Who doesn’t love watching the season transition, the wonder of nature taking place right in front of our eyes, witnessing the leaves change colour, the morning dew appearing and the light of day beginning to soften. But cold, windy weather isn’t always so great for your skin. With the season change comes the onset of colder outdoor air and decreased humidity, which will start to affect the skin, add in blasts of dry heat from indoor heating systems and your skin will be crying for more moisture and some real tender loving care.
Here are our top tips on how to care for dry skin and keep it healthy.
Cleanse but don't strip
Use an oil-based cleanser for dry skin, and a gel cleanser for oily and combination skin, this first cleanse lifts off makeup. The second cleanse ensures that the skin is thoroughly cleaned, and it aids hydration. Not removing all traces of make-up can lead to blocked pores and, subsequently, blemishes. With double cleansing, you can be sure that you've removed everything, which will enable the skin to rest and restore.
Our skin is constantly regenerating. Skin cells start their life cycle in the lower layer of the skin, the dermis. As the cells rise to the surface layer, the epidermis, they gradually die and become filled with keratin. Proper exfoliation of the top layer of dead skin cells is essential to make way for the new, younger skin underneath. If left and not exfoliated away, dead skin cells can cling to the outer layer and leave the skin looking dull and dried out. Exfoliation also removes any dirt and oil that can get trapped and cause clogged pores and spots. Regular exfoliation can even skin tone and leave your skin feeling fresher, cleaner and looking healthier. Exfoliation also opens the way for moisturising products to penetrate more deeply into the skin, making them more effective. In short, a regular exfoliating routine will leave your skin looking fresh and healthy.
Without moisture the barrier function of the skin can be compromised, leaving it prone to bacteria, infection and the signs of ageing. Moisturising day and night will enhance your skins texture and preserve its condition. Moisturisers help hold water in the skin's outer layers. Emollients fill in tiny crevices between surfaces to keep skin smooth, while humectants draw water to the outermost layer of your skin for a dewy glow.
Hydrate with weekly masks
Face Masks are one of my favourite skincare products. The right face mask, can help hydrate skin, remove excess oils, help improve the appearance of your pores, soothe irritated areas and even out skin tone. Masking will also help all of your other skin care products work more efficiently. By using a mask on a weekly or bi-weekly basis it will enable your day lotions, serums and night-time products to be absorbed by your skin quicker and deeper. Face masks can also be quite therapeutic. Using a mask regularly helps you set time aside for yourself to just relax.
UVB is too weak at this time of year, so is unlikely to burn you, but UVA is still present, even on cloudy days, and is most associated with deeper ageing. So it is essential that you are still taking measure to protect your skin with a moisturising SPF.
If your skin is not getting a sufficient amount of water, this lack of hydration will leave your skin dry, tight and flaky. When skin is well hydrated, it is more plump and resilient. This is due, at least in part, to an ingredient in the skin called hyaluronic acid. The job of hyaluronic acid in the skin is to hold water. When there is adequate water from inside and out the skin looks healthier and more vibrant and is less prone to wrinkles. Hydrated skin will also remain flexible and allow our protective barrier to remain intact. If the skin is broken, environmental factors can damage our bodies and cause exacerbated water loss, feeding a cyclical pattern of more damage due to further dehydration. The unfortunate truth about drinking water and skin is that water will reach all the other organs before it reaches the skin so is it very important to make sure you are getting enough water 1.5 - 3l per day to ensure your skin reaps any benefits.
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