I have loved the cool winter nights, being able to pull the covers up and sleep so comfortably.
It’s the time to bring out the winter woollies and put the electric blanket on the bed. Although I rejoice with the cooler temperatures, my skin doesn’t really like the change.
With less humidity in the air, the skin starts to suffer. The lack of moisture can lead to tightness, dryness and itching. With the end of Winter fast approaching and the Westerly Winds on the horizon, my skin is really feeling it!
How do the drier, cooler months affect you?
The skin is our largest organ and does such a great job protecting us from outside elements. It’s an amazingly complex system of various layers, nerves, cellular functions, hair follicles and glands that all work together to regulate and protect the body.
The Epidermis is the outer layer, which is made up of smaller layers where the skin cells develop and make their way to the surface.
The cells sit together much like bricks on a wall. The cells are the bricks, and we have pathways in between that resemble Turkish Delight, holding the bricks in place much like mortar. If the mortar dries out, the cells start to lift and flake. Although this is part of a natural process, we do have the ability to control the outcome to a certain extent.
If we allow our skin to reach this point, it becomes itchy and tight. Add hot showers to the mix, and we are adding to the discomfort. It then takes larger amounts of Moisturiser to feel ‘normal’ again, as all it is doing is smoothing down the jagged cells. The bottom line is – keep the skin hydrated.
Here are 3 Simple Steps for Glowing Winter Skin
Step 1 – Exfoliate
It is important to exfoliate weekly to avoid a build-up of dry dead cells. This helps to eliminate flaking and cracking, helping the skin to feel smooth and supple and allowing the newer cells to remain hydrated. You can save time by exfoliating while the shower is warming up, or the bath is running.
Exfoliation for the face:
- Always use a pH balanced exfoliant designed specifically for the face, such as Algologie’s Hydrating Granular Peel – this product sloughs away dead cells with its granular action, but also hydrates at the same time with its rich, creamy formulation.
- Do not exfoliate the face using exfoliating gloves or mitts, or sugar or salt scrubs…..You’d be surprised to hear what people have used on their face.
- And don’t ever use a scrub to remove makeup! (but that’s a blog for another time)
Exfoliation of the body:
- Dry skin brushing. As the words suggest, this is a method of using a natural bristled brush to gently brush the skin in long, sweeping movements toward the heart. Use gentler strokes across the breast area. We stock a range of natural body brushes that we recommend for this.
- Use Exfoliating Body Glove or Mitts. You can pour a tablespoon of plain olive oil onto the gloves and rub gently over dry skin. You might be surprised at the number of dead cells that come away! By using the oil, you are also helping to nourish the skin at the same time as exfoliating the dead cells.
Step 2 – Nourish
In using products that contain nourishing oils, we are actually helping to bind moisture, helping to prevent dehydration.
Nurture Body & Being stock a beautiful range of body products including our wonderful Body Polish rich in sea minerals and nourishing Coconut and Olive Oils, Handmade Soaps, and a gentle coconut based Body Wash.
- Using the Body Polish: While your body is still dry, take a scoop of the mineral-rich sea salt and rub over the skin. The salt will re-mineralise, while the oils help to nourish. Step into the shower or bath and wash off the excess, and rejoice at the feel of your beautifully smooth skin. Be careful not to slip on the oils in the bottom of the shower recess or bath.
- Use a beautiful bar of nourishing handmade soap. The oils in the soap will not strip the natural oils, and will actually help to bind the moisture to the skin.
- Body Wash/Gel: If you are using a foaming gel-like product, make sure that it is a low irritant formula that supports the nourishing of the skin, not stripping it.
Step 3 – Moisturise
Capitalise on the quick and simple steps so far, by moisturising the skin.
Moisturisers are simply an emulsion of oil droplets (along with other yummy ingredients) suspended in water. Looking at the ingredients list, you will often see water (aqua) is the first one listed.
As water doesn’t bind very well to the skin, another substance is needed to hold it on. Most light moisturisers are an oil-in-water emulsion, which by definition makes them either a cream or a lotion. (Heavier moisturisers can often be a water-in-oil emulsion). The oil (along with the other ingredients) helps to bind the water to the cells.
Applying oil directly without first hydrating is ineffective, as you’d still just end up with cracked, dry skin but with it covered in oil. It’s important to hydrate first!
Moisturising the face:
- Apply your recommended serum and moisturiser now, while the skin is hydrated. Hydration is the key to penetration of your product. If your skin is not hydrated, you will be using more product that you need to. More is not necessarily better!
Moisturising the body:
- The same principles apply. Cover your now smooth and hydrated skin with a moisturiser with a consistency of your choice.
- For extreme dryness, we have a Body Whip formula rich in Shea Butter and Jojoba oil, with Essential Oils of Lavender, Frankincense and Myrrh. All these are beautiful oils to support.
- We also stock Fleur De Mer’s Rich Nourishing Body Cream rich with certified Shea Butter, Macadamia & Jojoba Oils, Aloe Vera, Centella and marine extracts.
We owe it to ourselves to take the time to look after our skin. It doesn’t need to be a chore. It can easily become a part of our regular daily routine, just like cleaning our teeth.