Winter Skin Tips

Winter is tough on skin. Here, three top skincare experts – Juliette Scarfe of Bareskin Beauty, Sunita Passi of Tri-Dosha and Amanda Elias of Bravura London – share their advice to get you and your skin through the chilly months ahead.

Juliette ScarfeFirst up, Juliette Scarfe – natural health guru and founder of organic skincare range Bareskin Beauty.

Our skin never sleeps, it works tirelessly around the clock to excrete toxins and waste: up to one pound each and every day. If the rate of elimination slows down then, the pores become blocked, interfering with the nourishment and oxidation of cells, leading to dull, congested and tired skin, slowing cell regeneration and accelerating premature ageing.

For soft, healthy skin this winter, I recommend three things:

1. Dry Skin Brushing
This is a pleasurable way to remove dead skin cells and stimulate the formation of new, supple, healthy skin cells. Massage in circular motions, always towards the heart.

Dry brushing is beneficial for the body as it:
* stimulates the circulation of blood and oxygen around the body (similar to when we exercise) leaving you with a radiant glow;
* breaks down adipose tissue that causes cellulite;
* tones and tightens the muscles and skin;
* softens the skin and stimulates the body’s own production of natural sebum, increasing hydration levels and elasticity.

2. Spa Bathing
This is luxurious and beneficial for the skin while calming and soothing both the body and mind.

Experiment with adding a tub of ideally raw, or organic cream to your bath to experience cashmere soft skin that feels silky to the touch. Cream is rich in essential fats, vitamins and enzymes.

For a tingly, mineralizing soak, use 200g of Pink Himalayan Salt or 200g of Epsom Salts for an instant pick me up for weathered winter skin. Natural salt has a chelating action, releasing toxins from the body, while relaxing the muscles and grounding you. The abundance of trace minerals in the salts will be absorbed by the skin, leaving you feeling energized and well.

3. Facial Steaming
Steam opens the pores and softens the epidermis to allow the healing qualities of the plant materials used to penetrate the lower layers of the skin. While you steam you promote the flow of fresh oxygenated blood to the surface, tone muscles that support the skin, eliminate toxins, and tighten the pores and the skin overall. 

For added luxury and vitamins, smooth natural honey over your face and steam for 10 minutes. Remove the honey with a natural cloth to reveal supersoft, super supple skin that radiates with health.

Winter Skincare Routine
Use a 100% natural serum in the morning, this will penetrate the deeper layers of skin, nourishing and giving environmental and elemental protection, while serving as an excellent make up primer.

At night use a rich moisturizing crème that uses pure plant extracts to nourish but that allows your skin to breathe, if the skin cannot breath it cannot repair and regenerate while you sleep.
If you experience dry or cracked lips, use a 100% natural lip balm made from only plant fats and beeswax to nourish and provide a protective waterproof layer, to prevent further moisture loss. To exfoliate your lips and remove dead cells, take a soft toothbrush add your favourite lip balm and rotate the brush over your lips until all the dead skin is removed, revealing plumped, hydrated lips. Licking your lips will only make them drier and more sore.

Avoid products that contain any form of alcohol in them, including ‘alcohol denat’. Alcohol is extremely drying to the skin, stripping its natural sebum and interfering with the acidic balance of the acid mantle.

Avoid any products with Sodium Lauryl Sulfate – most commonly found in wash off products like body washes and shampoos, this chemical ravages the skin, particularly the scalp causing inflammation and irritation.

For those that seek adventure outdoors – if you are skiing use a natural sunscreen as snow reflects 80% of sunlight compared to sand that reflects only 17%.

Avoid overly hot showers or baths, they may feel comforting but they are harsh and drying to your skin. After bathing, pat skin dry and apply a natural body butter or plant oil to trap in moisture. My favourite plant oil is coconut oil, however, it must be virgin and organic for it to benefit the skin via its medium chain fatty acids and essential enzymes. It’s rich in lauric acid, which is bio-identical to your skin’s natural oils. 

Learn more at Bareskin Beauty’s website. To follow Juliette on Twitter, click here.

 

Sunita PassiNext, Sunita Passi of Tri-Dosha explains how to achieve inner and outer wellbeing in winter – the Ayurvedic way …

During the winter months, the combination of harsh weather outdoors and moisture-zapping central heat indoors means your skin and body need extra TLC to keep it beautifully balanced and hydrated. According to ayurveda, there are three skincare types or ‘Doshas’. Follow these top skincare tips for Vata, Pitta, and Kapha types. As a general guide to your Ayurvedic skin type, complete this short Ayurvedic Skin Type Questionnaire. If you are unsure, seek advice from a Tri-Dosha therapist or Ayurvedic therapist listed with the Ayurvedic Practitioners Association.

Vata
As skin matures, it grows less able to protect itself from moisture loss due to its natural dryness. Subsequently Vata constitutions are more susceptible to sore chapped lips and dreaded wrinkled skin. Psychologically, worry, stress, and fear are heightened, so reach for formulas to help calm and relax.

Skincare tips: In the daytime use a lotion containing sunscreen, then switch to an oil at night to infuse extra moisture as you sleep. This will seep nicely into your tissues and help eliminate ‘crackly’ skin and prevent fine lines on your face. Use a balm for cracked lips.

