Now that we're fully into winter, it's worthwhile considering how to avoid the harsh challenges this time of year presents to your skin.
A useful analogy is to think about your winter wardrobe, and how you layer your clothes. Layering of your skincare in winter gives added protection and nourishment to your skin, keeping it better hydrated and protected over the colder months.
In what order is it best to layer your skincare? As with your wardrobe, the principle is lightest layer first. Using lighter textures as you start allows you to comfortably add more.
Step 1: Cleansing
It's best to use a creamy cleanser in the winter, as it's more nourishing. However, if you're a fan of a gel cleanser format, make sure it's balancing and won't strip your skin. Or perhaps alternate every other day with a creamy cleanser. Remove with a hot face cloth: it's more hydrating than a wipe.
Step 2: Exfoliate
Do this 2-3 times a week. If you don't slough off dead skin cells, your moisturiser won't penetrate into the epidermis, and you'll get build-up and clogged pores. Use a gentle exfoliator with spherical and dissolvable beads. They buff off the dead skin cells without scratching the skin, plus they dissolve in our waterways too, so won't harm the environment. Don't forget to exfoliate the hands and lips too.
Step 3: Tone
Do you or don't you? I say 'definitely'. Use a spray-on mist format, so you don't wastefully pour it into a make-up square (and then throw that out). Pat it in gently, don't wipe it off, so you won't stretch your skin. The toner is designed to balance your skin's pH and better prepare it for hydration. The right toner can be used as a hydrating facial mist too.
Step 4: Serum
I'm a huge fan of 100% pure oil serums. These new generation style serums soak straight into the skin. With some gentle pressure and massage, they nourish the epidermis, instead of sitting on top with an oily residue. There are different serums for different skin types and conditions e.g. age defence, for the eyes, for a younger skin.
If you only like oils then a multipurpose dry oil could be the answer for you. These are fairly new to the market and are perfect if you prefer fewer steps. Try our Seeds of Love Superflora Dry Oil which hydrates the hair, face AND body.
Step 5: Masques
Go for more hydrating masques than clay ones in winter. Increase to 2 or 3 times a week. With the longer nights, why not create an evening ritual - your own home spa treatment. You can substitute the masque for a night moisturiser in this case. Apply a good half hour before bed so it soaks in before your head hits the pillow.
If you are outdoors in winter, your skin will get a real hammering - applying a hydrating masque prior to going outside will help trap in the hydration.
Step 6: Moisturisers
Face: During the winter months apply your face moisturiser after your serum morning and night . Think back to the wardrobe analogy - lighter application but more layers.
Body: You might find you skip moisturising your body due to the cold, but that's a lot of skin missing out on hydration. DON'T leave out applying a body lotion or butter. Or if you've chosen a multipurpose oil, you'll be feeling smug, as you've already got hydrated, silky skin!
Hands: Hand cream is a must. Hands are suffering particularly due to the excessive hand washing and sanitising with COVID-19. Massage well into the cuticles to keep them soft.
Lips: Give your lips extra attention - wind burn, licking of lips, heat pumps etc all play havoc with the lips. Use a natural oil (not petrolium) based lip balm, preferably with some healing manuka honey.