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Winter skincare – the essentials you need to know

Winter Skincare

You might be thinking that just because it’s winter and there’s no danger of getting sunburnt, that winter weather is a time you can take a break from worrying about your skin.  Think again!!!

Cold winds and dry air from central heating which pulls moisture from your skin, can leave your face looking and feeling very dry and parched.  Usually we don’t drink as much water in the winter or eat as many fresh salads or fruit so that adds to the dehydration problem. The delicate skin around the eyes can get extremely dry and sore in winter, especially in cold winds, which can lead to the fine lines around the eyes looking much deeper and more prominent.

Technically what happens is that the outer layer of our skin – the horny layer – can’t hold on to the water that comes from deeper skin layers and we lose moisture by evaporation.
To hold the water in your skin, you need a humectant which is an ingredient that attracts water. The most common is glycerine which is a very strong binder of water and is an excellent  hydrating ingredient.

Water

The recommended amount of water for women is about 1.5 litres/day and I think most women struggle to drink that amount as pure water in the winter. We tend to favour hot drinks – tea, coffee, hot chocolate – all of which are diuretics and further dehydrate our skin.  Hot or warm water though, can be flavoured with a slice of lemon or lime; mint leaves make a very refreshing drink; white tea is good and is said to strengthen collagen and elastin.
Whilst it’s lovely and comforting to have hot baths and wash your face with steaming hot water, if it’s excessively hot, it will strip the natural healthy oils from your skin. If you use water on your face, the general consensus is that warm or lukewarm water is best.

If you apply your moisturiser to slightly warm skin you’ll find it’s absorbed much more easily.  It’s not a good idea though to put your moisturiser into boiling water to warm it up, [it has happened!] you destroy the emulsification and it will separate into oil and water!  You’ve just lost your moisturiser.

I created Moisturiser Plus and Moisturiser Light with glycerine as a humectant and they both work really well to moisturise at a deep level.  If you like using a night cream, then Celgenics Night Essential has both glycerine and anti oxidants to nurture you whilst you sleep.

Sun protection
Yes, you do still need it, even though it’s winter and the sun is not glaring down on you.

Even though it’s cold and you can’t feel the warmth of the sun, don’t be fooled into thinking that it isn’t there and isn’t affecting you.
Despite the debate about Vitamin D levels and not getting enough exposure to sunlight, it’s important to understand what UV radiation is and how it affects your skin.
UV radiation is the number one factor responsible for skin cancers, including basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma and melanoma.  In fact, the National Institutes of Health and the World Health Organization have identified broad spectrum UV as a human carcinogen.

UV radiation has 3 specific wavebands
They differ in their biological activity and the depth to which they penetrate into the skin.
The two you need to know about are
UVA and UVB

UVA is the long wavelength (320-400 nm) and accounts for up to 95 percent of the solar UV radiation reaching the Earth’s surface.
It can penetrate into the deeper layers of the skin and has for years been thought to play a major part in skin ageing and wrinkling.
The important thing to remember is that UVA rays are present during all daylight hours including the winter months so we need to protect ourselves.
It’s also useful to know that it can penetrate through clouds and glass – which means that any windows you sit by are not protecting you!

UVB is the middle-range of UV with wavelengths between 290-320 nm.
It’s responsible for burning, tanning and acceleration of skin ageing and plays a key role in the development of skin cancer.  It doesn’t penetrate through glass like UVA.

Find protection that offers multi-spectrum protection against both UVA and UVB.
Just because a sunscreen states a high SPF rating, it doesn’t mean it protects against both forms of UV radiation. Read the label to make sure you have proper protection.

Looking after your skin in winter will pay dividends in the Spring!

Any questions let us know

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