We’re in the deep, dark depths of the bleakest of winters, and it’s safe to say our skin has started to lose its glow. Well, more than started. It has lost its glow; completely and utterly.
Thanks to a natural lack of sunlight and a shift in diet to something all the more comforting, along with harsh wintry conditions outside and the central heating often on within, it can be difficult to keep your skin hydrated.
Fortunately, there are a number of things you can do to help your skin stay healthy and bring back its glow, even on the coldest days.
If you’re noticing a change in your skin for the worse that you’re keen to arrest, or you want to prevent any dryness or irritation you anticipate emerging, then we’ve teamed up with The Beauty of Eczema to offer these 5 expert tips on how to best protect your skin in winter.
TAKE SHORT, WARM SHOWERS, NOT LONG HOT ONES
However comforting those long, languid soaks or hot, marathon shower sessions can be during winter, they certainly don’t relax our skin. Quite the opposite, in fact.
Our skin’s biggest role is to retain moisture, but this is difficult to do during winter weather. The low humidity that comes with lower temperatures can make your skin drier than normal. While it’s cold, it might be tempting to take long, hot showers or baths, to escape from, well, everything, but this could compromise the condition of your skin even more.
Luckily, just one little change to your bathing routine could make all the difference. Turn the temperature down a little and have a warm shower or bath instead, and it can help your skin’s barrier function to keep moisture in a little better. And do try to avoid soaking until your skin goes wrinkly; counterintuitively, such a long time stint spent in water can leave your skin more prone to dehydration afterwards.
Aesthetician Jennifer Grace advises – via Women’s Running – that you should limit your showers or baths to ten minutes, since ‘’Hot showers and baths can inflame the skin, causing redness, itching, and even peeling—and can disrupt the skin’s natural balance of moisture, robbing you of the natural oils, fats, and proteins that keep skin healthy’’.
FOLLOW A GOOD SKINCARE ROUTINE
A diligent, dedicated skincare routine is helpful no matter your skin type. This is because the right morning and night time regime can help to maintain the natural oil content of your skin and rebalance the skin’s surface.
Make sure you regularly cleanse your skin, toner and all, as it can help to keep your skin’s natural barrier healthy so it can retain moisture better. The more gentle the cleanser, the more it will protect your skin’s natural oils.
Moisturiser is your skin’s best friend, especially through winter. Remember to moisturise when you get out of the shower and before bed so your skin can hold on to moisture through the night.
We’re suckers for a winter spray tan at this time of year when we’re not exactly boasting that sunkissed aesthetic. However, did you know that even when it’s cold outside the chances of getting a tan are slim, your skin is still prone to the damage from UV rays?
It’s crucial to wear sun protection all year round, even in winter. Whether you’re lucky enough to be jetting off somewhere warm for some winter sun, or, like the majority of us right now, you’re confined to the UK, SPF plays a huge role in healthy, happy skin. There are naturally fewer UV rays around in winter, but they can still be significant and strong enough to age your skin.
In the winter, an SPF factor of around 15 should be sufficient, but remember when summer comes around that you might need a higher factor.
USE A HUMIDIFIER
Central heating is great for keeping your home warm during the colder months, but the drier the air, the drier your skin will become. It might, therefore, benefit you to place a humidifier in the room you use the most. A cool air humidifier can increase the moisture in the air, which in turn can help your skin stay hydrated, and a glowing complexion will naturally follow.
Humidifiers can emit water vapour into the room to reduce the dryness of your skin, throat and lips, and could even help if you’re suffering from a cold or the flu, both of which are common at this time of year.
What’s more, when you’re taking that warm water shower we recommended, keep the bathroom door shut to keep the humidity in.
BE AWARE OF YOUR DIET
The foods you eat can make a big difference to your complexion, too. Look out for food that is rich in vitamins E, C and A; each one has its own benefits that can support healthy skin and protect your skin cells from damage, caused by stress or environmental factors.
Foods such as fish (even the tinned stuff), nuts, seeds and vegetables are all ideal for keeping your body and your skin in tip-top condition. What’s more, they’re darn delicious! What’s not to love?