Tuesday, 10 January 2017

Winter Skin: Problems and Solutions

Christmas indulgence and Winter weather, turning up the central heating etc.,  play havoc with our skin. Harsh weather conditions and temperature extremes mean that the skin's natural moisture evaporates more easily and our natural oils become depleted. The product ranges I stock can all help to address these problems for you. If in doubt, just book a skin consultation, 20 minutes free of charge.

1. Diet

Winter diet and eating habits, generally mean an increase in carbohydrates, starchy foods and a reduction in foods providing our skin with essential oils. A rich, carbohydrate diet impacts our circulatory systems, reducing the efficiency of  blood circulation and lymphatic systems. Lack of essential fatty acids in our diet means our skin is less able to retain moisture. Essential fatty acids maintain the integrity of cellular walls and allow transference of waste and water.  So altogether,  these systems can't bring fresh nutrition or remove toxins effectively. The result is dry, dehydrated, congested and dull skin.

2. Lack of Moisture

Skin regenerates on a monthly cycle. It sheds the dead, flattened cells that lie on its surface to make room for new, living cells to rise. If the dead cells don’t shed as quickly as they should, thick, dry skin can form. This further impairs the skin’s normal barrier function. Environmental irritants such as bacteria can then sneak in, causing inflammation.

Some body parts are more prone to dryness than others, depending on their concentration of oil glands. The greatest concentrations are on the face (especially around the forehead and the nose), the chest, and the back, which all tend to have less trouble with dryness. The lower legs have few oil glands, which is why they dry out so easily.

Lips don't have oil glands or a thick, protective outer layer. The lip skin is not hairy and does not have sweat glands.  Therefore, it does not have the usual protection layer of sweat and body oils which keep the skin smooth, inhibit pathogens, and regulate warmth. For these reasons, the lips dry out faster and become chapped more easily.They are also constantly moisturized by saliva, then dried by breathing, which has an evaporation effect. Evaporation also dries out hands (from washing) and feet (from sweating). The thicker skin on elbows and knees has trouble retaining water, and its constant exposure to friction is also drying.

So winter time brings some real challenges for our skin and we need to make adjustments in our skin routine and products.

Here are a few suggestions:
  • Increase your essential fatty acid food intake - eggs, dark green leafy vegetables, walnuts for example - sound like a yummy recipe to me, with just those 3 ingredients, just leave out a rich, creamy sauce!
  • Take some Omega supplements. The Advanced Nutrition Supplement range here in the salon are Skin Omega+ at £28.00.
  • Increase the moisturising step in your daily routine. Add in Environ's Super + Moisturiser, £31.
  • Change your cleanser to a rich balm like Pinks Boutique Hydrating Cleansing Balm or Environ's Youth EssentiA Hydrating Cleanser, Neal's Yard Rose Beauty Balm.
  • Top up your night time routine with a Night Balm or Hydrating Oil Capsules.
  • Start to include a serum underneath your moisturiser, e.g. Neal's Yard Frankinsence Intense Serum or Pinks Boutique Anti Ageing Serum.
  • Book a Hydrating Facial - I recommend the Environ Hydraboost Facial which uses the Focus Hydrating Serum with Hyaluronic Acid which holds up to 1000 x its own weight in water, is deeply hydrating, plumps and smoothes.
  • Jane Iredale Lip Drink in Sheer, Flirt (pink), Crush (mauve) and Buff (nude) is simply the best lip balm I've come across. At £14.00 it is more expensive, but has an SPF 15 and packed with antioxidants, moisturising oils and a lovely light citrus smell. Protect your lips with this great product.
  • Bathe in bath oil and use organic shower and bath gels with no harsh chemicals that dry out the skin. Both Neal's Yard and Pinks Boutique have a great range of natural scrubs, gels and lotions to make your bathroom smell divine. My favourite? Neal's Yard Citrus Shower Gel, Pinks Boutique Sweet Orange and Nerol Scrub, finished off with Environ Vitamin A Body Oil. Then I'm good enough to eat 😉