Over the last weeks we have been sharing a few skin tips on our Facebook and Instagram pages about getting your skin ready for Autumn and Winter. In this blog we delve a bit further into why our skin needs extra care during these colder and dryer months, with our recommendations on the best products for the job.
1. Damage limitation
In our social media posts, we advised that you first address any skin damage caused by those lovely warm sun rays – smooth out an uneven skin tone (brown patches or more serious pigmentation) and rehydrate your thirsty skin.
Two products we recommended for this are:
- The Advanced Nutrition Programme’s Skin Ultimate – which helps to reduce an uneven skin tone from within.
- Environ’s Focus Care Radiance+ Range – which works topically to give your skin that beautiful radiant glow – a great accessory to your winter wardrobe.
Another product that both nourishes and hydrates the skin, while concealing redness and pigmentation is Jane Iredale’s Beyond Matte Liquid Foundation – an essential in our make-up bag.
2. Protect your skin from the dryer air
Second, we need to protect our skin from the rougher weather, dry air and other external aggressors, like pollutants and bacteria. In our previous blog, we talked about ceramides, and their role in ‘waterproofing’ the skin. But just as we need them most, to protect us from the harsh wintry weather conditions, our ceramide levels drop – this is due to the constant switching from warm to cold environments.
Central heating and take hot showers, combined with the dryer air during the autumn and winter months, can quickly make your skin feel tight, itchy and even cracked.
Step 1 is prevention. Take some simple measures that stop you skin from drying out. Counter the dry air caused by the central heating by putting on the humidifier, or place bowls of water on top of your radiators. This will keep the air moist.
Don’t take long hot showers, but stick with warm shorter showers – your skin (and hair) will thank you!
Keep those NMFs active
These preventative tips may not be enough for your skin. If your skin starts to resemble the Sahara Desert, then you might be tempted to reach for a heavier, richer moisturiser.
But be warned. Dr Des Fernandes, founder of Environ, advises against using these excessively rich formulas because they can deplete your skin’s Natural Moisturising Factors (NMFs). Your skin starts relying on the excessive ‘artificial’ moisture provided by the creams rather than learning to moisture itself.
“The balance of NMFs in the skin is upset when people use rich creamy products. People love them and one clue to their surreptitious and nefarious effects comes from when they stop using these creams. They immediately complain of dry skin. What they don’t realise is that the reason their skin becomes dry is not because of the new less-oily product but because their skin is virtually depleted of NMFs and their stratum corneum is incapable of holding in the water. All because the skin is under the misapprehension that moisture levels are adequate.”
Step 2: Use lighter, vitamin A-rich products. These normalise the skin’s own moisture production and hyaluronic acid and ceramides give an extra anti-ageing hydration boost. Environ’s Vita-Complex Super Moisturiser provides an ultra-hydrating blend that doesn’t deplete the skin’s NMFs.
3. Sun creams all-year-around
While we might not see the sun all year around, it’s UVA rays are still causing radical damage to our skin – damage that may only surface years later.
Step 3: Protect your skin against UVA rays throughout the year. We recommend that you wear sun protection all year around. But make sure you choose a sun cream that protects against UVB (the one that causes burning) and UVA.
4. Antioxidants and vitamin A
Antioxidants, taken orally or applied topically, further help to defend the skin against going dry. They neutralise free radicals generated by UV rays and blue light.
Step 4: Use a moisturiser that contains antioxidants and vitamin A.
Another effective product full of protective antioxidants and botanicals, is Jane Iredale’s POMMISST Hydration Spray.
5. A healthy gut is a healthy skin
You have probably noticed that when you’re battling a hideous case of the flu, your skin is also looking dull. Around 80% of the immune system is found in the gut and probiotics are essential for making sure there are enough good bacteria to ward of winter bugs. Supporting your immune system will help you to keep a glowing skin.
Step 5: Eat a healthy diet full of fruit and vegetables, and supplement with vitamin C and Zinc to give your immune system a boost. The Advanced Nutrition Programme’s Skin Youth Biome is a fantastic supplement to support immunity and skin health by maintaining a healthy gut.
With these 5 steps, you can be sure to face the colder months with a healthy glow.
The products recommended in this article: