In the words of almost every GoT character, “Winter is coming.” And with it a whole lot of trouble for our skin. Our lips are suddenly chapped and sore, our skin dry and flaky, hair is like straw and that glow we spent pretty much all of summer achieving – GONE.
When the weather outside is bone chilling, we tend to turn the temperature up inside, which means our winter skin becomes even more dry, becoming a vicious cycle. Not to mention the fact that with winter comes a few too many pumpkin lattes and mince pies; and this, too, can impact the health of our skin. Cue dramatic sigh.
But for each ailment our winter skin seems to suffer during the unrelenting season, there’s a natural remedy to help. So prepare to bid farewell to chapped lips, dry legs and those dreaded winter breakouts! We’re bringing the glow back to winter skin for good.
1. Chapped Lips
Chapped lips were the bane of my winter existence for many years. I never seemed able to soothe them back to health even while smothering on lip balm, which turns out to be the reason why they were so dry to begin with. Not only are the harsher elements to blame, alongside the habit some of us have of licking our lips all too often, but using lip balm too frequently actually has the opposite effect and can dry our lips out completely.
Help to nourish your skin by getting rid of the chapped, dry skin that plagues them. Use a natural lip scrub to buff away dry skin and then follow with a rich, nourishing lip balm made with natural ingredients. If you find your lips irritated by overuse of a lip balm then try to steer away from scented and flavored products. Apply it during the day but limit the frequency. I apply lip balm before going outdoors and then I reapply after meals and before bed. It’s enough to keep my lips nourished and silky smooth.
2. Skin Breakouts
My skin has been awful lately. I take such great care of my skin I was horrified to discover that I’d broken out in painful red lumps seemingly overnight. If you’re not usually prone to acne then it’s likely to be hormonal. If you suffer from acne regularly you may find that the products you use won’t be as effective during winter as many of the ingredients in acne fighting products contain naturally drying ingredients, which is the last thing our skin needs! Diet can be another factor. We’re all guilty of indulging a little too much after a summer of healthy eating, and sometimes, it can cause our skin to rebel.
Your skin really needs moisture. If your skin is broken out and dry it can become inflamed and rather painful. Use a hydrating face cream and consider switching your foaming cleanser for an oil based one as foaming cleansers can really strip skin of its natural oil, which you’ll want to hang on to to prevent skin from drying out further.
3. Red Skin/Broken Capillaries
Not too long ago I looked at myself in the mirror and was surprised to find broken capillaries on my cheeks and around my nose. I was worried by what they meant, but after doing a little research I learned that they can occur when you wash your skin with water that’s too hot. They can also be a sign of skin damage from harmful UV rays. And they can also appear if you consume a lot of alcohol. As for red skin, this can happen when there’s a suddenly change in temperature, so your skin may grow red when it switches from glorious sunshine to the bitter winds of winter.
The sad truth is that once a capillary is broken then it’s broken for good and there’s no natural cure that can magically fix it. Laser surgery can be used to get rid of broken capillaries. There are, however, ways to prevent them from happening. If you’re having a hot shower try to keep your face away from the flow of water; in the shower we tend to wash our face with water that is hotter than normal, and this can damage your skin further and cause it to dry out.
Try to stop putting pressure on skin, whether it’s from squeezing or picking spots. If you use a facial steamer then try to keep your skin away from the hot steam as the temperature can cause damage. Wrap up when going outdoors as a drastic change in temperature can cause broken capillaries to appear. And while you may not think there’s any sunshine when you’re shivering and cold, still use a moisturizer that has SPF in it, as it will protect your skin from those rays of sunshine that you can’t see. And while it may be tempting to drink more when the shops are placing deals on champagne and mulled wine ahead of Christmas, try to limit your alcohol consumption.
4. Puffy/Bloated Skin
Okay, come on, ‘fess up. Whose been indulging more than normal lately? Cause I feel you. My diet is pretty bad during the winter months. I suddenly crave carbs and everything else that I try to limit myself to throughout the year. When you’re cold on the outside you crave a little comfort on the inside, and nothing hits the spot like warm and hearty meals and yep, bread! Well, as delicious as these foods are they could be the reason why you’re suddenly looking puffier than normal due to fluid retention. A lack of sleep and drinking too much alcohol can also be causes of puffiness and bloating.
The first thing you can do to reduce puffiness around your eyes is to use tea bags! And you don’t have to like tea as you won’t be drinking it. Tea makes a great quick fix when it comes to banishing undereye bags. You’ll also want to keep hydrated, and try to stick to water. All of that salt you’re consuming is what’s causing your face to become puffy, so by keeping hydrated you’ll pee out excess salt, and lessen puffiness.
5. DULL, LIFELESS SKIN
Why does it seem that as soon as summer comes to an end, the life goes out of our skin? That glow we worked so hard to achieve over summer has eluded us and suddenly we’re pale, pasty and our skin looks dull and lifeless. This is when it’s super important to exfoliate to get rid of old skin cells. When we don’t, they linger on our skin and give the appearance of dull, tired skin. Once you buff it all away you’ll be surprised at how fresh your skin looks underneath. At the same time, hydration is crucial; when we don’t drink enough our skin becomes dull. When you flood your body with water you’ll notice the life creeping back into skin.
First things first—exfoliate. And forget splashing the cash on pricey beauty products. You can make a natural scrub at home using some basic household ingredients, such as sugar and honey. Exfoliate 2-3 times a week, and use a gentle product. If you use anything too harsh and abrasive you can damage your skin and cause further breakouts. Once you’ve scrubbed your body it’s important that you moisturize your skin afterwards to lock in moisture and to keep skin soft and supple.
6. Flaky Skin
Dry, flaky skin is not only itchy it can also be unsightly. Be sure that you’re exfoliating by following the steps above. But be gentle; while our instinct is to scrub when we see dry skin, we really need to understand why we’re getting it in the first place. Sure, during colder months our clothes chafe our skin and this can result in dry skin, but be careful to not OVER exfoliate. It’s also crucial to remember to feed moisture back to skin every time you do exfoliate, otherwise it can end up red, dry and sore.
Be sure to slather your body in cream as soon as you step out of the bath or shower, as the room will still be warm and this will help your body to lock in moisture. Try to find natural creams with soothing ingredients such as oatmeal and oils like almond oil and coconut oil. When you hop into the bath or shower, remember to keep it lukewarm to prevent drying out the skin further.
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