They happen every year, but never on time or in the same way. The seasons change from warm to cold and back to warm again no matter what you do. We have little control over the elements and Mother Nature is a cruel being, bringing warmth and sunshine with skin-plumping humidity one day, and ice and snow the next. This sort of switch has an effect on everything that you can see around you. The grass gains a layer of frost that stops it from growing. The leaves brown and fall from the trees under the pressure of the cold. The animals hibernate in their dens to avoid the chill in the air. And us? We change from dresses and sandals to scarves and skinny jeans.
While we’re changing our wardrobes to suit the climate outside and upgrading our curtains and rugs to keep the chill outside the house, we often forget the impact the cold can have on the parts of us still exposed to the air: our skin and hair. A change in season can be rather stressful for our skin, and you’d think after the thousands of years of changing seasons we would have adapted to this by now. The onslaught of cold weather can have quite the effect on the responsiveness of our hair and skin. Wintery weather and low temperatures have the ability to draw all the moisture away from your skin and into the air, making you look dull, older than your years and rather pale. The moisture that is pulled from your lips can leave them chapped and dry, which is great news for the lip balm companies but not such great news for you.
The thing is, there are many dry skin causes out there and not everyone would blame the cold, especially as there are some ways that the cold is fantastic for your complexion. The colder weather can really act as an astringent for your skin, but of cour, e this won’t be the same for every skin type. It does a good job of clearing out your pores, but at the same time it can make your face rather ruddy and red when it gets whipped by the wind. The cold has the ability to reduce puffiness in your face, though, as it can promote blood circulation which can reduce inflammation. You need a healthy diet and plenty of water to keep your skin healthy, that’s a given. However, there are some things that you can do to manage the discomfort of the season that is so unpopular for your beauty routines.
If you haven’t heard, autumn and winter are harvest seasons and the best fruits packed with antioxidants are in the peak of the season right about now. Think cranberries, squash, blueberries and pomegranates; all seasonal fruits that don’t just fill your tummy, but feed your skin! The chill in the air can make your skin dry right out, and the nutrients in the fruit can help keep your skin nourished and healthy. If the dry skin is causing pain or continuing discomfort, then seeing a professional dermatologist for a customized treatment plan that works for your exact skin type could be the way to go.
Warm, Not Hot
Going from the freezing cold into a hot environment may feel wonderful for your fingers and toes, but your face won’t thank you. Skin on the face is sensitive, and yet bears up with the weather remarkably well. Cranking up the heat inside the house can make your skin flake, and the sudden shock of cold to hot can give you itchy skin that really isn’t comfortable in the slightest. When you go home after a day out, moisturise your skin before turning the heating on, and even then, only gradually turn the heating up.
A humidifier can be a Godsend to people who have skin affected by the harshness of the cold. They infuse the air with moisture, and if you get it set to the right level, you can really feel the benefits on your skin. Read here about the best humidifiers to get and what times to set them in the day for the maximum benefit to your skin.
Short, Quick Showers
The aim here is to make your skin feel moisturised and healthy, and while a long, steaming hot shower at the end of a long day may seem like a good idea, your skin won’t thank you for it. Every pore of your body holds moisture and natural oils, and the hotter the water you use, the more you strip back those natural oils. It can feel wonderful to stand under hotter than hot water, but while your muscles enjoy it your skin won’t. Limit the time you spend stood under the water, and turn the temperature down. Scalding yourself wouldn’t be the best idea when the aim is beautiful skin!
After you’ve had a shower, never rub yourself down with a towel. You can accidentally take layers off your skin doing that. Dabbing the water dry or sitting in a towel and drip drying can be the best option for you! Blotting dry leaves your skin feeling a little bit damp and this is the perfect time to moisturise all over. Check out these moisturiser reviews for dry skin and see whether you can find one that works for you.
Did you know that the material of the clothing that you wear can have an impact on your skin? Wool and polyester fabrics are notoriously bad for your skin when laid directly on top as they can be abrasive. Cotton is the best fabric to be right against your skin, so if you have some wool you want to wear, always use a vest or t-shirt underneath for protection against the roughness of the wool.
Fake It With Makeup
The sun has gone in and the cold air has made your skin change to a slightly paler version of what it used to be. This is how MAC and Maybelline stay in business! You could keep using your favourite bronzer – but perhaps go a shade or so lighter than you are used to using. Everyone will spot a fake job a mile off in the winter, as the tans have faded. Using makeup to keep your skin looking healthy is great for your confidence, even if you know it’s not your usual colour!
When the humidity in the air is low, your hair is prone to static. Trying to get your scarf and hat off without looking like you’ve stuck your fingers in the electrical sockets is not easy, and it’s not nice after you’ve spent time getting your hair done in the morning. Check out these hacks for defrizzing that static bonce you’re sporting now that the cold weather has set in.
It’s already apparent that hair is just as susceptible to cold weather difficulties in the same way that skin is, but did you know that you should be switching out your hair washing routine? If you wash your hair every day as it is, you’re already depleting your scalp and hair of the natural oil it desperately needs. You should be washing it through with shampoo every 2 to 3 days, to give your hair the chance to recover. If you let your hair build up with the oils, you’ll also be less likely to use heating products like dryers – meaning that you’re letting go of the static in the air, too.
Each of these little tips can make a difference to your skin and how your skin is affected by the change in the weather outside. Winter should really come with a beauty warning, letting you know that there are rough conditions ahead! Dry hands, dry face and brittle hair are all common in the winter, but it doesn’t mean you have to wait around and accept it. Taking steps early in the year can mean the difference between dealing with damaged hair and flaky skin or being suitably moisturised and protected when the cold snap hits.
Don’t forget, the colour in your cheeks that the cold weather can give you can give you a healthy glow and give you the chance to leave the blusher at home for a while! Winter also has the power to bring in cleaner air, clearing away the pollution in the sky and making sure you have an easier time of getting good, rejuvenating air into your lungs for a change. Updating your hair and beauty regimes makes as much sense as updating your wardrobe for the season. Don’t be afraid to spend a little extra on more than one humidifier in the home and be excited about the season. Once it’s over and the summer hits, you’ll have a whole new regime to follow to avoid skin damage from the sun!