Healthy Winter Skin
Does your skin care routine suit the season?10 tips to keep your skin hydrated and happy this winter
By Guest Blogger - Amanda Sugden from My Essential Alchemy
As we step into the winter months the drop in temperature can wreak havoc on skin, both on the face and over the entire body. If you have noticed your skin feeling dry or irritated lately, you’re not alone! The icy cold weather, harsh winds, low humidity and constant indoor heating all reduce the natural moisture level in skin leaving it dry, cracked and scaly. The change of season has seen an influx of women coming to see me about their dry skin.The medical term for dry skin is xerosis.
As skin becomes dry, it may also become more sensitive and prone to rashes and skin breakdown. “Winter dryness strikes where your oil glands are weakest,” explains Janice Cox, author of Natural Beauty for All Seasons. Sebaceous oil glands cover most of the body except for the lips, palms of hands and soles of feet. They excrete sebum, an oily, waxy substance which is important in delaying dehydration as it waterproofs and lubricates the skin. Cheeks, arms and lower legs have very few sebaceous oil glands and are therefore drier during the colder months. It should be noted that natural sebum production declines with age, making it necessary to support and hydrate aging skin. Unfortunately, dry skin is further exacerbated by using harsh soaps and chemical-based skin care. Look at the ingredients in your skin care products and be aware of their possible toxicity. Use an app like Chemical Maze to understand what the ingredients are and their possible side effects.Here are my top 10 natural tips for keeping the body’s largest organ hydrated, healthy and glowing throughout this winter.
- Moisturise daily. Skin needs more moisture during winter and the best time to apply is immediately after a shower or washing your face or hands. Apply an oil-based or cream-based moisturiser while skin is still damp to seal the moisture in. For the face skin care, a light toner infused with plant extracts, essential oils and hyaluronic acid such as our Rose botanical mist can provide the necessary support and hydration. While still damp, follow immediately by a rich face oil like Nourish Face Oil or a cream-based moisturiser like Daily Defence. When using a natural product like these a little goes a long way since there are no fillers or water.
- Moisturise overnight. Night time is the perfect time for your skin to rest, repair and hydrate for the following morning. You can wear something a little heavier than your day cream and use rejuvenating botanicals that may not able to be worn during the day due to photo sensitivity.
- Exfoliate. Using a gentle body, hands, face and lip scrub helps to get rid of dead skin cells. If these dead skin cells are too plentiful, your moisturiser and other skin care products are not able to be absorbed. Look for a scrub that has added butters and oils to deeply hydrate skin and be aware that you will need a different product to exfoliate your face than you would use on your feet. Our Coffee Scrub is great for the hands and body, while a fine lip scrub butter is necessary for exfoliating lips. Exfoliate only once a week and apply a moisturiser immediately after.
- Apply lip balm frequently. Using a natural lip balm will not only help to moisturise and repair dry lips, it also prevents them by providing a protective barrier. Lip Therapy tubes provide a thick barrier or My Essential Alchemy lip & cuticle balm is great for soothing dry skin areas.
- Limit hot showers. Taking a long hot shower in winter always feels good but try to use warm water to wash face, hands and bathe in to avoid stripping the skin of its natural oils.
- Use a diffuser. Choose a diffuser that has a humidifier function to add moisture to the air while enjoying the benefits of pure essential oils at the same time. Lively Living produce diffusers of a high quality and the ultrasonic waves create air moisture to combat the drying effects of heating and air-conditioning.
- Drink water. The cooler months see us turning to warm drinks and we tend to drink less water. Hydrating your skin from the inside out is important. Make sure to drink enough water. A little warm water with some fresh lemon or ginger can be very hydrating and refreshing.
- Eat well. Foods that are high in water content can help to hydrate from the inside out. Make sure you are getting enough vitamin C and zinc to support the healthy production of collagen and elastin, and omega 3’s for supple smooth skin.
- Use a natural sunscreen. UV rays are present all year round and the winter sun can be just as damaging for the skin as in warmer months. Always apply a safe, natural sun cream when going outdoors. My Essential Alchemy’s Natural Sun Cream provides a physical barrier (rather than a chemical barrier) to reflect the sun’s harmful rays.
- Choose moisturiser carefully. Select an oil-based rather than a water-based formula as it is more likely to help your skin retain moisture during the winter months.
Sometimes skin dryness and irritation are attributed to more than just seasonal change. When skin is red, itchy, scaly and irritated despite daily care and using natural products, it is important to look at underlying causes. Dry skin may be a side effect of certain medications or a byproduct of certain diseases. A chronic skin condition may also be caused by an imbalance within the gut or body and should be explored further. Once these other causes of dry skin have been ruled out, the main goals of treatment are to stop the itching, prevent loss of water and provide adequate hydration.
You will find all of our My Essential Alchemy skin care and natural body products online at www.myessentialalchemy.com.au All of our products are formulated and hand crafted in small batches in Toowoomba, QLD by Amanda Sugden.