How to beat winter skin blues

Banish winter blues.

Brrrr…its cold out there!

So, winter can be tough. It can be especially cruel and unforgiving when it comes to our poor old skin. Summer is sadly long gone and with the colder months come some much harsher elements. Cold, blistering winds, arctic-like dropping temperatures, in-door heating and less sun-exposure can all wreak havoc on our poor skin.

No matter your skin type, winter can inflict a whole host of assorted and tricky skin conditions. From mild to severe skin dehydration, rough, dry or flakey patches, chapped lips, poor circulation, an increase in fine lines, redness or even rosacea or psoriasis flare-ups for some. Not to mention the lack of sunshine and good old vitamin D which can have a serious impact on our general mood and overall well-being. Read on to discover some helpful tips and tricks for helping you and your skin survive the winter elements.

Protection from the elements

Even those who do prefer the cooler months cannot deny that winter can be super tough on our skin, especially our faces. Whilst other parts of our bodies are rugged up and protected from the harsh winter elements, our poor little faces are, for the most part, left exposed. When we think of summer, we naturally think of SPF in terms of protection – even though we should be wearing it all year long.

The harmful UVA rays of the sun are just as active in winter and dry skin needs just as much if not more protection during winter so don’t forget your 30+ as the final step in your skincare – EVERYDAY.

When it comes to winter, aside from SPF which does allow for a layer of protection for our skin, what else can we do? One of the most important things to do during winter is to make sure our skin stays hydrated as our skin dries out much faster during the colder months. Moisturise with a thicker, heavier cream and incorporate a hyaluronic acid serum to boost skin’s hydration levels.

Also, skincare products containing topical antioxidants vitamins C and E are excellent at helping to fight off free-radicals and stressors from the environment. Boosting your diet with antioxidant-rich foods such as kale, spinach, broccoli and carrots will also help.

Adjust your skincare routine

Rethinking and making changes to your skincare routine is vital for maintaining your skin health through the chiller seasons. A routine that may have worked well in the warmer months, is not likely to work as well for you in the cooler ones. Adding in hydrating serums and antioxidants as mentioned above will help your skin survive the cold. Skip the toner altogether, unless it’s a hydrating one designed to add another layer of hydration to support your skin as opposed to astringent-based toners. If you do have dry and itchy skin – remove any products that contain alcohol and fragrances.

Keep cleansing as gentle as possible to keep your skin barrier as healthy as possible and avoid cleansers that strip your skin too much. I know some of us love that “squeaky clean” feeling we get sometimes when we wash our face, but really that kind of dry, tight feeling is to be avoided at all costs – especially as we get older and especially in winter when our skin is already fighting to keep hydration levels up. Instead, opt for cleansing balms, oils, gels and milky cleansers as these will clean your skin, without also stripping your face of the essential oils that are designed to protect it.

Hydration is key

Hydration is more important than ever come winter as it is harder for our bodies to retain moisture in the colder weather. This often means your skin will become drier and more sensitive than usual. To combat this, drinking water will obviously help to hydrate you internally, but think of incorporating foods that are high in essential fatty acids into your diet if you do not already. Foods such as fish, nuts and avocado are full of natural oils that can help to keep our skin barrier moisturised and hydrated – helping to prevent further dryness.

Exfoliation

Many of us experience dry flaky skin during the chillier months, not to mention dull, lacklustre-looking skin. As we previously discussed, keeping your skin hydrated and moisturised will help to prevent some of these conditions however exfoliation can also help with this. Sloughing off the dead skin cells and accumulated build up on a regular basis will then allow for better product absorption too.

Be careful of excessive heat

I know, I know – this one is tough! Although it may be super tempting to sit by heaters blasting warmth and to take deliciously scalding-hot showers in an effort to get some short-lived relief from the cold – your skin will pay the price. One of the main problems in winter is that we are in hot conditions when inside, then faced with the polar opposite when we brave the outside conditions. Both of these extreme conditions are super dry and will suck whatever moisture you have in your skin, right out of it! If you can, try to avoid excessively super-hot water when washing your face and likewise, if you must take a really hot shower, avoid sticking your face right underneath the hot water.

LED light therapy

This light-based treatment can be a wonderful mood booster, making it the perfect treat to indulge in during the colder months. If you have not yet experienced the magic of LED light therapy then winter really is the perfect time to. Not only is it totally safe and pain-free, treatments can be used on not only the face but the also the neck, décolleté and hands. This makes it an attractive solution for those wanting to treat certain skin conditions and get back the glow to their skin, whilst at the same time, laying back and enjoying a warm mood boost.

LED light therapy machines can treat and help heal a multitude of different skin conditions, most commonly acne, sun-damage and ageing skin. Treatments are non-invasive, with sessions lasting approx. 20-30 minutes on average. There is also no down-time afterwards, making it a great treatment to indulge prior to a night out.

LED facials are usually priced between $50-$150, however this depends on location and if it is part of a layered facial. As LED boasts wonderful healing attributes, it is often paired with other facial treatments and used as a final step to sooth and repair the skin.

The best part? Not only do LED treatments assist in skin rejuvenation and helping your skin to look its best – they can help to invoke the feeling of summer – a feeling we all miss when we are stuck in the dead of winter. The lights from LED machines emanate a combination of warmth and light, helping to lower your stress hormones whilst also giving your immune system a much-needed boost!

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