There’s always been something magical about winter that I just love. The shorter days, long evenings with crackling fires and wrapping up in lovely woollen layers. However, Winter can also wreak havoc on our skin and well-being. This week I am starting to see the effects of the colder temperatures, windy conditions and aggressive central heating on my own skin and body. So I wanted to share the top ways I look after my own skin and self when I start to feel the seasonal winter changes.
We can often forget that we need just as much water in winter as in the warmer months. Try to keep your water intake to at least 8 glasses a day. If drinking water feels less comfortable during winter, try warm water with a dash of lemon or an immune-boosting herbal tea. Just remember coffee, green and black tea and soft drinks don’t count towards your 8 glasses a day and will actually dehydrate your skin.
I’m a big believer that food is our first medicine and for long-term skin health a balanced diet is the only way we can truly stay healthy and vibrant. Try to have 5-7 portions of water, vitamin and mineral rich vegetables like kale, chard, zucchini, celery, tomatoes, cucumber and carrots and fruits like melons, apples, oranges and kiwi every day to help keep skin moisturised and radiant. I try to eat all the colours of the rainbow on my lunch and dinner plates, make sure I get omega 3 and 6's in my nuts and seeds and limit (not always succesfully!) processed foods that can contribute to premature ageing of the skin and can make your body feel sluggish.
With shorter hours of daylight and colder temperatures, it’s often hard to get motivated to exercise in winter. However, increased blood flow during exercise helps to carry vital nutrients and oxygen to all our cells including our skin (yes, that red, sweaty glow helps keep our skin cells healthy and young!) Exercise also helps to increase serotonin levels which has a powerful mood-boosting benefit. Try to get out during the hours of daylight even if it’s just for a quick stroll on your lunch break to get your daily dose of vitamin D. I make this one of my priorities and have adapted my work day schedule to exercise outdoors at lunch time to make sure I get some exposure to the light. The difference this makes on how I feel at the end of the day is amazing!
Moving from cold outdoor temperatures to indoor central heating can be particularly harsh for skin. A tip to avoid this is to use a humidifier indoors to bring moisture back into the air. Alternatively, a bowl or container of water placed on a radiator will do the same job. I love adding in a few drops of relaxing essential oils to super-power the benefits.
Red, inflamed skin, dry and scaly patches and uneven skin tone are just some of the effects you might be seeing on your skin as we move further into the winter season. This particular seasonal change needs a very gentle approach to make sure you don’t further sensitise or irritate the skin.
At Nunaïa we believe in a less is more approach to beauty so we recommend using the highest quality, natural and organic plant ingredients that will work synergistically with the natural repair and restore function of your skin. My daily steps to nurture my skin back to radiance when it goes off-kilter are:
- Upon waking gently pat a cotton pad sprayed with a natural toner over the face for a light cleanse. If you have cleansed your face properly the night before this is all you will need.
- Apply a day serum if you use one, eye cream, moisturiser and follow up with spf. There are different views on using SPF during the day in winter. I’m a big believer in protecting the skin on the face in all seasons, so I like to use a tinted moisturiser or day cream with in-built spf.
- Use a rich, hydrating cleanser to remove dirt, impurities and make-up from the skin. Avoid harsh, astringent cleansers that can in fact further irritate the skin. Oil based cleansers are our favourites as they nourish and hydrate the skin while effectively and gently removing the dirt.
- Spritz or pat a cotton pad sprayed with a natural toner on the skin.
- Then use a moisturising, antioxidant serum or facial oil like the Nourishing Radiance Serum to deeply moisturise, protect and replenish while you sleep. You can then layer a moisturiser over this if you feel your skin needs some extra love.
- Twice a month use a gentle, non-chemical exfoliant to remove dry, dead skin. While your skin is still recovering avoid using chemical peels or harsh scrubs as this will only make the skin worse.
Above all BE GENTLE. If your skin is already irritated the last thing it needs is to be roughly handled. Layer on the love and your skin will thank you!
Winter is known as the ‘season of stillness’ as nature stops growing and dies back to rest and recover for next spring. Intuitively winter tends to be a time for most of us where we are more internally focused, we spend more time at home and indoors. It’s a time for personal reflection and looking inward. Self-care is a key element of creating glowing skin and inner balance and winter is the perfect season to take time each week to nurture yourself with creative activities that inspire you and moments of peace and stillness that help bring you back into balance. It could be a relaxing bath with soothing essential oil of lavender or geranium, a slow walk in nature or a cup of herbal tea listening to your favourite music.
When I’m feeling out of balance it always shows on my face and in how I feel, so scheduling in daily self-care activities helps me bring some of the balance back.