Updated: Jan 6
Winter is here! Some people would say its their favourite season for all the great fashion and cozy nights in. But that also means we're faced with the task of adjusting our skin care and makeup routine to accommodate for the dry, cold, sharp air and punishing, even more drying indoor heating (fun). As a result, the season can also play havoc with your skin, leading to chapped lips and dry flaky skin, frizzy dry hair amongst other things if proper care is not taken during these colder months. These months can also take its toll on your mood and enthusiasm, especially as yet again we've been plunged into another lockdown. So here are a few tips that will help you keep your skin hydrated and glowing throughout the season and hopefully lift your spirits!
Tip 1: Say Goodbye to Chapped Lips!
Cold weather and sun exposure are major factors that cause of chapped lips, cool air, reduced humidity and windy weather can leave the skin on your lips dry and cracked. The lack of moisture can leave your skin feeling dry and uncomfortable, which results in chapped, peeling and painful lips.
Regularly exfoliating your lips will not only help to get rid of your dead skin cells, but it also helps to stimulate healthier skin cells to emerge. It is important to protect the skin on the lips and give it a protective barrier, keep lips covered with a good lip balm, which should be applied several times during the day. Products rich in Vitamin A, Vitamin E and with shea butter are great for helping to restore the skin, as they help defend exposed skin from further damage much like our lipglosses. Lip balms are now commonly available with a Sun Protection Factor (SPF). Make sure the lip balm contains SPF 15 or 20 to further protect the skin. Also it is important to drink plenty of water to stay hydrated.
Tip 2: Up your skin game!
Cold weather and cool winds aggravate dry skin conditions, leaving skin feeling even more dry, flaky and rough. Exposure to cold, windy weather and intense sunlight can disrupt the skin’s natural barrier function. As a result it is important to support, protect and repair your skin with the changing seasons.
If you have dry skin you will notice that your skin becomes worse during the winter months. This is because people with dry skin naturally have lower levels of natural moisturising factor (NMF) in their skin, and harsh winter weather can lessen this further, leaving your skin flaky and rough-textured. It is important for people with dry skin to exfoliate regularly, to avoid the build up of dead skin cells. Regardless of skin tone/type, there are key ingredients that we can all benefit from; Vitamin C is an excellent, multitasking anti-oxidant which repairs, renews and strengthens the skin. Exfoliants rich in glycolic, lactic and salicylic acids will help stimulate healthy skin rejuvenation.
Be sure to moisturise when your skin is still damp after showering. This is the optimal time to give your freshly steamed and washed skin its much-needed hydration. Use a moisturising night cream every evening. Apply a daytime moisturiser around your eyes and on dry areas each morning. Make sure you check with your doctor or dermatologist for the best type of cream for your skin.
Tip 3: Don't forget your cuticles!
Cuticles are also affected by the winter cold, not to mention air conditioning and central heating. As a result the cuticles become less elastic and very dry to the touch. Which means that in cold temperatures people are more likely to experience split cuticles, which is very painful.
As many of us are now having to resort to DIY manicures, I asked my nail technician (@clawsoflondon) for her best tips for caring for your cuticles. She said the "Best advice I would give is to gently push back cuticles after a bath or shower. If you don't have a proper cuticle tool you can easily do this with a cotton bud or a soft muslin cloth. Then apply cuticle oil - if you don’t have any to hand, you can still get the same great results from Jojoba, olive or coconut oil. You will see the dramatic difference if you can do this daily for just a week or so."
So don't forget whilst your body needs hydration so do your cuticles!
Tip 4: Say no to dry hair!
During winter most of us will spend a lot of times in rooms with the central heating on, as a result your hair can become dry, brittle and grow split ends due to the dry heat. A way to tackle this problem is to make sure your hair is always hydrated in order to reduce the chances of it drying out and causing breakage. A great way to hydrate your hair is to commit to a deep conditioning treatment using a thick moisturising conditioner ideal for you hair type, at least every 1 - 2 weeks this will help to replenish the moisture. Try to pick one that contains fatty acids and humectants, such as soy protein and Panthenol. These ingredients help attract and retain moisture in the hair. Make sure you follow the guidelines written on the packaging for best results.
As the weather gets colder your scalp can begin to peel and become dry and itchy. While this is should usually only be temporary, this is a problem you probably don't want. Applying a natural oil to the hair ensures it is well hydrated with essential moisture and nutrients. Please make sure the oil is right for your hair type, thicker oils like castor oil or coconut oil are good for people afro hair or thicker hair, whilst people with other hair types can use argon oil or jojoba oil. These oils can be applied to your scalp to help tackle the dandruff, it can also applied throughout the hair, which will help treat any possible split ends and will bring shine into your hair. Make sure to apply as needed.
