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October, 12 2017

How to look after your skin this winter


Joanna @JdeV Edinburgh West End store

As you’ll probably know, winter can be a tricky time for our skin. As the colder weather rolls in, bringing with it freezing temperatures, cold winds and dry air, our skin can start to dry out, causing extra sensitivity, irritation and unpleasant dry patches.

So today I’m discussing a few ways to keep your skin soft, hydrated and protected this winter.

Switch to natural products

First and foremost, I’d recommend switching as many of your skincare and makeup products to natural ones as if possible. This is because the chemicals found in conventional skincare products can be harsh on delicate skin, causing irritation and dryness – which is the last thing you want during the winter when your skin is already a bit more delicate than usual.

If you aren’t sure which products you should be using to start with, then read on!

Moisturise daily

One of the best things you can do during these colder months is invest in a good-quality moisturiser with lots of natural, nourishing ingredients. You should apply this each morning to hydrate the skin, and also to provide a protective barrier during the day. You should also apply this in the evening to help your skin recover – unless you’re using a specific night cream, which I’ll go on to discuss later.

One of my favourite winter moisturisers is Sukin’s Rosehip Hydrating Cream. It contains a lovely mixture of hydrating, nourishing ingredients like rosehip, pomegranate, avocado oil and kakadu plum. It’s also packed full of antioxidants to protect your skin, and if you’ve got mature skin you’ll be pleased to know that it also has anti-ageing properties! For just £20.38 for a 120ml tub, this should see you through the winter.

Alternative buys:

Sukin’s Facial Moisturiser: £9.99 for 125ml

Dr Hauschka Revitalising Day Cream: £21.00 for 30ml

Exfoliate regularly

After your moisturiser, I’d actually say that an exfoliator is your next best weapon against dry winter skin. While a moisturiser will keep your skin protected and hydrated, an exfoliator will help to buff away any dry patches of skin which do manage to appear.

This not only makes your skin smoother and stops makeup clinging to dry patches, but it also helps to prevent dead skin cells clogging up pores and causing spots. Plus, your moisturiser will absorb more easily without a layer of dry skin blocking it. I'd recommend using a face scrub three times a week to keep skin smooth and soft.

Sukin are once again my go-to recommendation for face scrubs! They have three types, but it’s their revitalising facial scrub I want to point out today. It scrubs away dirt, dead skin and excess oils using ground walnut shell and bamboo instead of plastic microbeads. It also nourishes and hydrates using chamomile, rose hip oil and jojoba oil and costs just £8.12 for 125ml.

If you’re interested, they also have a pore-refining scrub and a super greens detoxifying scrub.

Make sure your cleanser is gentle

You’ll want to make sure that your daily cleanser is gentle and nourishing so as not to dry out or damage your skin any more than it already is. Please, please refrain from using those chemical-filled spot-fighting face washes!

My absolute favourite winter cleanser is Kinvara’s Absolute Cleansing Oil. This rich, nourishing oil dissolves the build-up of dirty oil and sebum on the skin, as well as makeup and grime. It also replenishes the skin’s natural oil balance, helping to reduce oil production. This means that it can be useful for both dry and oily skin – great news if you have combination skin! According to Kinvara, each bottle has 100 uses so it should last around 3 months – and at just £16.95 for 100ml, that’s great value for money!

Alternative buys:

Sukin Cream Cleanser: £7.95 for 125ml

Dr Hauschka Soothing Cleansing Milk - £24.50 for 145ml

Consider a night cream

This isn’t an essential product, but if you’ve got particularly dry skin or are looking to support ageing skin, a night cream can be beneficial. These creams are specially designed to deeply nourish and hydrate skin overnight, and often have potent anti-ageing properties. They tend to be a bit thicker, so they don’t often work great under makeup during the day.

We stock so many great night creams that it’s difficult to choose just one! However, Avalon Organics Ultimate Night Cream is particularly popular here at Jan de Vries so it’s always worth a mention. It’s full of soothing ingredients like lavender and cucumber and nourishing ingredients like borage oil, shea butter and sweet almond oil to hydrate the skin. It works with your skin’s natural renewal cycle to restore and repair skin. Plus, it’s only £11.49 for 50ml!

Indulge in a face mask

During the winter, I always recommend pampering your skin with a face mask at least once a week – but ideally 2-3 times! These masks help to deeply hydrate, nourish, soften and repair skin. The act of pampering your skin is also incredibly relaxing and will definitely help you to wind down in the evening.  

Dr Hauschka have a fantastic range of face masks, but for winter I would recommend their Hydrating Mask. It’s extra moisturising, with almond, avocado and jojoba oils to nourish and pamper the skin. It’s a bit of a luxury product at £38.50 for 30ml, but your skin definitely deserves it!

Alternative buys:

Green People Vita Min Mask: £16.00 for 50ml

Dr Hauschka Firming Mask: £38.50 for 30ml

Don’t forget about the rest of your skin!

It’s easy to just focus on the skin on your face during the winter months, but the rest of your body can suffer too, including your hands, scalp, arms and legs.

Hands – avoid harsh soaps, and opt for a nourishing hand cream like Dr Hauschka’s Hydrating Hand cream. It’s the perfect size to fit in your handbag! And don’t forget to wear gloves to protect your hands from the cold weather.

Body – switch to natural body wash and don’t forget to hydrate using a body lotion after your shower. Pacifica’s body butters are absolutely divine – my favourite is definitely Island Vanilla! For a body wash, why not try Green People’s Moisturising Shower Gel

Scalp – hydrate a dry, itchy scalp with Dr Hauschka’s fantastic Revitalising Hair and Scalp Tonic.

Drink plenty of water

During the winter, it’s not just about the products you use on your face – you need to hydrate your skin from the inside out. Try to drink at least 1.5 litres, if not 2 litres, of plain, still water a day. This hydrates the whole body and also helps boost your circulation. This makes it easier to transport vital nutrients to the skin, but also to remove toxins and waste products from it.

If you’re struggling to drink enough water, invest in a bottle with an infuser inside that allows you to naturally flavour your water with pieces of fruit – I love adding raspberries, lemon and mint to mine!

Humidify the air in your home

This can be a tricky one in the UK, as many of us are battling damp air in the home rather than dry air. However, if you use a lot of heating or air conditioning in your home, you may find that the air is actually quite dry, which is the last thing you want when your skin is already struggling with the cold, harsh winter weather.  

You can invest in a humidifier which, these days, are often disguised as decorative features rather than ugly machines. However, you can also easily increase the humidity in your air with a simple DIY trick. Simply place a bowl of water on your radiator (or radiators if you want to humidify the whole home) while your heating is on and the heat will cause the water to evaporate into the air. You can add a few drops of essential oil if you like, to create a natural air freshener at the same time.

Warm water, not hot!

And finally, while you might be dreaming about a long, hot shower or bath when it’s cold outside, this is actually a bad idea for skin. Hot water quickly strips moisture from the hair and skin, so try to stick to warm water, especially while washing your face!