Winter is a perfect recipe for lacklustre skin that feels raw and tender. The cold, wet, windy weather strips the skin of its moisture, causing it to become dry and flaky. Add to that a lack of sun and many people start to look and feel like the walking dead.
Follow these 5 winter skin care tips to spruce up your cold weather regimen:
1. Use a Gentle Exfoliating Agent
Skin cell turnover can slow down in winter months, which means that your skin can start to look a little old and tired. A gentle exfoliating agent will slough off dead skin cells, revealing fresh, young looking skin beneath. It will also help to encourage healthy skin regeneration.
Homemade Exfoliant: Mixing one tablespoon of oatmeal with two tablespoons of soy milk, a dash of sugar and a tablespoon of olive oil. Massage the mixture into any rough patches of skin and all over your face to gently remove dead skin cells and moisturize your skin.
2. Stay Hydrated
In the Summer, it’s easy to drink a lot of water and stay hydrated because cool drinks help us beat the heat. In winter, our consumption of liquids often drops dramatically, while indoor heating causes dehydration. Keeping the skin hydrated helps it to function properly as our first line of defence against potential infections. Good hydration also helps to keep our skin looking and feeling good.
Tip: Try drinking warm water with slices of lemon and ginger throughout the day, thereby upping your intake of antioxidants! Green tea or a low caffeine, low-calorie warm drink are also good choices for a winter time beverage that will help keep your fluid levels up and your skin happy.
3. Choose Healthy Fats
The health of our skin cells relies on a good intake of healthy fats to keep the cell membranes flexible and functional. Healthy cell membranes are better able to keep moisture in the skin cells and prevent unwanted substances entering the cells. A good intake of omega-3 essential fatty acids helps keep the skin healthy.
Tip: To increase your intake of omega-3, add a tablespoon of chia seeds or ground flaxseed to your oatmeal, cereal, or yogurt. Munch on a handful of walnuts as a mid-morning snack, or try including an algal oil supplement to your daily routine.
4. Skip the Shower!
Showering less often and taking shorter, cooler showers will not only help to conserve water and energy, but it will also help prevent your skin from drying out in the winter. Hot water opens up the pores and encourages water to escape, leaving the skin feeling dry.
Tip: Moisturize immediately after showering! It will seal in moisture and help to keep skin from drying out.
5. Feed Your Face!
Beautiful skin definitely comes from within, but feeding your skin from the outside also helps. Not only do some fruit acids (citrus in particular) help to clear away dead skin cells and reveal healthier skin underneath, but foods like avocado, banana and grated raw potato are great for calming down chapped skin.
If your skin is looking a little hungry, try mashing half a banana and using it as a face mask for 20 minutes. Or, score a few avocado skins and apply them to areas needing a little extra moisture. You can also grate half a potato, mix with a little red grape juice or mashed grapes, and apply the mixture as a face mask!
Tip: If you’re fresh out of face-friendly foods, you can simply place a warm cloth over your face and relax for 20 minutes.
Bonus Tip: Wear cycling glasses! If you find that the corners of your eyes are dry, red and sore during winter, this might be because you’re wiping away tears caused by the wind lashing at your face as you cycle. All those tears and all that wiping can seriously irritate the delicate skin at the corners of your eyes. Wearing cycling glasses helps protect your eyes and minimize skin irritation in winter.