In the grey of the late winter months, it is hard to stay motivated to maintain skin that is swaddled under many layers of clothing, and while we may all be beginning on our perfect beach body, we often overlook our skin at this time of year. However, summer is just around the corner, which means we will soon be putting our winter coats away and begin baring our legs to the sunshine. To make sure your skin is looking its best, Kerry Symons, Champneys Spa Manager, shares her expert advice to keep on top healthy skin at home until your next rejuvenating break at a spa hotel.
There is an art to exfoliation that is seeing a resurgence as the importance of regular resurfacing becomes more widely known. A good exfoliator will instantly lift your winter skin and you will soon see the difference. Kerry Symons recommends, “Exfoliate the face and body at least once a week to help remove the dead skin cells and increase circulation. This will get rid of dull, lifeless skin to reveal glowing fresh skin. Once exfoliated, you will find that your moisturiser will penetrate easier.”
Ensure you are using a gentle exfoliate on the tender skin of your face while the rest of your body can cope with a coarser substance. Work from the feet upwards in circular movements and opt for products with natural elements that refrain from including environmentally damaging micro plastics. If you have time or unsure, you can make your own homemade body scrub. Lia Griffith explains how she chooses ingredients when making body scrubs at home, saying, “Epsom salt base is great for absorbing toxins, and almond oil is great for the heart – it acts as a deep skin cleanser and can help to reduce dark spots on the skin – perfect!” Alternatively, if you’re looking for a quick fix with guaranteed results, why not try our range of exfoliators or book a facial with one of our skincare experts.
Whether Christmas’ overindulgence has taken its toll or walks out in the wind have caused damage, winter is a season that is rough on skin. However, most of this damage can be undone with a good moisturising routine. Whether this is a light moisturiser every morning a heavier cream at night, or even the occasional intense spa treatment, your skin will thank you for the attention. Kerry recommends: “lock in the moisture using a good face and body moisturiser. This can help to heal dry skin and protect it. The central heating over the winter period could have dehydrated the skin.”
Pay close attention to areas that are often overlooked such as elbows, knees and joints as they can take a little longer to return to supple smoothness if they have been long neglected, and can otherwise undermine all your other skincare efforts.
It is advice we have all heard, and many of us are still guilty of not drinking enough water. Staying properly hydrated can be especially difficult through the grim winter months when we want nothing more than a warming beverage. But making an attempt to increase your water intake will make a difference to more than just your skin, as the rest of your body will appreciate a cleanse. Kerry advises us all to “drink plenty of water to hydrate the skin, help flush out toxins and to help control your appetite.”
You may already be exercising regularly in a bid for your beach body, but increasing your circulation has numerous benefits for your skin including faster healing, a more even complexion and promoted collagen production . Exercising outside (as opposed to a gym) has the added advantage of an altered temperature. Even the weakest sun light has vitamin D, which is also fantastic for the skin. Kerry advises, “now that the mornings and evenings are getting lighter go for a brisk walk. Take deep breaths to clear the lungs and get the heart rate raised.”
Treating yourself to a facial massage is a great way to measure your efforts as you prepare your skin for the new season. You not only improve the appearance of your skin, improving suppleness, but you can also monitor any unseen dry patches, check the skin’s tension and keep an eye on its plumpness. Kerry believes we should all massage using a facial oil. She suggests, “Gently massage the face and neck area to help increase the circulation, boost cell renewal and help remove toxins.”
Winter diets are often focussed on warming and comfort to get us through the wetter months, but now may be time for a change. Many people change their diet at this time to match the weather, but tailoring it to suit the needs of your skin would be an easy way to improve your complexion. Kerry emphasizes one vitamin: “vitamin D – Increase your vitamin D levels, this helps to keep your bones, teeth and muscles healthy. From about March or April most of us should get what we need from the sunlight on our skin. It can also be found in egg yolks, liver, salmon, sardines and some breakfast cereals.”
It’s easy enough to switch up breakfast cereals or add an egg to your morning routine. Incorporating more fish into your weekly shop can also improve more than mere vitamin D intake, omega 3 can help many skin issues such as acne and eczema and inflammation.
Lips will always suffer in winter months – what with dehydration, biting winds and the multitude of colds and sniffles we are subjected to battle against plump, kissable pouts. Your dry lips may be a sign of dehydration, so it could be the moment to put down the lip balm and pick up a water bottle instead. Either way, lips are often overlooked when it comes to exfoliating, but this is easy and essential to do. Kerry recommends “exfoliate the lips using a tooth brush or natural exfoliation to remove the dry skin and then apply a nourishing lip balm.”
Exfoliating the lips stimulates circulation and thus immediately plumps them for that perfect pout. It also makes a better base for makeup, allowing lipstick to hold longer.
Pampering yourself is essential to getting a little brightness back into your skin ready for the sun. Picking the correct treatment can be a difficult, however, while many people opt for an all-over treatment, targeting a single area can often be more successful. A professional exfoliation or foot treatment is one guaranteed way to improve your skin ready for summer.
Kerry suggests, “Treat yourself to a salon treatment. Get your feet ready with a pedicure. This includes the removal of hard skin, foot massage, moisturise and toe nails painted. Or maybe a body wrap including an exfoliation to get the skin prepared and the body detoxed.” Whatever your skin concerns, a spa treatment from a skincare expert is sure to make you feel glowing and radiant once more.