With winter well and truly upon us, it's time to batten down the hatches when it comes to protecting and caring for our skin. We've compiled a list of the Top 10 Winter Skin Care Tips to help you do just that. Take a look at Heathcote & Ivory's ingredients page for more information about our products.
1. Moisturise to protect
Dry skin is one of the consequences of cold weather, and with it comes a duller complexion, which no one wants. Using a body lotion that contains glycerin and vitamin E helps to lock moisture in and away from the invasive cold winter air. With anti-aging benefits that help skin look younger by reducing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, Vitamin E is a vital part of protecting skin cells and helping stave off the winter.
Blood naturally nourishes your skin, but flows less freely when you are cold. Therefore winter induced poor circulation isn't good for your skin. A great way to combat this is with a massage, that helps to improve your body's circulation. It stimulates blood flow to bring a warm, rosy glow to the skin, helping to keep the skin’s outer layer healthy.
3. Eat well
Your lifestyle plays a huge roll in achieving beautiful skin. There can be a tendency in winter to eat less salad and fruit in exchange for less nutritious comfort foods. But you can still eat healthily and feel warm inside. Eat plenty of foods containing Vitamin C (try red peppers in stir-fries) and Zinc (lentils in soups), as they help the body maintain healthy tissue and are involved in collagen production, protecting cells from free radical damage. Beta carotene (carrots in casseroles or roasted pumpkin) also helps repair damage to skin cells.
4. Hand care
Don't leave the house with wet hands, as that cold winter chill will soon leave them chapped and cracked. Make sure you protect the thin layer of skin your hands have against the harsh winter climate by using gloves and a high quality hand cream that's free from sulphates and parabens, to offer the best possible protection.
People often drink less water in colder weather because the thought of putting anything cold inside doesn't appeal. But if you want to maintain a healthy, well nourished glow for your skin, hydration is just as important in winter as in the summer. If you don't fancy water, why not try topping up on hot drinks (even cocoa's a good one, as it contains antioxidants). Decaffeinated herbal teas are the best for keeping your fluid levels up.
6. Warm water
Now we've all experienced those cold mornings when all you want to do is crawl into a scalding hot shower. Every now and again, maybe. But, if you're doing this regularly you will be dehydrating your skin on a regular basis and robbing it of its goodness. You don't have to steam yourself to enjoy a shower, warm water is the way forward. You can also apply a moisturiser after showering to help lock in that moisture before towelling off.
Just because it's cold outside doesn't mean you shouldn't be keeping fit and active. It might be a bit of a slog if it's cold and wet, but there are still activities you can enjoy, like going on long autumn walks, or joining a gym, or even just wrapping up warm for a run round the park. Exercise brings a flush to the skin by getting your blood circulating and your pulse rate up.
The more dead skin cells that sit on top of your skin the less healthy it will look and shine - which doesn't help your complexion in the already harsh winter elements. By exfoliating you reveal new skin cells that will give you a more youthful glow, even in winter, and will also help your daily moisturiser penetrate and hydrate your skin. Try exfoliating after a shower, when your skin's pours have been opened by the steam.
9. Lip balm
Use a vitamin E lip balm which will smooth and moisturise at the same time, and apply regularly throughout the day to lock in the moisture. Do not lick your lips to sooth them! It will only make chapped lips worse. When you feel the urge, get out that lip balm or lip salve and apply instead, to prevent sore and painful winter lips.
10. Sun care
It sounds bizarre doesn’t it? But yes the sun's still there, even in winter. And although you may not be able to feel it as intensely as in the hot summer, when venturing outside using a low factor sun cream in the winter can help keep those harmful UV rays at bay. As a result, it will also keep your skin looking and feeling healthier and younger.
Article originally published: 14/11/11 Updated: 05/11/15