Mr. Paul Banwell, worldwide authority on skin health and Head of the Melanoma and Skin Cancer Unit, East Grinstead, gives his top tips on how to adjust your skincare routine for the colder months to keep tired winter skin at bay and keep glowing until spring:
1. Get Your Winter Dose of Vitamin D
Around 50% of the adult population in the UK have sub-optimal levels of vitamin D and about 15% have ‘severe’ deficiency during the winter. Exposure to the sun is essential for production of vitamin D by the skin. Aim to have 20 to 30 minutes of exposure to the sun 2-3 times a week. Just wrap up on those crisp but sunny winter days and get outdoors! It has also been shown that oral Vitamin D might be beneficial to guard against melanoma, a potentially lethal form of skin cancer. Try Heliocare Ultra D Oral Capsules.
2. Bathing Belle
Winter is bath season. Not only does a lovely warm soak relax and soothe aching muscles, but by adding essential oils, your skin is left nourished and softened. Pupa Ultra Elasticizing & Toning Oil is a great one to add to your bath as not only does it smell gorgeous and spa-like, but it contains active oxygen to energise your skin plus argan oil, almond oil, carrot oil and Omega 3 & 6 oils to leave skin beautifully hydrated.
3. Chill Factor – Get Your Winter SPF
In the winter, come rain or shine, you still need to use an SPF 30 during the day. The trick is to find a sunscreen that slips elegantly under foundation and moisturiser and becomes a seamless part of your morning routine. Heliocare Gel Cream Colour SPF 50 offers advanced protection and is the only UV protection to contain Fernblock Photoimmunoprotection Technology. It’s light and easy to apply and also has a skin-tone enhancer that gives a healthy bronzed look and helps mask uneven areas of skin tone and blemishes.
4. ‘A’ is for Amazing Winter Skin… and Vitamin A
Add vitamin A to your winter skincare regime to deal with uneven skin tone, pigmentation and rough patches. After all, we all want bright, glowing photo-ready skin for the party season! Rationale DNA Reactivating Night Cream (with three potent forms of vitamin A) helps encourage skin cell regeneration, while targeting damaged DNA to leave skin looking clearer, smoother and brighter. Another vitamin A enriched product I would recommend is SkinCeuticals Retinol.
5. The Ultimate Pre-Party Pampering Peel
Skin needs regular exfoliation to keep it smooth and luminous. To really freshen up dull, grey, winter skin try an alpha-hydroxy acid (AHA) chemical peel. This gets to work on the superficial and deeper layers of the skin without causing inflammation. For best results, have 3 days before an event.
6. Boost Winter Skin Health with Nutrition
A good diet with plenty of healthy fruit and vegetables will ensure maximum benefit from antioxidants which help to strengthen skin. Paul recommends berry smoothies with an added serving of goji berries for their high vitamin C concentration.
7. Hydrate from the Inside…
Your skin needs extra moisture during the cold, dry months, especially once the central heating kicks in and the winter winds start to dry your skin. This means keeping your body extra hydrated by drinking at least 2 litres of water a day. Herbal teas are also a great winter-warming way to keep hydrated when it’s cold outside.
8. … And the Out
To boost skin hydration in the winter, it’s best to swap to a more intense moisturiser.
A lightweight, yet intensely hydrating one to try is Rationale Macro Moisture. This oligo-gel instantly boosts skin hydration levels with a mega dose of moisture multipliers. This is a good way to intensely hydrate skin that is oily, yet deficient in Natural Moisturising Factors (NMFs). A water misting spray is also a great way to pep-up dehydrated, tired skin.
9. Prevent Dry, Chapped Winter Hands
Our hands are rarely cared for as well as our face, and the fragile skin with fewer oil glands is often less able to defend itself in the winter leading to dry, chapped hands. Pay special attention to them by moisturising them each time you wash your hands and try to wear gloves on cold, windy days.
10. Kissable Mistletoe Lips
Keep lips looking luscious throughout the winter and ready for the Mistletoe by avoiding the temptation to lick them which will only exasperate dryness. Use the old fashioned trick of brushing lips weekly with a dry toothbrush to remove dry skin and smooth the lips. Keep a nice lip balm in your handbag for hydration on the go. Pai Bergamot Orange Organic Lip Balm smells gorgeous and with beeswax and sweet almond oil, it acts as a protective barrier while softening lips.