Bring on the winter. You’ve dug out the warm coats from the back of the wardrobe and the fridge is stocked with shopping for an afternoon’s souping. But, is your skincare also set for the season? Read on to find out whether some simple changes to your beauty routine could help keep your skin looking and feeling its best through the months ahead.
Q. Do you change your skincare routine as the season changes?
1. No. I’ve perfected my routine, so it stays the same no matter what
2. Yes. I apply more of my tried-and-trusted moisturiser
3. Yes. I have a different skincare routine for winter
A. Option 3
Your skin has to deal with different environmental conditions over the course of the year. In winter, colder temperatures, gustier winds, and central-heated rooms can take their toll. So, a review of your skincare routine with each new season is a good idea.
Trying a heavier moisturiser is a first step, but you might want to re-evaluate other elements of your regimen, too, such as your cleanser. And, if you’ve been looking for a chance to try a nourishing oil, serum or mask, this might be it. Look on this time as an opportunity to treat your skin to some TLC!
Q. Do you wear SPF through the winter?
1. No. I’m not going on holiday, and I need the vitamin D
2. Yes. My moisturiser has SPF
3. Yes. I wear SPF every day, regardless of the time of year
A. Option 2 or 3
Most of us know by now that wearing SPF is vitally important as sunburn increases the risk of skin cancer. SPF also goes some way to warding off signs of skin-ageing, such as wrinkles and age spots. But while many people diligently apply SPF throughout the summer, the same can’t be said for the rest of the year. However, SPF should be worn every day, even here in the UK.
Some moisturisers have SPF, and can help protect you if you’re not spending very long outdoors. If you’re outdoors for a while, it might be worth applying sunscreen. Look for a sunscreen that has UVA and UVB protection. Screens that offer both are sometimes called broad spectrum. It’s thought that UVA rays mainly age the skin while UVB ones are responsible for burning.
Most people don’t apply enough cream to achieve the SPF on the bottle, so many experts recommend SPF 30 to be on the safe side. From October to early March, our bodies don’t get enough vitamin D from sunlight, so it’s recommended that everyone consider taking a daily supplement of 10mcg through autumn and winter.
Q. When was the last time you exfoliated?
1. I don’t exfoliate. I don’t need to
2. When I transitioned from bare legs to tights!
3. This morning. I do it around once a week
A. Option 3
As skin cells die and are replaced by new cells, the dead skin can become flaky and clog pores, leading to spots. Exfoliating can remove it and reveal the newer cells underneath. So, whilst you might not NEED to exfoliate, there are beauty gains to be made in incorporating a regular exfoliator in your routine.
Scrubs contain small granules that polish the skin, while chemical exfoliators feature ingredients like enzymes and AHAs or BHAs (alpha and beta hydroxy acids). Most skin types can benefit from exfoliation once or twice a week. A few pointers: take it easy (don’t overdo it by being too rough or overly frequent, as this can cause irritation), use products designed for the face or body as applicable, and don’t exfoliate broken skin.
Q. How often do you take a shower?
A. Once a day, every morning or evening
B. At least once a day, sometimes twice if I’ve been exercising
C. Once a day, then a bath most evenings
A. Well, we won’t stand between you and the shower after a sweaty workout, but…
It’s worth noting that too many hot showers and baths can diminish skin’s natural protective oils and dry it out. Most people’s showering schedule is dictated by their daily activities, and yours might not be up for debate.
However, you could try turning down the water temperature to warm rather than hot and limiting your time to around 10-15 minutes. Also, spend a few moments applying a body lotion after stepping out of the cubicle or tub.
Q. Which of the following do you have in your handbag?
A. Lip balm
B. Hand cream
C. A hat, scarf and gloves
A. Options A, B and C!
You might not think of hats, scarves and gloves as beauty essentials, but wrapping up when you’re outdoors in winter can help protect your skin.
A balm can prevent and soothe chapped lips, and you can very gently exfoliate your lips with a face cloth to help keep them smooth. Apply a hand cream after washing your hands. Fast-absorbing, non-greasy formulas make this easier during the day. You can indulge in a heavier cream before bed, if you like.
Don’t neglect those cuticles and nails to winterproof your skin from the tips of your fingers to the ends of your toes!Shop Natural Beauty Advice is for information only and should not replace medical care. Please consult a doctor or healthcare professional before trying any remedies.