• Sol Nicolajsen

7 tips for healthy winter skin

Updated: Jun 25

Why do we get dry skin in winter?  

The combination of cold dry air, fluctuating humidity, strong winds and the warm (and often very dry) indoor environment suck the moisture from the skin and deplete it of its own natural oils.

Bringing a glow to dry skin is far from impossible but it does take a bit of diligence and focused attention towards not only your skincare products but also diet and lifestyle.

Here’s a few suggestions to soothe and hydrate dry skin from the inside out.

#1: Drink plenty of pure water.

Coffee, sodas and other processed sugary drinks dehydrate our body and skin and leach vital minerals and vitamins from our bodies.

And although coffee and drinks high in sugar may temporarily satisfy our tastebuds and give us a surge of energy there are healthier and better ways to hydrate the body. Drinking plenty of clean water is the best you can do for your body - it helps to flush out toxins and hydrate the cells.

I start my day by drinking a glass of water with a splash of organic raw applecider vinegar. It’s a great and simple pick-me up drink and ACV is alkaline-forming in the body helping to keep cells healthy and functioning optimally. Fresh juices, herbal teas or yummy smoothies are also great drinks to start the day with.

#2: A wholesome diet is a must for healthy skin and hair.

Our bodies need good quality wholesome nutrients and healthy fats in order to radiate health. Processed foods laden with sugar leaches our bodies of healthy nutrients and makes our skin and hair look dull, tired and lustreless  and even worse - causes break-outs.

Including plenty of healthy saturated fats and omegas in your diet - like cold pressed (and preferably organic) oils from avocados, flaxseed, hemp seed and coconut will help to nourish dry skin and hair. These oils are of course also great applied directly on the skin and hair!

#3: Find the right moisturiser In winter the skin craves more moisture and if you live in a place where temperatures often drop below freezing it is a good idea to use an oil-based moisturiser to protect and support the skin as water based moisturisers tend to 'freeze' on the skin and further dry out the skin. If you have a normal skin type then look for moisturisers high in oleic acid. 'Marula & Myrrh Hydrating Face Cream' is my go-to product through the winter months.

I specifically designed it to be highly moisturising  and therefore useful for dry/mature skin and for conditions that requires that bit extra lasting hydration. The exquisite Marula oil is high in vitamins and antioxidants as well as naturally high in oleic acid (70-80%), a monounsaturated fatty acid, that is very moisturising and regenerating to our skin and thus ideal for consoling dry skin conditions.

However, you can also easily make your own natural winter moisturiser by mixing heavier oils (high in oleic acid) such as almond oil, olive oil, avocado oil, argan oil with lighter ones (high in linoleic acid) such as grape seed oil, thistle oil and hemp seed oil along with a few drops of essential oils for fragrance and added support (geranium, palmarosa, frankincense, mandarin are all great for the skin). If you are acne prone check out this blog post for recommended oils.

The best time to apply moisturisers, serums & oils  is just after you’ve showered, bathed or cleansed when your skin is still a little damp. By applying moisturisers to damp skin it helps to lock in the moisture and ensure maximum hydration.

#4: Dry hands

Often the hands and feet are the first to show signs of dryness. Our extremities cop a beating during winter and not surprisingly, can end up looking scaly and dry. Protect your hands by wearing gloves on really cold or windy days, and always wear rubber gloves if you do a lot of cleaning or handle cleaning chemicals.

If your work requires you to often cleanse your hands then follow up with a good moisturiser.

Keep it simple - sweet almond oil, high in oleic acid, is great for softening dry hands or try a good quality shea butter which is super-hydrating and nourishing for scaly, red and dry skin. 

Make it a habit to carry a little bottle or jar in your bag. 

#5: Exfoliate

It is important to remove dead skin cells regularly to make you skin look brighter and smoother and to allow your skincare products to penetrate the skin better so they have direct access to living skin, making them more effective. Indulge in a bit of me-time and use a good clay mask twice a week.

Or make your own simple hydrating and gentle exfoliating mask with ingredients you most likely already have in the cupboard. Mix: 1 tsp. of raw honey, 1 tsp. of plain youghurt & 2 tsp. of oatmeal.

(You can make your own oatmeal by grinding a handful of plain oats in a spice grinder, coffee grinder, food processor or blender.)

Apply to your face avoiding the eye area and leave for 10 mins. Gently massage with fingers and rinse off with lukewarm water. Apply your moisturiser while your skin is still warm and damp.

However, no need to be too zealous  - don’t over-exfoliate as this can leave your skin a little too raw and defenceless against the elements. 

Once or twice a week with a gentle exfoliant is just fine.

If you have got time you can extend the ritual and exfoliate the whole body by dry-brushing with a natural body brush. This helps to reduce cellulite appearance, improve lymphatic drainage and circulation which keeps the skin looking supple and well-toned. Follow up with a good body oil or body butter.

#6: Scrap synthetic cosmetics

Make a New Year resolution to clear your cupboards and shelves of any skincare products that contains alcohol, harsh synthetic fragrances or preservatives. These products tend to strip your skin of its natural oils, disrupt the skin's natural pH balance, exacerbating dryness and irritate the skin  - not to mention all the other negative health effects they could be having.

#7: Close your eyes Make sure you get plenty of sleep as the skin cells regenerate faster during sleep.

It’s also a good idea to give your eyes some love and care and and use a good eye cream. In winter where we tend to spend longer days in front of the screen straining the eyes which can make them sore, dry and watery.

Spend a few minutes each day massaging the eye area with a good eye cream thus stimulating the tear ducts and increasing blood flow to the area helping to relief tired, strained, puffed, dry and watery eyes. I hope these few tips help to bring a glow to your winter skin ❄️☀️❄️ Love Sol

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