04 Jun Winter Skin Care
8 Vegan Winter Skin Care ideas to Sail through Winter Beautifully
Winter can be super harsh on your skin – think dryness, redness, sensitivity and even eczema and dermatitis. Winter skin care should be top of mind before the cold days really hit. Here’s some vegan advice on avoiding cold weather beauty woes.
1. Drink plenty of water.
I know, you hear it all the time. Why? Because it’s true. Moisture is vital for good winter skin care. We lose moisture through our skin, via sweat, each day, as well as through our usual bodily functions, so it needs to be replaced. The best way to maintain hydrated, glowing skin is by drinking plenty of purified water each day (two to three litres is recommended, depending on your height and weight). Try to avoid plastic bottled water, as it’s not only hazardous for the planet and the creatures we share it with, but recent research suggests that particles from the plastic actually leak into the water. Instead, use your own water purifier, or opt for glass bottles. For those who struggle with water, try squeezing in the juice of half a lemon, or brewing up peppermint or ginger tea. Also, avoid caffeinated and sugary drinks, as they are dehydrating. Ditto for alcohol (sorry!).
2. Use Facial Oil.
Swapping out your daily facial moisturising cream for a nurturing oil will give you better protection against dehydration caused by winter conditions, especially if you are vacationing in an alpine, snowy region, where the humidity is a lot lower. Oils have a super-close affinity to our skin’s naturally occurring sebum and so, it’s thought that they absorb more readily and better maintain the balance of the skin’s protective lipid barrier. Try KORA Organics Noni Oil, which is available in Face and Body, $79.95 each, koraorganics.com. It is the perfect elixir for dry and stressed skin. If your skin is really thirsty, use this first and then apply your moisturiser over the top.
3. Get a Handle on Hang Nails.
In the big scheme of things, hangnails may seem insignificant, but in my book, they’re one of winter’s worst skin woes. If you get one, it can hurt like crazy. And if you tear at it, it can become infected bother you all winter. So, let’s establish that it’s imperative not to tear on any skin that is flaking around your fingernails. Instead, simply snip it away with clean, sharp nail scissors, and then smother it top-quality almond, avocado or coconut oil to soften and rehydrate. If you’re a little nervous to do this, head to the salon and have your professional manicurist do it for you. Take a few minutes each night to massage the cuticles with the oil of your choice. It will nourish, hydrate and help to stimulate blood flow to skin and the nail, supporting softer, less vulnerable skin and stronger, less-breakable nails.
4. Keep Lips Kissable.
Chapped lips are one of winter’s commonest ailments, Resist the urge to lick, bite and chew them and instead smother them instead with a nourishing lip balm that has sun protection, like Arbonne Liquid Sunshine Lip Balm Broad Spectrum SPF 15, $16.50, Arbonne.com. Limit alcoholic and hot drinks, as well as spicy foods, all of which can dehydrate and may intensify the problem.
5. Say Sayonara to Spots.
Your complexion could become prone to more congestion, blackheads and blemishes in the colder months, simply because the natural flow of sebum naturally slows down (a little like coconut oil hardens when you put in the fridge). The result is that skin quickly becomes clogged, and if bacteria are present, a blemish can erupt. The solution? Exfoliate regularly to ensure you’re sloughing away any dead skin cells and debris that might be clogging your complexion and causing infection. A gentle mask-like product that doesn’t use harsh particles is best at this time of year. Try WHEN Simply When Future Fresh Mask, $3.45 for one sachet or $15.95 for five, stylestory.com.au. A great spot solution is good to keep on hand, too, as it will soften skin and have a clearing, antibacterial effect. Try Lush Grease Lightening Spot Treatment, $13.95, au.lush.com. Apply directly to any blemishes as needed.
6. Reduce Redness.
Low temperatures, icy winds and lack of humidity can leave your skin red and flushed. Add central heating, hot showers, alcohol, spicy foods and hot drinks and you can risk rupturing the fine surface veins on the skin, as well as triggering sensitive conditions like rosacea. Obviously, avoiding triggers is your first step. Following that, look towards redness reducing, strengthening skin care like Vanessa Megan Rose and Chamomile Hydrating Face Cream, from $39.95, vanessamegan.com.
7. Nix Cold Sores.
Cold weather, dry air, icy winds and UV light are the perfect storm for cold sore eruption. If you feel the tingling of one coming on, reach for immune strengthening vitamins such as vitamin C and lysine, eat a well-balanced diet and avoid alcohol, cigarettes and late nights. Always wear sunblock, never pick at the sore and avoid stimulating skin care formulas containing hydroxy acids or enzymes. Speak to your naturopath if the problem keeps recurring, as they may be able to offer a herbal plan that supports immunity and reduces the incidence of blisters.
8. Ward off Eczema and dermatitis.
Itchy, scaly, stinging and inflamed skin becomes worse in winter due to all the conditions I’ve already listed. Long, hot showers and baths can contribute, as can harsh soaps and products with active ingredients, so obviously, cut back on those, keep water temperature lower and use non-active, gentle products designed to repair the skin’s protective barrier. Try Arbonne Calm Skin Care Set, $175, Arbonne.com.
Beauty and Lifestyle Director Shonagh Walker