The harsher weather of winter can play havoc on your skin, with facial tightness, rough knuckles and wind-chapped lips. Yet there are many ways in which we can fight back and ensure healthy, glowing skin from the first winter’s day right to the arrival of spring. All it takes is dedication to some healthy, hydrating habits and a little extra attention…

The SPF Factor

Just because the sun spends much of its time during winter hiding behind the clouds, it doesn’t mean we can put our sun screening products into storage. Whenever we venture outside, or even come into contact with the sun via windows and other glass screens, we are still exposed to UVA (Ultraviolet A) rays from what sunlight there is. These penetrate deep into the skin’s thickest layer, the dermis, which causes damage in the longer term. So, always slap on a good quality sunscreen that stops UVA rays from affecting the skin, whatever the weather, for optimum protection.

Water, water everywhere

While this may seem true whenever we look skywards into the ominous rain clouds of winter, we can often forget to keep our skin hydrated in winter. Colder temperatures, teamed with central heating systems can dry out skin out very quickly, so it is important to keep it fresh. Try swapping caffeinated drinks for warm water with a slice of lemon, or green tea which offers excellent anti-oxidant effects. Incorporate the winning combination of a good quality skin cleanser, toner and moisturiser into your morning and evening skincare regime to stop that tight feeling in your skin and to add extra moisture directly to the relevant areas. Massage your moisturiser into your face for 30 seconds for maximum results.

Lip service

Pay particular attention to your lips during the colder season, as they can become chapped and torn very quickly. Not only does this look rather unsightly, it can be rather painful too. Make sure you carry a good lip salve with you at all times to stop the temptation of licking your lips to moisten them; this only provides very short-term relief from symptoms of becoming chapped and will exacerbate their dryness in the longer term. If you can, look for a lip salve with added SPF for maximum benefit.

Hands down

Your hands are another area under increased threat from winter weather, especially if you don’t like wearing gloves or find yourself washing them frequently, for example if you are caring for a baby or young child, or work in an area where hygiene is especially important, such as catering, healthcare or education. Avoid using baby wipes as these can contain harsh chemicals and preservatives that can trigger skin

conditions, such as eczema. Look for mild, anti-bacterial skin washes instead, and consider complementing these with a soothing night cream applied just before you go to bed, along with a pair of clean cotton gloves.

Take care!

Always change out of wet clothing after enjoying wintery fun outdoors, especially if it involves being pelted with wet snow. Your skin can become irritated very quickly after coming into contact with cold, wet fabric. This includes gloves, socks and pants. Avoid the temptation of leaping into a hot shower too – too hot a spray and your skin will turn red and ends up losing moisture as it battles to cool down again. When you get dressed again, choose a soft, breathable layer to go next to your skin before pulling on the heavier woollen knits that can cause your skin to itch like mad.

Treat yourself

Winter is the perfect time to book into your local beauty salon or spa for a facial – or a whole series of skin treatments. Allow an expert to assess how dry your skin is and to choose the right products to help you regain its full hydration and elasticity. Taking time out for you has added benefits to help you to relax and unwind in the busy run-up to Christmas, or as part of a New Year’s resolution to take better care of yourself in 2020. If you are stuck for ideas for Christmas presents for people to give you, why not ask for vouchers so you can choose a luxury skin care treatment or two? Regular facials will leave your skin feeling soft and looking clear, hydrated and, put simply, amazing!