribute to a radiant hue. Apply fresh yoghurt on your hands, face and legs, gently massaging it into your skin. Take a bath or shower after ten minutes. Repeat once daily.
Take Smart Baths
Water likes to move from high concentrations to low. For this reason, your skin is most vulnerable right after you shower or bath.
Counterintuitively, excessive bathing contributes to dry skin. Try to limit the amount of time you spend in the shower or bath to avoid this from happening.
Furthermore, hot water strips away the natural oils in your skin, so don’t spend too much time in scalding hot showers or baths. It may feel relaxing, but soaking in warm water for too long may damage your skin.
Use Gentle Soaps
Avoid chemical-laden, harsh products. They will strip away the layer of lipids (your skin’s naturally occurring fatty acids and oils) that your skin needs to stay hydrated. Opt for products with natural ingredients such as coconut oil, shea butter, olive oil and cocoa seed, designed to cleanse and moisturise the skin.
Here at Heathcote & Ivory, we are committed to paraben and sulphate-free cosmetics and toiletries because we believe these nasties are harmful to our skin.
So, in summary, here are our top tips for hydrated skin:
- Moisturise (try to do this daily for a glowing complexion)
- Eat water-rich foods and drink plenty of water (everyone knows water works wonders for the skin!)
- Exfoliate—but not too much (we recommend 2-3 times per week)
- Use natural remedies, we suggest these:
- Raw honey (a natural humectant, great at retaining and preserving moisture)
- Olive oil (it’s bursting with fatty acids and antioxidants)
- Coconut oil (apply daily for supple and soft skin)
- Yoghurt (lactic acid helps to get rid of germs and bacteria)
- Take smart baths (avoid long, hot baths and showers: they can dry out your skin)
- Use gentle soaps (opt for chemical-free products with natural ingredients)
We hope you have enjoyed this Fresher’s Week survival guide to keeping hydrated skin.
Good luck to all those starting uni this year and to those returning to study!