Your skin is the largest organ in your body and has an essential protective function. In the winter it becomes much more prone to redness, dryness, chapping and cracking and conditions such as eczema are exacerbated. Keeping skin healthy at all times is important and worth a little extra effort when the climate is more challenging. Simple steps can pay great dividends to how your skin looks, feels and functions.
1. Make friends with Kale
Indulge in a diet rich in antioxidants and omega-rich oils to treat your skin from the inside and keep it soft, supple and healthy. Whether your diet is vegan, vegetarian or omnivorous, the essential element is variety. Your skin needs the vitamins and minerals in vegetables such as Vitamins A, C and E to function well and Kale is a fantastic source of these, as are all the brassicas like cabbage and broccoli. Vary the oils you use – rape seed, coconut and olive are all good options. Antioxidants in fruits and vegetables help to fight free radical damage and to slow the ageing of the skin.
2. Choose natural and organic oils
Seed and nut oils will deliver the essential omega oils your body does not make but your skin needs. Using a blend of natural oils provides a range of omega 3, 6 and 9 fatty acids which will be absorbed and optimise the function of your skin.
Macadamia nut, Pumpkin Seed, Jojoba and Rosehip oils are rich in omega 3, 6 and 9. Pumpkin seed oil is a good source of zinc which reduces irritation and is essential for the repair of skin.
Many skincare products are based on synthetic, mineral oils offering nothing beneficial to the skin. They are used as fillers in skincare because they are cheap and widely available, but your skin deserves better.
3. Avoid any skincare products containing ethanol
All year round, it is a good idea to exclude products containing ethanol alcohol, but this becomes more important in the winter when the cold air increases skin dryness. Not only does this have a drying effect on the skin, ethanol can interact with the skin’s natural lipids and damage the lipid layer. This reduces its protective qualities and can increase skin’s permeability to pollution.
For anyone with sensitive skin, alcohol will increase the probability of irritation and inflammation.
4. Turn down the temperature
Resist the temptation to take long hot showers and baths, especially after chilly winter walks.
If you can bear it, use lukewarm water rather than hot water. This reduces the drying effect on the skin. The same is true when you wash your hands. And you can apply body creams to slightly damp skin to help lock in moisture.
5. Get your beauty-boosting sleep
Most of your skin renewal and repair happens at night so quality of sleep is vital. Wind down before bedtime, turn off the phone. Gently massage your face with a few drops of a natural oil to stimulate blood flow to the skin and help to carry away toxins as you rest.
Use a hydrating mask supplemented with ingredients such as hyaluronic acid, zinc and magnesium weekly to keep the skin’s essential proteins intact.
Try Nourish London’s Limited Edition Radiance Firming Facial Oil – This expertly formulated organic and vegan oil features Pumpkin seed oil, Rosehip oil and Macadamia nut oil together with firming marine algae extract to tone and lift. This is infused with the delicate fragrance of Damask rose and Geranium to delight your senses as you drift off to sleep. And for every bottle sold, Nourish London will donate £2.50 to Walk the Walk – what better thought to lull you to sleep.