As our beauty routines change with the season, Swati Basu Das helps stave off the effects of the cold weather with some top tips that won’t leave your skin high and dry.
We’re more than ready to bundle ourselves up with jumpers, jackets, and all manner of winter wardrobe trends to kill the chill now that December is officially upon us. Though, let’s be honest, if there’s one thing we love about this time of year, it’s that nothing feels cozier and more Insta-perfect than a warm blanket and a piping-hot cuppa while the mercury plummets outside.
But comfort takes a back seat when chapped lips, red noses, and rough, dehydrated flaky skin rear their ugly heads – causing our skincare routines to go haywire. Welcome to winter, indeed – the season that wreaks havoc on us from head-to-heels with cold breezes pulling the moisture from our skin, leaving it lackluster and, sometimes, even painfully dry.
But beating the winter blues when it comes to warding off seasonal skincare hazards can be as simple as a few simple, yet important, changes to your routine.
If you think summer is the only time to keep well-hydrated, think again. Our bodies need water no matter what the season and the winter months are no exception. As a glass of cold water or juice quenches summer thirst – so does a cup of hot chocolate in December. But hot drinks aren’t what our bodies require to stay hydrated during these cold, dry months. Our water requirement actually goes up in winter to help regulate body temperature and boost our immune system to ward off unwanted colds and flu. It also does the double-duty of helping to protect our skin from drying out and becoming chapped. Drinking lukewarm water, green tea, or eating greens such as celery or broccoli (rich in water content) can all help take care of our daily intake of hydration.
Eat the right amount of dietary fat
It’s not just the creams and nostrums we apply externally that matter when it comes to boosting our skin’s glow – eating right is the key to looking flawless year-round. Seasonal veggies and fruits have no alternatives when it comes to nourishing us from within. Avoid sugary, starchy foods and reduce your intake of caffeine and, instead, pack your diet with healthy fats. Nuts such as walnuts, pistachios, and pecans – and oily fish like salmon and sardines not only help regulate our metabolism and provide our bodies with adequate amounts of fatty acids, vitamins, and minerals – they also help our skin stay clearer and more supple.
Invest in a heavy face cream
Winter is the time to pamper your skin with the right skincare products to keep it well-moisturized and improve elasticity. Choosing the right cream or moisturizer depends on your skin type – if you have dry skin, an oil-rich formula is the way go. But, if you’re prone to breakouts or have combination skin, it’s an oil-free variety you’re after.
Heavy ceramide creams such as Aveeno Skin Relief Moisture Repair Cream or good old petroleum jelly like Vaseline work wonders on dehydrated, red, itchy skin. Adding a few drops of essential oil to your cream can help provide a protective barrier and seal in hydration further.
Breakout-prone skin needs oil-free hydration – and we love Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Oil-Free Lotion, and Facial Cream for the job; while ELEMIS Pro-Collagen Marine Cream penetrates deep into the skin, leaving it soft and smooth without any greasiness for a silky finish.
Use a gentle cleanser
During the winter season it’s especially important to maintain a daily cleansing routine – as our bodies don’t tend to sweat as much during the cooler months, which help remove the skin’s impurities. Keep your face the focus as it’s often the most exposed part of our bodies during the cold months. We recommend Kiehl’s Calendula Deep Cleansing Foaming Face Wash for normal-to-oily skin – or, their Ultra Facial Cleanser which is suitable for all skin-types.
Limit hot water and exfoliation
Nothing feels cozier and more rejuvenating than a long, hot bath on a cold winter’s day. Yet, they can, in fact, have an adverse effect on your skin as excessive use of hot water and harsh scrubbing or exfoliation can slough away the skin’s natural oils – causing it to dry out faster. So, if you’re partial to a long winter soak in the tub, try to use mildly warm water and consider adding a few drops of essential oils to maximize hydration. Then, afterwards, slather on a generous amount of body lotion while your skin is still slightly damp to help lock in moisture.
(All products mentioned available on Amazon)