Winter Skincare

23rd September 2011

When it comes to winter skincare, says Mary Linehan, what’s in your bathroom cabinet should pretty much change in the same way as the contents of your wardrobe.

Autumn is the season when you should be phasing out your lightweight moisturisers, oil-free cleansers and astringents. The order of the day is hydrate and protect.

There’s more to seasonal skincare than shelling out lots of money on creams, though. According to nutritionist and Fushi expert Rick Hay, “It doesn’t matter how many creams you invest in, or smear topically, if you aren’t feeding your skin with essential nutrients, then no product is going to be able to work as efficiently as it could do. Or perform as you need to protect from the elements.”

Rick advises making sure that you are stocking up on essential fatty acids. These are the good fats that we need for several metabolic processes and have an anti-inflammatory action at a cellular level providing anti-aging protection and lubrication. Interestingly, they are also useful against depression – and when the days are short any little mood-enhancing help is welcome. Since the body doesn’t make these good fats, it’s important for us to be topping up our diets. Rick recommends oily fish as the best source, but hemp, flaxseed and sunflower are all good choices. And he recommends a good supplement, such as Fushi’s Health and Beauty Oil which omegas 3, 6 and 9 derived from seeds, so it’s suitable for vegetarians.

Rick Hay continues, “If you’re going to take one supplement this winter, go for an exceptional all rounder. An omega-rich oil will nourish the skin, hair and nails and protect from dehydration caused by the elements and by our own excesses, and, additionally, help boost the immune system. The blend of omegas 3, 6 and 9 work together synergistically to support the efficacy of the body to protect and repair and act as a mood booster.”

Bathing habits also need reviewing in winter. Spending so long in the bath that your skin wrinkles up, or showering in water at too high a temperature robs the skin of its moisture and barrier function. You don’t have to give up the refreshing citruses that are such great mood lifters, but you should look at richer, moisturising cleansers.

Green People do an Organic Shower Gel with aloe vera, mandarin and neroli: smells delicious and gently rejuvenates, calms and stores moisture balance on the skin. And you can’t go wrong with Nivea for a good efficient body moisturiser. Gone are the days, when you simply picked up a blue bottle of Nivea. They have a multitude of treatment moisturisers now, from their new Pure & Natural range to their Express Hydration, which incorporates Hydra IQ technology to keeps skin soft, supple and moisturised over a 24 hour period.

When it comes to the all-important facial skincare, winter elements can send the skin into overdrive. Unprotected by clothing, it’s exposed to the weather and to moisture-sapping centrally-heated environments. This can make the skin super sensitive, heighten the colour and dry it out leaving it taut and patchy: not the best surface for applying foundation to give the skin some kind of barrier against the weather. Nivea Visage Daily Essentials Rich Moisturising Day Cream with almond oil and calming calendula, delivers moisturisation and nourishment plus SPF15 protection. Although it’s rich, it’s not too heavy under makeup and it’s good for all ages.

Liz Earle Superskin™ (the brand’s first ‘age defying’ range) is brilliant if your skin is superdry or mature. Rich in omega 3 to help skin retain moisture, it also helps boost elasticity. Pomegranate fruit extract and vitamin E provide the antioxidant protection. And there’s a richly nutritious and nourishing base of borage and rosehip seed oils.

For intense night-time support to aid the skin’s natural repair and regenerative processes that occur while we’re a sleep, Superskin Concentrate™ is an investment for the skin. Intensely moisturising, it’s an aromatic blend of 100% pure plant oils, including argan and organic rosehip oil. Neroli, lavender and chamomile all calm and soothe. Something of a miracle for the skin, argan oil is exceptionally rich in antioxidant vitamin E, and those all-important essential fatty acids.

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