It might be the season for festive joy and generosity, but winter isn’t always that kind to your skin. While some people suffer break outs or dryness, others find that the contrast between heating and cold weather causes a dull, lacklustre complexion. From vampire facials to those ‘startled bunny’ Botox foreheads, there’s no shortage of treatments promising to turn back the clock and make your skin as soft as a freshly-picked peach all year long. But you don’t have to resort to needles and celebrity fads to keep your skin looking healthy – even in the darkest depths of January.
We catch up with Sequoia Spa’s Therapy Team Trainer Laura McLaughlin for her top tips on maintaining a winter glow…
1. Watch your diet
Good skin starts from the inside out, so it’s important to make sure you’re eating healthily, with a diet that’s packed with fresh fruit and veg. Omega 3 is great for achieving plumper, healthier skin- something you’ll find in fish oils. If you’re vegetarian or vegan, you can opt for the flaxseed alternative, which is sold in pharmacies and health food stores across the UK. Since most of us will be planning to party over the festive season, it’s also a good idea to stock up on multi-vitamins for an extra boost.
2. Double cleanse
Using a clean flannel or muslin cloth, double cleanse your skin both morning and evening for a better complexion. Whatever your skin type, you’ll need to make sure that you choose a cleanser that’s doing the job properly and getting rid of all your make up. For an extra glow, try selecting an enzyme-enriched cleanser- it’ll help to exfoliate your skin and reduce inflammation.
3. Tone up
Toning isn’t just about those bingo wing exercises at the gym, it’s also an essential step in your skincare routine. While the natural PH of your skin is 5.3, water is around 7, so you’ll need to rebalance after you cleanse. Try using a spritz with added Vitamin C to brighten up your skin during the winter months. A spray like Natura Bisse’s C+C Vitamin Splash can be used before applying make-up or during the day if you feel like your complexion needs a little pick-me-up.
4. Treat your skin
Christmas is the time to treat yourself, so why not spoil your skin at the same time? As well as combatting common winter problems including dryness and flaky skin, at home treatments can help with year-round issues like fine lines and acne. A good hydration treatment that boosts cell regeneration with help to plump you up, while an overnight hydration product like ESPA’s Tri-Active Advanced Night Booster will give lifeless skin some much-needed sparkle. If you find yourself breaking out, try witch hazel or tea tree products.
5. Moisturise, moisturise, moisturize
Dehydrated skin will be your nemesis over the winter months, so make sure you remember to moisturise your face, neck and hands both day and night. Vitamin-based products will help to brighten your skin, particularly anything enriched with Vitamin C. While the winter sun isn’t exactly tropical in the UK, it’s still important to wear a moisturiser with an SPF during the day to protect against UVA damage. It’s also the season for chapped lips, so don’t forget to pile on the lip balm before you seek out the mistletoe.
6. Pamper yourself
If you’re looking to go the extra mile for your skin at home, you can try a Clarisonic cleanse, followed by an exfoliating mask. Alternatively, you can treat yourself to a series of monthly facials, just to keep on top of your skincare needs. When it comes to facials, everyone has different requirements, so make sure you discuss your concerns with your therapist before booking, to get exactly the right treatment for you.