Winter Skin Survival

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Information & Advice

Beauty Uncovered

WrittenbyMeena Ganeshon09/01/2012

Winter Skin Survival

Keep your skin in tip-top shape whatever the weather in winter with skin survival tips from the experts.

Winter taking its toll on your skin? Fear not. We've enlisted some of the leading lights in the skin care industry to share their tips on how to achieve a glowing complexion all winter long.

Winter skin: Know your enemy

Dryness. Flaky skin. Sensitivity. Almost everyone will experience winter-related skin blips over the winter period, in part thanks to the constant temperature extremes. "Cold air outside and heated air inside causes low humidity, which leads to water evaporating from our skin," explains Dr Sam Bunting, cosmetic dermatologist and advisor to Aveeno . "This can cause cracking, flaking and irritation and leave skin with a lacklustre, parched appearance."

It's not all bad news though. Follow these expert skin tips and help protect, soothe and comfort your winter-weary skin.

Simple Soothing face cleanse

Perfect your skin care basics

Winter is no time to get sloppy – get the basics right and you're on the road to cared-for skin that's more resilient to winter weather. As the main issues to combat during winter are dryness and flakiness, it's important to exfoliate and moisturise regularly. As a general rule, exfoliate once or twice a week (depending on your skin type) and moisturise daily. Next, heed Dr Bunting's trio of skin care 'dos' for winter:

  1. Avoid long, hot baths and showers.
  2. Cleanse with a gentle soap-free cleanser and dry your skin thoroughly, but gently (pat, don't rub!).
  3. Follow cleansing with a generous application of a hydrating moisturiser.

Give your skin care regime a winter update

During the cold snap, skin is the first to pay the price for winter winds and central heating, so you may find you need to update your skin care products with winter in mind – starting with your cleanser. "It may be worth switching to a creamier cleanser to help nourish the skin during winter months," suggests Julienne Curran, medical relations manager for Vichy and La Roche-Posay . "Also consider introducing a serum into your routine, layering the products to give your skin as much hydration and nourishment as possible. Look for skin care rich in vitamin C and E."

Get hands on – literally

When your skin looks lacklustre, facial massage can be the circulation boost it needs. "Massaging your skin with a gentle cleanser in circular movements helps to improve its appearance, as the friction created by massaging the face for just two minutes brings more blood and oxygen to the skin's surface," says Caroline Frazer, skin care expert for Simple . Use enough cleanser to allow your hands to glide over your skin and you're good to go.

Skin survival kit:

Facial cleanser: No7 Soft and Soothed Gentle Cleanser
Facial scrub: Simple Kind to Skin Smoothing Cleansing Scrub
Facial serum: Avéne Hydrating Soothing Serum
Facial moisturiser: Vichy Nutrilogie 2 Intensive for Dry Skin

Aveeno Skin Relief

Don't neglect your body this winter

Skin that's hidden away under warm layers or clothing might not seem like a top priority but it doesn't take much time to ensure it's as supple and comfortable as it can be in the cold months. "It's particularly important to moisturise your body regularly in colder climes," advises Dr Sam Bunting, who also warns against using harsh soaps, which can be drying.

A nourishing, intensive all-over moisturiser can give parched skin the moisture it desperately needs. Key ingredients to look for include shea butter, cocoa butter and oats. Aveeno Skin Relief contains a blend of shea butter and finely milled oats, which are renowned for their gentle soothing and moisturising properties.

Think top-to-toe

Lips and hands rarely emerge unscathed from winter and often show tell-tale signs of dehydration. Look for products containing skin-soothing ingredients such as glycerine, as found in Neutrogena Norwegian Formula Hand Cream and Norwegian Formula Intense Repair Lip Balm. "Glycerine is used in products for dry skin because it has excellent humectant properties," explains Dr Sue Mayou, independent dermatologist and advisor to Neutrogena. "This means it draws water from the deeper layers of the skin to the top layers, which results in skin hydration." Keep a tube of lipbalm handy and apply your hand cream after each wash and when coming in from the cold.

Body care survival kit:

Body wash: Dove Softening Silk Body Wash
Body moisturiser: Aveeno Skin Relief
Hand cream: Neutrogena Fast Absorbing Hand Cream
Lip balm: E45 Lip Balm

Start your new regime now and enjoy fabulous, healthy-looking skin all winter long!

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