- Dr Kathryn Bell
Get Your Glow on This Winter
As the weather turns cold and the central heating is turned up our skin can suffer from the changes in temperature. Add in the extra indulgences of the festive period and our skin can be in turmoil! If you want to keep your skin glowing this winter, read on for some helpful tips...
1. Beauty Sleep
Poor sleep, leading to a sleep deficit or deprivation results in reduced skin hydration, reduced collagen production and impaired healing. Skin appears dull and wrinkles are more pronounced. Add to that dark circles and puffiness around the eyes and the effects of bad sleep are written all over your face!
Your skin repairs itself while you sleep so getting some much needed zzzz's is essential for maintaining healthy skin. We generate new collagen whilst we sleep which helps to prevent skin from sagging and increased collagen results in plump looking skin with fewer wrinkles. On dark, cold evenings it can be very tempting to stay snuggled up on the sofa watching something on TV until the late hours but getting an early night can help to keep your skin looking healthy and youthful.
Cool nights can actually help you to get better quality sleep than the warm nights of summer. A cool bedroom mimics the natural dip in internal temperature that occurs around 2 hours after falling asleep which means that the deeper states of sleep are reached more easily. It is during this type of sleep that the body repairs itself and the skin produces skin boosting collagen.
2. Healthy Diet
I know, I know, this is a hard one in the winter. We all crave fatty, sugary foods when it is cold and there is an evolutionary reason for this however it is important to maintain good nutrition for healthy skin. Every day we are exposed to free radicals in our environment and these molecules can cause damage to our skin. In order to combat the effects of free radicals we need to be exposing ourselves to multiple antioxidants to maintain a healthy balance. One way we can do this is to obtain antioxidants from our diet.
Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant and also plays an important role in Collagen production. Vitamin E has antioxidant properties, promotes skin hydration and can help to combat the effect of harmful UV rays. Vitamin A, another antioxidant , plays a vital role in new cell production and the growth of healthy, robust skin tissue.
Other nutrients that have multiple benefits for the skin include the Vitamin B complex (there are a whole range of B vitamins) which play roles in the production of new skin cells, improving signs of ageing, reducing pigmentation and lessening inflammation. Omega 3 fatty acids are powerful anti-inflammatories, reduce the effect of harmful UV rays and improve skin hydration.
So how can your ensure that you are getting all of these essential nutrients for your skin?? Make sure that you eat a varied diet and include veg such as spinach, kale, butternut squash, broccoli and carrots, fruit like apples, pears, cherries and cranberries, nuts such as almonds and walnuts, fatty fish like salmon, mackerel and sardines and seeds including chia seed, pumpkin seeds and flaxseed.
Dehydrated skin can be dry and itchy and often appears dull looking, too. Your overall skin tone and complexion can appear uneven, and fine lines are more noticeable. Drinking water flushes out harmful toxins from the body and reduces their effect on the skin so it is important to stay hydrated but there is no need to over hydrate.
The need to drink 8 glasses of water a day may be a myth!! It is more important to notice your bodies cues and you don't need to drink so much that you are running to the loo every 5 minutes! Pay attention to the colour of your urine and don't wait to feel thirsty as this is a sign that you are already dehydrated. Drinking little and often may be the best way to maintain good hydration throughout the day.
Following a good skincare regime is important all year round but especially so in Winter. Products that contain sources of antioxidants and vitamins can help to nourish your skin from the outside in and work in combination with your healthy diet to produce a natural healthy glow. Find a cleanser, toner and moisturiser that feeds your skin as well as removing daily dirt and makeup.
A Vitamin C serum can be a really good addition to your skin routine due to the multiple benefits it provides: brightens appearance of skin, reduces fine lines and wrinkles, lessens pigmentation and redness, , promotes collagen production and protects against sun damage. A good quality night cream containing a source of Vitamin A will help to hydrate the skin and encourage cell turnover.
As well as a good daily skincare routine a weekly treatment to remove dead skin cells and promote the production of new cells will really give a boost to your natural winter glow. A physical exfoliant (skin scrub) or chemical exfoliant (glycolic acid/lactic acid based) will help to encourage the gentle resurfacing of the skin. It is always worth getting some advice on which product is going to be best for your skin type to make sure that you will get the most benefit from the right products.
5. UV Protection
It is easy to remember to apply sunscreen in Summer when the sun is blazing and we want to prevent burning but it is equally important to wear it in winter as well. In fact wearing a daily broad spectrum Sunscreen of at least SPF 30 not only reduces your risk of developing skin cancer but will also significantly reduce the development of fine lines, wrinkles and pigmentation which can occur through exposure to UV rays.
When it comes to these skin issues prevention is better than cure and it is important to remember that UV rays can still damage the skin when exposed to them in short doses over a length of time. Wrinkles can be softened with treatments such as dermal fillers and wrinkle relaxation therapy but wearing daily sunscreen can prevent or reduce the development of lines on the face in the first place and keep you looking youthful for longer.
There are some fantastic products available to mimic a natural glow in the winter without looking fake. A few drops of a product called Sun Drops by Tropic Skincare can be a added to your moisturiser at night and will give you a radiant glow when you wake up in the morning. this product is fantastic as it works with your skin to reflect the colour that you would go naturally in the sun.
Now, I will let you into a little secret, there is a way to cheat your Winter Glow......SHHHHHHH!!
I am not suggesting that you should avoid doing any of the above steps but if, for whatever reason, you find that your skin is not looking its best this winter then there is an amazing treatment that can mimic all of the above steps and give your skin an amazing boost this winter. Everyone will be envious of how healthy your skin looks.
The WOW fusion delivers an amazing cocktail of anti-aging skin boosting ingredients directly into the skin by creating micro channels in the surface of the skin. The complex includes Vitamins, amino acids, omega 6, antioxidants and minerals and leaves your skin looking revitalised and rejuvenated. For additional skin smoothing and wrinkle reducing benefits an extra ingredient can be added to provide the ultimate boost to your skin this winter.
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