Whilst I’m probably not the best person to advise on beauty regimes (find out why here), I am going to share my tips for a winter skincare routine. I know I’m not alone with feeling washed out and like a dried up prune during the cold, wet winter months. Simply put, my skin hates the winter.
Over the years, I’ve tried and tested different regimes, lotions, potions, creams and scrubs to see what works best for me. Here are a few of my recommendations:
So we know that we should be drinking at least 2 litres of water a day but, be honest, do you actually manage to do that? Well, you really should. The difference it makes is pretty spectacular. I’ve never been much of a coffee or tea drinker nor do I drink squash or fruit juice very often, but I absolutely do make sure I drink plenty of water. And I am 100% certain I can credit that with all the great comments I get about my skin and the fact that I don’t look 31.
If I even go a day without drinking enough water, I really notice it. My skin feels tight, dry and itchy, and I also get headaches.
Now, I hear people say “but water is so boring”. So, jazz it up with some fruit (I love adding a few bits of lime or orange or a few strawberries with some mint). Or that “drinking so much water makes me need to wee all the time”. Well, your body will get used to it. If you’re not used to drinking so much water and then you suddenly go all out then your body will take a bit of time to adjust but trust me it’s worth it!
I’m not a fan of shop-bought exfoliators (they usually contain plastic beads which are pretty terrible for the environment) but keeping my skin buffed and scrubbed really helps to make it feel soft and moisturised and not dry and flaky. In particular, I find my legs get really bad during the winter so exfoliating once or twice a week makes all the difference.
Oats are the best product ever for a home-made exfoliator. You’d think they’d be really abrasive but they’re not; they hydrate and soften your skin and are also thought to be an anti-inflammtory. I also love coconut oil for all of its varied uses. These two products alone make for a quick, easy, and inexpensive exfoliator. Because I’m a little wary of rinsing full-size oats down the shower drain, I blitz them using a hand blender before mixing them into some soft/melted coconut oil. You can of course add other natural ingredients to a home-made exfoliator (I know citrus is popular) but I like to keep things simple and this works well for me. I tend to use 1/2 cup of oats to 1/4 cup of coconut oil.
At any time of the year, I won’t be found without hand cream but it’s even more vital during winter. I have 4 current preferences – an M&S olive oil hand cream, Soap & Glory Endless Glove, a Sanctuary hand cream (which I keep on my desk at work) and a Bath & Body Works Super Softening Hand Lotion.
The Soap & Glory one is great to put on before bed as it is also a moisture mask which they claim ‘works for 12 hours after you apply it’. Not sure exactly how true that is, but I have found it to be quite long-lasting. I’m unsure about the smell of it as I can’t figure out what the smell actually is. It isn’t horrible but it is like nothing else I’ve ever smelt before. (note: I just checked the tube and it says ‘smells like fruitigo – with notes of frozen yuzu, orange oil, green fig and jungle pomelo essence’….whatever that means!)
The Bath & Body Works one contains paraffin and I find it a little greasy. I tend to use it when I’m sat at home watching tv and not doing much – it gives it time to settle in and then it doesn’t feel so oily. The M&S one and the Sanctuary one are both good to use regularly throughout the day. I particularly like that the M&S one doesn’t have much of a smell. I’m not a perfume-wearer because I don’t like having a strong cloud of fragrance around me and I feel the same about the lotions and creams I use.
I’m that person who gets dry lips and then ends up picking at them inadvertently and then they bleed and then I get annoyed with myself because I really should know better and now they’re going to stay cracked and painful for days. Honestly, will I ever learn!?
I get through so much lip balm during the winter. I always have one to hand because I’m constantly trying to avoid the situation above. I love Burt’s Bees products and I couldn’t be without their beeswax lip balm tubes. Easy to put on, lasts ages, inexpensive and 100% natural. It contains vitamin E which is great for healthy skin and I also love the tingle it leaves from the peppermint oil. I’m yet to find a lip balm which I re-buy as much as this one.
What are your winter skin remedies? What could you not be without to keep your skin healthy and fresh? Do you go shop-bought, home-made or a combination of both like I do?