Winter weather can wreak havoc on your skin. The combination of freezing temperatures and central heating can leave you with dry, itchy and uncomfortable skin if you let go. With that in mind, here are a couple of simple to follow tips to get your skin looking healthy this season.
Dress warmly and in layers
The weather may choose to be schizophrenic during some days so it's always best to be prepared for the worst. I always bring a scarf, sweater and umbrella in my bag for when the temperature decides to drop a few extra degrees. It's important to have appropriate layers of clothing to protect your skin.
Re-evaluate your facial skin care routine
People's faces react differently during winter. In the winter, my skin tends to get red, itchy and sensitive. With this in mind, I'm currently using an organic range called KALME, specifically their Cream Cleanser, Day Defence SPF25 and their Night Repair Cream. I'm a big fan of products that are natural or organic as my skin is quite sensitive naturally. This range is developed for sensitive skin prone to redness and sensitivity so it works well for me. Now my facial skin looks exactly like when it did pre-winter without the redness or dryness. I wouldn't use this range for the summer as my skin will be too oily, so it is important to check whether the products you are using still suit your winter skin. You might find that your entire range doesn't work now, or you might just need to replace or add one product.
Use gentle body cleansers and moisturisers
Since some soaps can aggravate dry skin, use gentler body cleansers and follow up with a moisturiser. Since I have a liking to natural and chemical-free ranges, I have a preference for Red Mandarin & Ho Wood Body Lotion and Wash which I use when I feel like smelling a sweet and woody aroma to perk me up (usually before I go out). However, I switch to Ruby Red's Body Cleanser and Body Moisturiser with a warm floral fragrance when I feel like I need to relax (usually when I shower right before bed). Both of these cleansers are gentle on the skin, and the lotion/moisturiser has a light texture to it which makes it really easy to apply all over. I find that the scent you choose is also quite important as it can influence your mood to make you happier or more relaxed. If your skin isn't too dry, you might find that all you need is a body moisturiser, and you can keep your current soap.
Reinforce areas prone to dryness
Sometimes there might be areas that are prone to dryness only during winter. For me, it is the eyes and lips. To prevent dry eyes, I use Skinshop's Dry Skin Eye Gel which is always handy when I have a bout of allergies or if my eyes dry out due to central heating. You may also opt for a moisturising eye cream if that works for you but they're usually not cut out for allergies. For my lips, I use Skinshops' Liquorice Balm since it also prevents cold sores. Some lip balms leave my lips drier than usual if I forget to apply dailly, but the Liquorice Balm doesn't. Be careful with some lip balms as they might just leave a waxy or greasy feeling on your lips instead of properly moisturising them. Also, the less you need to reapply, the better. Look for your dry areas and try to give them extra treatment this winter.
Take care of your hands
Your hands can really take a beating during winter especially if you wash with warm water. Although your face or body moisturiser will do the job, it is advisable to get a dedicated hand cream which can provide more intense moisturising. I use Lucy's Lotions Vitamin E and Grapefruit Day Cream as I like the scent and it's the right consistency to last 2 washes before needing to reapply although I obviously try to reapply after every hand wash. Whatever you choose, it's best to get a consistency that's thicker than your body moisturiser in a scent that you adore.
Have an emergency stash
I have a bottle of Radiance 100% Organic argan oil which I take with me when I travel or use when I run out of moisturisers or other products as argan oil has several uses. It can function as a moisturiser, leave-in conditioner and shine on its own, and can be added to other facial products to add extra moisturisation. They also come in different scents such as Cinnamon & Grapefruit, Eucalyptus & Peppermint, Mandarin & Ylang Ylang and Lavender & Orange Blossom but I highly prefer the unscented one the best as it doesn't clash with other scented products when I combine them.
Another thing I have but use sparingly is Dexeryl cream which I only use if my skin gets red, and it heals it back up the next day. Having a remedy cream on hand is quite important when your skin is red, itchy and excessively dry. I would always go for prevention vs cure though (which explains my argan oil reserve stash).
Keep your hair moisturised
Great skin with dry and brittle hair don't make a good combination, so make sure you take care of your hair too. For a while, I have turned to argan oil for keeping my hair moisturised, but more recently, I have found that NHP's Beautifying Elixir (which is a mix of argan and macadamia oil) absorbs into my hair much faster and better than plain argan oil does. I was looking for something natural and organic to just quickly apply into wet hair after a shower and whilst pure argan oil does the job, sometimes it may give my hair an oily appearance. Whatever moisturising method you choose whether plain conditioner, leave-in conditioner, oil or hair mask, make sure that it will comfortably fit into your daily routine on top of all the other extra winter products you have to apply.