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Tips On Your Skincare Routine For This Winter

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Published: 28 Nov 2012      

Winter weather poses many problems for your skin and particularly dry skin. If you keep to the same skincare routine  all year round, now's the time to stop! Traversing between the cold outdoors and cozy warm homes and offices this time of year stresses the skin and is particularly bad news for dry skin. It's a fact that people who live in a consistently dry environment don't necessarily have dry skin, because their skin is able to adapt and produce better protection. By contrast people who live in a more changeable environment may not have the chance to adapt and the skin can suffer as a result.

What effect does the winter weather have on your skin?

If the skin's natural barrier is weakened, moisture is lost and the surface layers of the skin crack easily. Potential irritants are also able to penetrate the barrier, which can cause redness and sensitivity. Over the longer term, this is thought to damage collagen production, contributing to skin ageing.

So what should you do

Moisturising regularly should be a key part of your winter skincare routine. The trick is to do it frequently, twice a day, gently massage cream in the direction of fine hairs, never in the opposite direction as this can clog the pores and cause spots. Also, apply moisturiser all over your body, as well as on your face, it is very important to get into the habit of doing this, especially after a bath or shower. Make it part of your daily routine.

And remember!

Moisture works from the inside out as well as the outside in, so in addition to nourishing your skin externally with creams and lotions, drink plenty of water as well which will hydrate from within.

Pay special attention to sensitive areas

When we are outside, the exposure to cold and wind can easily damage the skin's protective barrier. ‘Keeping your skin supple, using a protective barrier cream and lip balm that will restore the damage and help prevent excessive water loss is key.

What to do about rosacea?

You also need to protect skin capillaries against temperature change and wind, this is particularly important if you suffer from rosacea, or skin reddening. Sufferers may notice that exposure to temperature fluctuations inside and outside makes this worse. To combat this, look out for skincare products containing Vitamin C.

Winter sun care

We're all (hopefully!) well educated about the problems posed by sun on our skin and we reach instantly for the sun cream in the warm summer months. But don't let your cream gather dust in the darker winter days, it is just as important to protect skin from the harmful rays of the sun in winter as well as summer.  However, a low factor cream is perfectly adequate, factor 6 to 10 is plenty for this time of year.

Changes to your lifestyle

Of course it's not all about the products you use, living a healthy lifestyle will also have an extremely positive effect on your skin and the results can't be faked! A good diet is essential, as is getting plenty of sleep. If you have dry skin it's vital to get eight hours sleep every night as your skin uses that period to repair itself. Smoking is totally out if you want to have good skin; it causes premature ageing and leads to wrinkles and a lacklustre appearance.

Just because the winter months bring us longer nights, it doesn't mean you should hibernate, make the most of the days. Snuggling up on the sofa should be for strictly evenings only, get out and reap the benefits of natural daylight, hit the park for a quick jog, get on a bike or strap on those roller blades. Once you get those endorphins buzzing you’ll be leaping towards the new year, but don’t forget to pack a pair of sunglasses along with your umbrella.  Just like SPF moisturisers, you need to protect your eyes against the sun’s harmful rays no matter what time of year the sun is shining.