We have been fortunate in the UK to have a delightfully mild Autumn which honestly has given me false pretences for how bitter the Winter months can get.
Your skin can become neglected during these colder months filled with snuggly warm catch ups, frosty pink-nosed walks and snow blasted chills during those odd icy days. It can become dry and aggravated.
In the summer we arguably look after our skin that little bit more, but it also doesn’t take too much to make it happy during these months if I’m to be honest. A little sun protection, moisturiser and a good cleanser can usually see you through, but of course, for me at least, Winter in comparison is a little more demanding.
To keep your skin subtle and glowy I have curated list to help guide you in preparing your skin for the Winter.
The weather is not the only culprit in causing the skin to become dry. As the cold creeps in we instinctively amp up the temperatures to keep snug in our homes. While this keeps the chills at bay, it can cause the air in our homes to become dry which in turn sucks the moisture from our skin. The continuous change of temperatures also dries out the skin and can irritate those who suffer from conditions such as eczema.
To avoid this from happening it’s essential that hydrating the skin is number one on your skin care priority list. I recommend:
‣Swapping out your lightweight moisturiser for something a little thicker to nourish the skin from the outside in.
‣Consider introducing oil into your nighttime routine such as rose hip to help replenish any moisture lost throughout the day and calm any irritation.
‣Become more vigilant regarding your water consumption aside from hot beverages as coffee and tea can be dehydrating to the body. Aiming to drink a glass of water for every warm cuppa is a good starting point.
‣To combat dry air in the home, consider purchasing a humidifier for your bedroom to help replenish the air with moisture. They sell multiple affordable ones on Amazon, and you can add essential oils for a combined spa-like experience those evenings you crave a little luxury.
‣Hyaluronic acid is a phenomenal product to increase moisture in the skin and encourage skin to appear plump and rested. Commonly mistaken with Glycolic acid which is an exfoliant, Hyaluronic acid has no exfoliant tendencies. A bit of beauty geek knowledge for you in that Hyaluronic is found naturally in the body in the highest concentration in the fluids of the eyes, and before skin care, it was commonly used medically to replace fluids during eye operations and aid those with joint issues.
I love using products with this ingredient during these months as I can see a visible difference in the clarity and texture of my skin when used consistently. My skin type is naturally dry and adores this ingredient so if you find you have naturally dry skin aside from the winter elements, give this a try. You can find multiple products with the component, my favourite at the moment is the 7 Second Facial by StarSkin.
As skin lacks moisture, it can produce scaly and flaky patches, which can become trying when it comes to applying makeup. In addition to hydration, it is essential you exfoliate the skin if you find you’re prone to dry skin. Removing the dead skin helps you achieve that ‘glowy’ complexion, even in the Winter. Saying that, make sure you don’t over exfoliate your skin as this can be counter-productive.
My advice for exfoliant is as follows:
‣Exfoliating doesn’t have to be costly. Mixing brown sugar and coconut oil can be an effective natural exfoliant, this can also work as an all over body exfoliant to keep your whole body silky.
‣Always avoid the eye area during any exfoliation whether it abrasive or not, the skin on this part of your face is much more delicate than that of anywhere else.
‣Chemical exfoliants are an excellent addition to your skin care. I tend not to use them as frequently as abrasive exfoliants; however, when I have a terrible breakout, I find they are effective in reducing the inflammation while helping my skin appear plump and smooth. When I do use a chemical exfoliant, I usually reach for Nip+Fab Glycolic Pads or Pixi Glow Tonic, which both have Glycolic acid as an ingredient which we established is an exfoliant earlier in this post. I typically use them at night as I find they can leave some residue in the morning which can affect the application of makeup.
▷ Managing Breakouts
In all seasons breakouts are inevitable. They can be caused by a broad array of circumstances which can be very specific to the person. Although I can’t advise on how to avoid breakouts, I can share how I manage my own. Firstly I want to address that breakouts are nothing to be ashamed of.
Clear skin can be amazing and beautiful, but if we are completely honest, it’s unrealistic to aim for blemish-free skin. The first thing you can do for your skin is to stop ‘faffing’ about it. Yes, I just said stop ‘faffing’ with your skin in a skin care post, but let me explain. Our skin is alive and our biggest organ, and it has to put up with a lot, with the elements, sweat, products, etc. The last thing it needs is us being critical and picking at it on the daily. Now, this is easier said than done and believe me I’ve had my fair share breakdowns over a couple of pimples, but perceiving your skin as an organ and not a canvas of perfection can help those days it’s not maybe how you want. I know, you’re probably thinking isn’t this a post about how to help the skin, what do you MEAN?
I mean, you can drink more water and use fabulous products, but make sure you are happy within yourself too. I never want any of my advice to make you think this is what you need to do to conform to an ideal. Here are my tricks for managing breakouts, but hey, I’ve had raging breakouts due to hormones and stress for months, so if they don’t, try working on you’re mental and physical well being too, the skin may be just looking out for you indicating a change is needed, I speak from experience.
Here are my tips for managing breakouts from an external standpoint this Winter:
‣Facemasks. I love facemasks as a self-care ritual but also a great way to indulge the skin in a little TLC. Wash away masks are my favourite as I find they make the most difference in my skin compared to sheet masks. They seriously make a facemask for every concern, but my favourites are The Body Shop Masks and the Peter Thomas range, as these not only feel luscious on the skin but help the skin heal, extract dirt or add moisture depending on the ingredients. Clay is my favourite ingredient for my skin when it feels congested after a prolonged time of wearing lots of makeup or travelling consistently.
‣Spot cream. When I have a sizeable simple pimple, I try my hardest to leave it alone and avoid picking. Picking at blemishes can scabs and scarring on the skin which means the spot can last a lot longer, which in honesty can be annoying. To avoid this, I use Mario Badescu Drying Lotion on establishing and upcoming blemishes. I have been using this for the past month and saw such a difference in my skin. It has also helped me avoid prolonging blemishes and dry patches where spots once lived, which I find difficult with having naturally dry skin in the first place.
‣Sudocrem is a great skincare product during this time of year. If like myself you do suffer from eczema you know the healing wonders of this little pot of cream. Since an early teen, I have used Sudocrem on my skin as a blemish cream. It not only helps dry out blemishes but I find it helps heal multiple breakouts or those particulary irrating brekaouts which aren’t quite pimples but need to be tamed.
I hope this little chatty guide gives you some tips to manage your skin this upcoming season. If you have any skin care tips please share them below as these are just what work for me from experience but if you have a different skin type and have some killer secrets, let’s share and help each other out. And if you’re reading this and are struggling with your skin, don’t feel disheartened.
Just rock your blemishes, act confident and no one will question you, trust me, no one analyses you as much as you do yourself. Breath, focus on the important things in life and don’t limit yourself based on your appearance.