Because no one wants chapped, flaky and sore skin.
Your skin behaves differently in winter. It's up against the elements, subject to colder temperatures, fiercer winds, low humidity, gas heaters and hot showers. So it's unsurprising that many of us end up with flaky and lacklustre skin when the cold comes in. But it doesn't have to be that way. Not if you understand the important requirements of your skin in colder climates and how to care for your winter skin.
Here are 10 important thing you should be doing for your skin and body during the winter months.
Drink lots of water
This is probably the most important thing you can do for your skin and body in winter. We all know the chilly, windy air in winter dries us out, so it's important to make sure you stay hydrated on the inside to avoid dry and chapped skin. When you don't drink enough water and you become dehydrated, your skin suffers.
The recommended amount of water to drink daily is two litres - something you should aim for everyday.
Avoid really hot showers
Hot water softens the natural oils in your skin and allows them to leech out, leaving you feeling dry and flaky. So, if you can avoid having super-hot showers, or even just turn the temperature down slightly, your skin will thank you.
Remember oily skin and hydrated skin are not the same thing
Having hydrated skin means your skin is rich in water, and this has nothing to do with how oily your skin is. In an attempt to beat the shine, many people will inadvertently dehydrate their skin with harsh cleansers (and maybe even avoid moisturising) and making the skin chapped, flaky and rough. Dehydrated skin also ages a lot faster so trust us, you do not want to be dehydrated this winter. Everyone, even those with oily skin, should be paying extra attention to skin hydration in winter and ditching the harsh cleansers.
Adding a hydration booster is also a good idea for anyone looking for an extra hit of moisture. Layer it on underneath your moisturiser. It won't leave you skin looking shiny and your skin will thank you for it. We love Dermalogica Skin Hydrating Booster. The team has recently started using it and has seen great results so far.
If you're not already, use night cream
Using a night cream is important all year round but particularly important in winter. Your skin behaves differently at night as it uses this time to rest and regenerate. So giving your skin a little extra moisture kick to help the regeneration process works wonders. If your skin is dry and flaky, adding this one extra step in your nightly routine will change your skin for the better. If you find night creams to be too heavy, use a few drops of rosehip oil instead. It's cheap, it's filled with antioxidants and it's great for all skin types.
Exfoliation is key
It's hard for your skin to absorb your moisturiser if it's shielded by a layer of dead skin, which is why exfoliating in winter is so important. Using a light or gentle exfoliant every second day in winter will ensure that all dead skin cells and debris are removed and your skin can effectively soak up the moisturiser you put on it. This goes for your face and also your body, especially your knees and elbows.
Add a serum to your skin routine
Serums, much like face oils, can be much more effective in delivering moisture to the skin than traditional moisturisers. Serums and face oils have smaller molecules, allowing them to sink and penetrate deeper into our skin, hydrating more intensely and more thoroughly. Anyone with ageing skin should have a serum in their skincare routine already but in winter, everyone should consider adding one to their routine. We love the affordable La Mav Intense Moisture Nightly Repair Nectar. Use it underneath your regular moisturiser.
Switch to a body oil rather than a moisturising cream
As mentioned, oils have smaller molecules that regular moisturiser and can hydrate more intensely and on a deeper level than creams. So, if you're noticing that your legs and arms are still scaly even after lathering them in your moisturising cream, try switching to a body oil. We love Sanctuary 4 Day Moisture Body Oil Spray.
Coconut oil is your friend
Dry, scaly legs? Rough elbows? Damaged hair? The answer is coconut oil. Not the specially formulated moisturiser kind either, the run of the mill white stuff you get in a jar at the supermarket. Lather it on your skin and hair and you'll notice a world of difference. But avoid using it on the skin on your face. Coconut oil is very rich and the skin on your face is very delicate, so stick to your normal moisturiser when it comes to your face. You can find out more about why coconut oil is good for you in our guide to buying coconut oil.
Consider changing your makeup products
Ever noticed how your stick foundation is soft as a marshmallow in summer but hard as a rock in winter? The temperature affects the way our makeup products behave and the way they sit on our skin. In summer, it's very common for people to choose mattifying foundations and lipstick. But these products can be way too drying in winter, especially if you're already prone to dry skin. Choose a moisturising lip product and dewy foundation during the winter months. Not only will your skin become more hydrated but your makeup will wear better and will be less prone to creasing.
Sleep on silk
Silk fabrics are a lot less irritating and drying to your skin than cotton. If you're suffering with dry and flaky winter skin, it could be worth switching your current pillow case for a silk one that will be a little bit kinder to your face. Also, make sure to change your pillow cases regularly. Your skin wont be happy rest on a pillow case covered with two week old night cream.