Pitta
Hello you sensitive souls. In winter, Pitta skin types tend to feel tighter leading to itchiness or allergic reactions, rosacea or broken capillaries. At worst, skin may become painful, blotchy, and red, which can have an effect on psychological conditions, causing frustration as adrenaline is released.

Skincare tips: Protecting Pitta faces isn’t just about looking good. Not only does it help skin to perform its crucial barrier functions – protecting against water loss and preventing penetration of infectious agents and allergens – it can be crucial to overall wellbeing. With Pitta skin, it’s very important to pick a Pitta cream to say goodbye to flakiness and even eczema.

Kapha
Sometimes dry, sometimes oily … In winter, Kapha types may feel these problems are exacerbated further. How frustrating it is to treat one area only to have the other flare up! You may notice an oily ‘T-zone’ or have oil centralised just on your chin or forehead. Or dry patches on the cheeks and around the nose. Oily skin types can also experience lethargy in the winter months, negativity or even depression, which can generate excess production of sebaceous secretions and increasing oily conditions.

Skincare tips: This winter you can have beautiful combination skin just by making a few tweaks to your existing skin care regimen. First you need to get a good read of your skin. Sorry combination gals, cold weather will make those dry patches drier and if your skin spends a lot of time under lots of make-up or layers of scarves and clothing, your oily patches may get oilier. The key to a well-balanced face is to cleanse regularly with the right cleanser. Combination skin should be washed with cleansers that have a pH balance of 7 or less. Finish off your winter skin care with an oil-free moisturiser to keep thirsty dry areas satisfied without making oiliness flare up.

An extra tip … for all
Your skin is a barometer of your health. We’re all striving for optimum health and beauty – on the inside and out. According to research, meditation can help delay the process of ageing, leaving you looking and feeling years younger. Meditation appears to affect telomerase – an enzyme related to the age deterioration gene – by changing meditators’ psychological states.

Three factors in particular predicted higher telomerase activity:
* increased sense of control (over circumstances or daily life);
* increased sense of purpose in life;
* lower neuroticism (being tense, moody and anxious).

The more these improved, the greater the effect on the meditators' telomerase. Subjects with an average chronological age of 50 years, who have been practicing meditation for over five years, have a biological age 12 years younger than their chronological age. That means a 55-year-old meditator has the physiology of a 43-year-old ...

Learn more at Sunita’s Tri-Dosha website, and you can also follow her on Twitter.

 

Amada EliasLastly, facial therapist Amanda Elias of Bravura London offers us her top ten winter skincare tips to keep skin looking great …

1. If normally oily or combination skin is getting a little dry, don’t use products designed for dry skin, as this will only cause breakouts. Instead, try using a more nourishing moisturiser that is suitable for your skin type and try changing from a cleansing wash to a cream cleanser.

2. Central heating takes moisture out from the air; try leaving a dish of water near your radiators which will act as a humidifier to help replace the moisture that’s lost- you can also add a few drops of aromatherapy oils to fragrance your room.

3. Don’t forget your SPF! Even in the winter UVA is present in the atmosphere and it’s this UVA that causes premature ageing. Just because the sun isn’t shining brightly, that’s not to say your skin doesn’t need protection.

4. Use AHAs such as glycolic acid or lactic acid to exfoliate your skin rather than a scrub. Using a scrub on the face can dry out the skin. AHAs help to exfoliate by dissolving the glue that holds on the dead skin cells, leaving the skin instantly fresher and healthier without you having to scrub at your skin.

5. Don’t forget the children; their skin can also become dry this time of year, especially if they suffer with eczema, so use an appropriate moisturiser for their skin or a gentle, non comedogenic oil such as jojoba or avocado oil.

6. Humectants bind moisture to the skin; look out for ingredients such as hyaluronic acid, glycerine, lactic acid and aloe vera in your moisturiser.

7. In the cold weather, our bodies crave hot baths and showers, unfortunately the hot water can dry out your skin leaving it itchy. Opt for a warm but not hot shower or bath then wrap up in a nice, fluffy bathrobe to warm up.

8. If your skin is dry, try adding a cupful or oats to your bath to sooth the skin. For less mess, put the oats in to the foot of an old pair of clean tights.

9. Omega oils containing EPA are wonderful for helping to keep the skin and hair in peak condition. DHA keeps the brain functioning properly while the EPA in the oil helps by regulating oil production and acting as an anti-inflammatory. However, there are concerns that Omega 6 can actually make conditions such as acne worse so it’s best to buy a product that contains only Omega 3.

10. Don’t forget the skin on your body and feet, because we’re covered up we tend to stop looking after the bits that aren’t shown, we then panic when the sun comes out, scrubbing and moisturising to make our legs and feet look healthy enough to show off. Treat yourself to some gorgeous smelling products, then choose a day to exfoliate and moisturise from head to toe, snuggle up in your bathrobe and go to bed early with a good book (ahhh, bliss). 

Learn more at the Bravura London website, or follow via Twitter at Bravura or Amanda’s own account.

November 2013

 

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