Winter Skin School
Posted: Jun 29 2014
In the last 5 years (in the shadow of turning 30) I've become heavily focused on my skin and making sure I do everything I can to keep it healthy and fresh. In my research i've trailed what feels like a million different products and would be "miracle cures" and found that good skin is more about good habits than good products.
Winter can be a harsh time for your skin. Cold weather and wind combined with indoor heating and even long hot showers can cause dehydrated, dry and dull skin. In these colder months I try to focus on 3 key areas to keep my skin healthy, here are my tips.
Tip #1 - Hydration
Dehydration is the loss of moisture from the skin and is often confused with dryness which is the lack of oil in the skin. Physical, chemical and environmental factors will have an effect on the skins level of hydration so it's important to be aware of these in order to best hydrate the skin.
Tips to keep skin Hydrated
- Drink lots of water - Seems obvious I know but often forgotten about in winter. Warmer months will have me reaching for the water bottle constantly as a way to cool down but I often forget to do the same in winter. I suggest buying a litre water bottle to carry around and aim to drink two per day (or 3-4 600ml bottles per day), you could also try drinking black tea through the day if you want a warmer alternative.
- Add Proplenish - I have been taking Proplenish Marine Collagen for a while now and have found the benefits to my skin, hair and nails to be great (read blog article Proplenish Your Skin for more information). This supplement is designed to replace collagen in the skin to help it look full but it is also great for hydration and increases the skins ability to retain moisture for overall smoothness and plumping of the skin. I currently take 2 sachets per day but you can take up to 3 a day and a box of 30 sachets cost $49.95 from their website.
- Avoid the long hot shower - I can hear the disgusted gasps as I write this and one of my favourite things to do in winter is take a scolding hot shower to warm up. I always find it so hard to turn off that tap and brave the icy bathroom air but exposing the skin to hot water dehydrates it. Try and keep hot showers short or keep the water luke warm, I would also suggest using a dry skin full body moisturiser after you shower to rehydrate the skin. I use Aveeno Daily Moisturising Lotion approximately $12 - $14 from most chemists and supermarkets. This contains oatmeal which is said to create a barrier over skin to prevent moister loss. It's also soothing and luxurious.
Tip #2 - Nourishment
I'm sure you've heard it all before but getting great skin is not just about what you put on it or what products you use it's also about what you put in your mouth. I know from personal experience that when my diet is bad my skin soon follows suit. Antioxidants and Vitamins such as C, A and E work to fight free radicals (damaged cells) and can help to keep dry, flaky skin at bay. Omega 3's, or fatty acids are also great for the skin because they help keep the outer layer strong and ward off pollutants from the environment.
Tips for Nourished Skin
- Eat Foods High in Omega 3 - Salmon, Flaxseeds, Walnuts, Sardines and Chia seeds are all examples of foods high in Omega 3. I love salmon and eat it regularly and I also find it easy to sprinkle chia seeds on my breakfast (or add it to yogurt and smoothies) however if you don't like the sound of any of these foods you can take supplements. There is some debate about the effectiveness of supplements vs food so do your research and decide for yourself.
- Take daily Vitamin C - Apart from the obvious benefits of taking vitamin C in winter to avoid the severity of flu season it is also great for your skin. Vitamin C is an important factor in collagen production and also assists with wound and skin healing (cuts, burns and acne sores), I take two 250mg tablets a day but according to Cenovis adults can take up to 4 a day.
Tip #3 - Protection
One of the keys to looking younger and maintaining healthy good looking skin is prevention. It's virtually impossible to undo existing damage to your skin but guarding it against any further damage is well within your control. According to skin specialists one of the most common and major causes of unwanted skin changes (such as wrinkles, dryness and discolouration) is damage caused by the sun.
Tips for Protecting Skin
- Trust me on the Sunscreen - Most people only think about using sunscreen during Summer but the Sun's UV strength can be just as high in winter. I use Sunsense Moisturising Face Lotion 50+ sunscreen all year round and also ensure my makeup includes SPF for maximum protection. Don't forget your lips either they need just as much protection and cracked dry lips are uncomfortable. Keep a lip balm handy and try to get one with SPF.