Winter deals one hell of a beauty blow when it comes to the vitality of skin. Howling wind and driving rain heralds dehydrated, lackluster complexions. Or so you thought… Emma Charlotte Bangay explains all!
Shed Old Skin:
One minute it’s indoor heating, next thing you know you’re spat outside into the howling high winds. Add to that layers upon layers of woolen collars and scratchy scarves, and your poor skin will begin to feel super dry – and look that way too.
By exfoliating regularly you are stimulating the cell turnover of the skin and preventing dryness turning into scaly-ness, turning wrinkles and, well, a pretty regrettable winter skin-wise.
But get in now and start gently sloughing away dry skin weekly. This can be done after cleansing either using a chemical exfoliator (which contain active ingredients to lift lifeless dry skin) or physical exfoliants (that rely on beads or natural granules) – to renew and refresh the complexion.
Work in subtle, circular motions for a few minutes and splash the face with cold water to remove all product. If you need a little more muscle, opt for a warm face washer, working in upward sweeping motions to reveal a completely clear complexion.
Mix Oil With Water:
When you think oils, you may think tropical islands and coconuts. But in winter, oils can prove just the potion to relieve and renew parched complexions. Indoor heating does a hell of a lot of damage on the skin in terms of dehydrating it and excessive, long-term dehydration leads to one thing; wrinkles.
By applying a facial oil (morning and night) to really hydrate heavily you will literally feel the skin drink it in. In the morning, apply after showering or washing the face. But don’t dry the skin completely, instead pat it dry and leave a little moistness on the surface. Then press in oil using firm open-palm pressure – don’t rub – and leave for five minutes to sink in before applying makeup.
Let There Be Light:
Summery, illuminated skin looks that way because the surface of the complexion is fresh. By exfoliating and using hydrating facial oils as above, you are mimicking this youthful cell turnover cycle, so that light can ‘bounce off’ the surface more successfully.
As you age, it may be a tad trickier. Over the age of 25 natural cell turnover slows – even with a little help from a stellar skincare regime outlined above – so get your glow on with a face illuminator mixed with your foundation.
You can get these in bronze tones (go for one shade darker than your winter complexion, not summer complexion, for realistic results) or dust a little powder illuminator on the areas of the face where light hits naturally - cheekbones, middle of nose and temples.
Hydrate Whilst Hibernating:
You know something so cool about skincare? You can boost it even whilst you’re catching ZZZ’s. In fact, this is the smartest time to do so because as you sleep, the skin – dictated by the body clock – is rejuvenating itself. This is the time it takes to repair and reboot before taking on another (wintery) day.
During sleep, the stress hormones in the body also drop – as does the core temperature – both helping to really rest the skin deep within the dermis. Cells are rejuvenating themselves during rest time too and collagen-producing cells are doing their best work boosting themselves. To maximise this miraculous internal skin care situation, night creams are a helpful habit to get into. Eye creams are also considered one of the most important moisturisers to maximise on – as the skin around the eyes is so much thinner than the rest of the face – and a weekly mask is the absolute bomb if you want to hydrate your skin the entire duration of your 8-hour shut-eye.
Protect (Even When It’s Pouring):
Think those gloomy grey clouds are the most sun protection you can get? Think again. Certain cloud cover - including scattered cumulus clouds and light, textured clouds – may actually increase the UVA by 25%. Although some clouds cut UV radiation, any skincare expert will tell you that SPF, 365, is the very best anti-ager on the market.
The scary thing is that even though some of us may think our cosmetics containing SPF are keeping them covered, this is not always the case either. So, even though you can step away from the heavy white zinc, it can’t hurt to make SPF a habit. Opt for an SPF with a tint (rather than vise versa) so that protection is the top priority of the product. If you are closer to the equator - or work in the sun daily (apart from being very jealous of you right now) I suggest you don’t stray too far from the very high SPF factor you adopt in summer. But be sure to ditch any product after 6 months if it’s been opened as this can affect the efficacy.
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