Another useful tip to tackle dry hair and breakage is to wear a silk head-wrap whilst you sleep or sleep with a satin pillow case. Silk is naturally hypoallergenic it is known to help prevent thinning, knotted hair and split ends as it stimulates hydration.
Tip 5: Keep to a good diet!
Illness and infection tends to go up in the winter, and with this new strain of coronavirus, the lack of sunlight (less vitamin D), the different habits people adopt during winter such as using public transport rather than walking or cycling/ being inside more, are all contributing factors. As a result, it is important to keep a healthy balanced diet including immune boosting nutrients to take care of your inner health in order to fight infections and illness and to help stay healthy in the winter.
The cold weather can also lead to comfort eating, being indoors even more because of lockdown means you have more access to food and drink, covering up in layers of clothing and maybe being less active due to the shorter days and winter weather. In order to follow a good diet make sure you stock up your cupboard and freezer with healthy food. Not only will it help you save time, it will also help you protect your health when you get hungry on those dark nights. If you have healthier food choices available you can easily throw together a great tasting dish that is also packed with all the essential nutrients your body needs. Rather than searching through food takeaway sites for a meal or resorting to tea and toast for the third time in one day.
Also one thing to note is that there are additional compounds in fruit and vegetables that are not found in supplements, so where you can, try to eat the real thing as well.. These vitamin filled fruit and vegetables can be bought fresh, dried or frozen. Look for root vegetables like carrots and swedes, frozen berries and citrus fruits in season to boost your levels of Vitamin A and vitamin C and a handful of nuts as a snack provides zinc and vitamin E – all will help your immune system.
Another note, be aware that your skin texture not only depends on external treatments, but also what you eat and drink. Proper nutrition helps in rejuvenating the skin from within. Water is essential for the body and it is recommended to drink a good a amount throughout the day. This helps in retaining the moisture of your skin as well as keeping skin disorders at bay.
TIP 6: Give your brain some love too!
Many of us experience a dip in our mood during the change in weather, however, people with Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) will experience a much greater effect on their mood and energy levels which can have a significant impact on their day-to-day life.
While the causes of SAD aren’t so clear, it has been found that a lack of daylight can have a major impact on a persons mood during the winter. When light hits the back of the eye, messages are passed to the part of the brain responsible for sleep, appetite, libido, temperature, mood and activity.
Another theory is that if you experience SAD, the part of the brain that does this isn't functioning completely and so your body clock slows down, leading to tiredness and depression. Some people experiencing depression have also been found to have lower levels of serotonin, particularly in winter. Equally, it has been found that those experiencing SAD produce much higher levels of melatonin (the hormone which helps your body get ready for sleep) in winter than other people, leaving them feeling more tired than usual.
There a few ways to deal with the symptoms of SAD during winter:
- Make the most of the Natural Light - Try go for walks, spending time in parks or gardens or maybe just sit near a window. Research shows that exercise can be as effective as antidepressants in treating mild to moderate depression.
- Eat Well - Eating a healthy and balanced diet can be as good for your mental health as it is for your physical health. At this time of year, there is a tendency for many of us to increase the amount of sugar, caffeine and alcohol in our diets. But stimulants such as these can make feelings of anxiety and stress worse and leave you feeling lethargic. (See TIP 5 for more information on this).
- Spend Time with Friends and Family - With this lockdown unfortunately we're not able to mix with people from other households, however try your best to make use of technology by calling up friends, create whatsapp support groups or zoom/ faceTime calls. If you are struggling with a mental health problem like depression, withdrawing from friends and family can be both a symptom and a cause of poor mental health. Having contact with people can have a big impact on improving our mood, so try to make plans to get in touch with people.
- Speak To A Professional - It can be hard to speak to someone when you're not feeling well, but it may be really helpful to speak to someone about how you're feeling. If you don't feel you can talk to the people around you or you need additional support, you can contact your GP once you've noticed changes in your feelings, thoughts and behaviour. You may be feeling tearful, irritable or may have lost interest in things you previously enjoyed. Your GP may refer you for talking treatments such as Counselling or Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) which can be very helpful. You can also contact helplines such as; Samaritans and SANEline.
This can be a very daunting experience so it is important to look for help and speak to someone when you are feeling unwell, you can visit mind.org.uk for more help and information.
JC Beauty does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Any information published on this website or by this brand is not intended as a substitute for medical advice, and you should not take any action before consulting with a healthcare professional.