How to protect your skin from cold weather
Brrr - we’re feeling the chill. But what does cold weather mean to you? Big, fluffy scarves and hats? Sipping steamy hot chocolates in coffee shops? Lighting a big fire in your lounge and listening to Nat King Cole?
We often have romantic notions about snowy climes - but the cold season isn’t always all it’s cracked up to be. We forget about its little irks: having to de-ice your car windows every morning, snowy shoes which leave you with damp socks. And the worst of the bunch - watching your skin go from dull to dry and flaky - and having no idea what to do about it.
While we can’t halt the cold weather, we can help you keep your rosy glow by following these simple skincare tips.
1. Get a humidifier
If you don’t already have one built-in to your heating system, invest in a humidifier. It’ll add moisture to the air and prevent your skin and eyes from drying out -just don’t forget to change the water daily and clean it every week - unclean mist can be dangerous to those with respiratory problems.
2. Blitz away the dryness with magic ointments
Healthy lifestyle website prevention.com recommends that you re-assess your bathroom cabinet - swap your regular hand lotion for a pumped-up formula with SPF (it might be cold, but the sun’s still out there somewhere) and use a hand sanitiser laced with aloe vera, which combats the drying effects of germ-killing alcohol.
Invest in a cleanser with alpha hydroxy acids (AHA) and use it every other day to help encourage cell turnover and remove the dead cells on your skin’s surface.
For a chapped or dry mouth, gently exfoliate your lips with a toothbrush and then apply a soothing oil, like Vaseline.
3. Turn down the heat
As appealing as a hot shower is after a day of wandering about in the snow, it’s really no good for your skin: hot water strips natural oils, encouraging an unhealthy sheen and coarse complexion.
Wash your hands with cool water and take shorter, colder showers - 10 minutes in just-warm-enough water should do the trick.
4. Adopt a post-shower ritual
Post-shower is the perfect time for you to do some skin damage control - your skin is primed and will respond better to treatments.
Begin by patting your skin dry instead of rubbing it - by leaving it a little bit damp, it’ll retain more natural oils.
After patting, apply an oil-rich moisturiser to your skin, which will help lock the moisture in and combat dryness. If you need inspiration, choose a moisturiser which contains beeswax and/or shea butter: both smell delicious and are miracle treatments for your complexion.
5. Use your clothes as armour
It’s time to revamp your winter wardrobe - wearing the right clothes can do wonders for protecting your birthday suit.
Beauty products provider Julep advises that you wear long-sleeved cotton shirts under your jumper when the big chill sets in, as some clothing fibres can irritate skin. Wool, for instance, can disrupt your skin’s barriers that lock in moisture, so is best avoided. Layering up makes a great wind-barrier - so avoid loose clothing and stock up on those cute cardigans to give your skin maximum protection.
Advice site, Lifehacker, advises wearing a hood to brave the weather - it’ll protect your scalp and ears, as well as the sides of your face (which are often neglected by our more on-trend garments). The article also suggests that it’s worth swapping your cotton gloves for sturdy leather ones and notes the humble scarf as a great wind-cheater which can protect your neck, mouth and nose. Shopping spree, anyone?
6. Drink plenty of water
Don’t forget the old failsafe - water. Drink plenty of the good stuff every day to keep your skin properly hydrated.
7. You are what you eat
It’s true. Let your nutritional choices give you a glow from the inside, by eating plenty of foods that are high in Omega 3 like fish, olive oil and nuts - and boost your skin’s immune system with treats like dark cocoa, pomegranates and walnuts.
Fruit and vegetables provide powerful antioxidants that stop cellular damage and monosaturated and polysaturated fats - such as those found in avocados and seeds - provide a natural moisturiser for your skin to keep it supple.