The cold, winter weather can wreak havoc on our skin and hair. With a drop in temperature, bracing winds and rain, it’s important to shake up our beauty regimes to keep ourselves looking and feeling good throughout the season. But many of the methods we turn to, such as exfoliating and moisturising, can actually do more harm than good. Here are our top 7 beauty mistakes to avoid this winter, and some winter beauty tips.
After a cold commute home from work or a wintry run, the first thing you’ll want to do is relax in a hot shower. But this habit can really dry out your skin. Dehydrated skin is not only a pain to deal with it, also can progress to skin inflammation and eczema. Instead, it’s best to opt for lukewarm showers (and not stay in for too long!) and be sure to moisturise after you’re done. Body lotion will help to lock in your skin’s natural moisture and help prepare you for your next outing in the cold, winter winds.
Hot showers can also damage your hair. If your hair is generally oily, hot water can make it worse. Hot water stimulates the scalps sebaceous gland, which secretes an oily substance, in turn making your hair greasy. Try to wash your hair in warm water rather than hot, as tempting as it may be!
We’re taught that exfoliating can work wonders for our skin, removing dead skin cells, preventing ingrown hairs after shaving and even increasing blood circulation for healthy, glowing skin. However in the winter, when your skin is particularly dry too much exfoliating can strip your skin of its natural moisture, and often even makes your skin drier! Rather than committing to a seemingly never-ending cycle of exfoliating and moisturising, switching up your skincare routine slightly can make all the difference. For the ultimate winter skin care routine, use a moisturising face wash rather than exfoliating and exfoliate just once a week if you can.
It’s natural to feel like reaching for starchy carbs and indulgent desserts in the winter months, however some people also try to stick to their no carb, raw food diets. This is something that Sheena of Detox Health Beauty blog recommends avoiding. “My mistake in the past has been to eat too much raw food in the winter months,” said Sheena. “Over the past few years, I have been eating more warming soups, slow cooked veggie stews and porridge in the winter months, and drinking plenty of herbal teas and Barley Cup (a delicious caffeine-free alternative to coffee) with plant-based milk, and I feel so much better. The last thing I need to be doing in the cold winter months is a juice cleanse and feel so much better for keeping things warm and cosy.”
As well as ensuring you get the right vitamins and nutrients the winter-way, Sheena had a few more words of advice on keeping up a warming winter routine in the colder months: “I love to light lots of candles and have a warm Epsom salt bath with a few drops of my favourites: ylang ylang, rose geranium, lavender and jasmine after a 10-minute dry skin brushing session, followed by a self-massage using almond or sesame oil with a few drops of essential oil. My mistake was using coconut oil in the winter as I find it so cooling (I absolutely love this oil in the summer). I hydrate with warm herbal tea and warm lemon water instead of ice cold water.”
Throughout the summer we hear dermatologists’ warnings about using sun cream. But as soon as autumn and winter rolls around, the sun disappears behind the clouds and we put down the SPF. According to skincare experts, this is a huge beauty mistake. Just because the sun isn’t visible, it doesn’t mean you’re protected from the UVA rays that can accelerate skin aging. To be safe, it’s recommended that you apply two layers of sun cream each day, but be aware of what you’re buying. There are two elements to check on the bottle – SPF level (which measures the cream’s protection against UVB rays, causing burning) and UVA star rating (which measures coverage against UVA rays, causing aging, wrinkles and even skin cancer).
We’ve all been there, picking off the dry, flaky skin on our lips on a harsh winter’s day. If only we remembered to use our lip balm! In this day and age, there’s really no excuse for forgetting to apply lip balm. We are blessed with a wonderful range of balms in all varieties, from milk and honey to soothing SPF lip balms and even dark chocolate lip balms, for those with a penchant for sweetness. There are many organic options perfect for revitalising your lips, and even various strengths. We’d recommending buying a few lip balms and stashing them in your car, handbag and home so you’re never too far from one.
While many winter beauty tips focus solely on skincare, it is so important not to neglect your hair. Just like our sensitive skin, our hair can dry out and break in the cold winter months. This, combined with the increased use of hairdryers and prolonged use of straighteners and curling irons, can make your hair extremely brittle. Top it off with some classic winter frizz, and you’ve got the worst hair season. But it’s not all bad news, if you give your hair some regular TLC, you can keep your locks looking perfect all winter. A hair mask or leave-in conditioner is an excellent way to do so. Many conditioners and balms are designed to be left in overnight, so you’ll wake up with rejuvenated hair, and no sign of frizz. If you’re short of time, just make sure you don’t leave the house with wet hair, as this causes frizz.
On a wet winter’s day, often the last thing we think about is our hands and feet. We might stuff them into cosy gloves and warm woollen socks, but our skin can often be an afterthought. It’s so important to look after your skin during the winter, and there are many ways in which you can do so. Changing your socks regularly is essential to prevent foot odour and other unpleasant issues, such as Athlete’s Foot. Frequently washing your feet and making sure to dry them properly is also important, as is getting rid of any pesky hard skin by using a pumice stone or foot file. Be sure to use a moisturising foot cream to keep skin soft, and you should have no problems during the winter.
When it comes to your hands, issues due to cold weather are usually more apparent, and can be irritating. We’re all too familiar with chapped and broken skin around our nails and cuticles. This can become more prevalent during the winter, so it’s important to moisturise regularly. Not using heavily-perfumed or heavy-duty soap can also work wonders for your hands, preventing the skin from cracking or peeling.
As well as pampering yourself at home, why not visit us at Champneys for a few relaxing spa treatments? Lift your tired skin with a soothing facial, treat your feet to a pedicure or unwind with a detoxifying seaweed wrap.