It's not only the body which freezes when temperatures plummet, the skin changes too. However, the cold is not the only culprit; central heating also aggravates the skin. During autumn and winter, the air is, generally-speaking, cooler and drier than in the summer months. As human beings don't hibernate (unfortunately), the skin is exposed to harsh weather and has to try and prevent itself from drying out. We all know that we have to dress warmly in winter to prevent ourselves from freezing, however, our skin also needs a "protective winter coat". The face and hands, in particular, are the parts of the body which are often most vulnerable to the cold weather. Even if you try to avoid going out in cold weather, central heating indoors also doesn't make life easy for skin. This artificial heat removes the moisture from the air and damages the skin in so doing. Thus it's vital that we protect and nourish the skin during the winter months.
How to look after your face during winter
The sebaceous glands in the skin produce a mildly-acidic, greasy film which keeps our skin soft and smooth and acts as a protective barrier; it helps the skin to retain its moisture and defends it against external bacteria. At temperatures below eight degrees, the production of this greasy, moisturising protective film is limited and this is what causes dry skin. At which point, you have to provide the necessary protection yourself by reaching for a rich enough skin cream. Skin products containing plant-based oils such as Argan are very effective but linoleic acid or shea butter are also ideal in cold weather. These tend to be rich creams and protect skin well in frosty climes. You should pay particular attention to the eye area when looking after your face. The skin around the eyes is in particular need of care as the skin there is very thin. You should apply special, rich products containing vitamin C and Jojoba oil but nothing which has a gel texture or water-based products! Tip: In the event that you have particularly dry, itchy skin (not only on your face), then you can apply some of our Organic+ Frankincense Balm. It stops the skin from itching and accelerates the healing process. Creams are not the only products ideal for winter facial care, facial masks are also perfectly well-suited. These provide the skin with additional moisture and are a good opportunity to put your feet up and relax.
Winter Care for Hands
It's often the hands which show the signs of dry skin first. Particularly during the interim seasons, when you're not yet wearing gloves, your hands are exposed to the dry air outdoors. To protect your skin as best possible, you need to use moisturising hand creams in the morning and in the evening. Tip: Good household remedies for hand skin care are, for example, coconut oil, olive oil or aloe vera. Moisturise your hands at night, put on a pair of cotton gloves and let the cream work its magic over night. Even honey can work wonders on cracked skin (rub honey into your hands and leave it on for 10 minutes). If the skin on your hands is particularly rough, you should also use sensitive soap to ensure that your hands are not damaged by scents, colourants or preservatives.
Footcare during the colder months
Due to dryness, thick calluses and fine cracks can form in the skin. No matter how cosy your winter boots are, cracked soles are very unpleasant. Nourishing foot creams containing urea can provide relief. These can be applied without further ado, before putting on your socks – during the day or before going to sleep. Or you could treat yourself to a pedicure once a winter. It's a good excuse to relax and puts you in a good mood!
Lip Care in Winter
Rough, raw and cracked lips are a common corollary to the winter season. For this purpose, you can buy appropriate lip creams for the winter months. These should contain dexpanthenol and calendula as these help wounds to heal. Honey and olive oil are tried-and-tested home remedies for protecting lips against dryness. For best results, apply a thin layer of honey or olive oil before going to sleep and let it soak in over night. You're sure to wake up with soft, smooth lips!
What to be aware of when choosing winter cosmetics:
- To prevent skin irritation, choose products without scents, colourants and preservatives.
- Be sure not to use any alcohol-based cosmetics.
- Even if a product has a high-water content, this can be damaging as the water will evaporate from the skin and could cause the skin to freeze at low temperatures.
- Peelings dry out your skin. If you have oily or combination skin, you should use a mild peeling treatment and only once a week. Otherwise, try to avoid peelings in winter.
- Choose make up which moisturises your skin sufficiently.
Is it possible to "look after your skin too much"?
Even if the temperature changes dramatically over night, you shouldn't swap to a thicker cream too quickly. If the skin isn't used to the cream, it will find it difficult to cope with. On milder days, intensive skin care can be too much - the skin can get overwhelmed and this can lead to blocked pores. The following applies: In temperatures over 10 degrees, you're best to use summer skin products. During the autumn, you're best to apply more of your usual cream which contains the same ingredients but more concentrated. You should not adjust your cream according to the season, but rather to the daily temperatures.
Sun protection – a MUST in winter!
Many know from personal experience: There are nicer things to bring back from a skiing holiday than a sun-burnt nose. The winter skin, which is not used to strong sun rays, and is already being attacked by cold weather and central heating, reacts to the sun's UV rays very dramatically. Make sure you're using sun cream with an SPF of minimum 15 in winter.
Skin care from within – the right nutrients for healthy skin
A balanced diet containing lots of vitamins and minerals is essential for healthy skin. Avocados, for example, provide the skin with enough vitamin A, C, E and unsaturated fats. This combination of nutrients looks after the skin, protects it from cell damage and helps to accelerate cell regeneration. Avocados have a moisturising effect and ensure a fresh complexion. Avocados are not just good in salads or as a spread but also when applied to the skin. Just mix half an avocado with a dessert spoon of honey and apply this like a face mask. Carrots have a positive effect on our appearance in many ways. They contain plenty of beta carotene which is essential for helping the skin to build up its own natural barrier against the sun's rays. Other foods which do your skin good are ginger, pulses (for a rosy glow), pumpkin seeds, oats (good for skin impurities), berries, nuts or funghi. Make sure that you are drinking enough fluids, that way you can ensure you're looking after your skin from the inside. As an addition to your winter diet, you can also defend your skin against the cold using OPC Ultra Organic+ . The antioxidants it contains can help to protect against free radicals and cell aging. Likewise, the All in One Drink Organic+ is an ideal all-round solution during the colder months: vitamin C, calcium, magnesium, vitamin E, vitamin K2 and many other vitamins and minerals strengthen your immune system and protect your skin from the inside out. Good for you and tastes great!