Cheat winter weather with skin-protecting diet tips
As the weather turns, skin starts to suffer from the extremes of dry indoor heating to the cold outside. How does your skin cope? And what can you do to protect your skin to keep it looking healthy, smooth and soft?
It helps to understand that skin is suffering from a two pronged attack. Dehydrated skin is a lack of water, whereas dry skin is a reduction in the natural oils normally present in the skin’s layers. So the key to keeping skin healthy in winter is to address both issues.
We asked our skincare therapists to share their specialist knowledge and give us a helping hand. Here’s our guide for your skin’s winter rescue plan.
There are a number of ways to improve the oil (sebum) production in your skin.
Eat the right foods:
- Vitamin A rich foods (salmon, broccoli and dairy) will help with the turnover of skin cells.
- Eat cold-water fish such as sardines or mackerel as well as flax or chia seeds, which will help provide omega-3 essential fats, linoleic acid and other essential elements.
- B vitamins can instantly hydrate cells and give a healthy glow to skin. Eat garlic, cauliflower, spinach, fish, poultry, probiotics and eggs.
- Vitamin C can help collagen production to reduce wrinkles and improve skin texture. In the winter citrus fruits are plentiful but alternatives are broccoli, red peppers and a winter vegetable that we love at Christmas time – Brussels sprouts!
Help the turnover of skin so that newer, healthier layers of skin are revealed:
- Regular exfoliation, once a week, will buff your skin to a soft, smooth finish. Nirvana therapists love Germaine de Capuccini’s Exfoliating Facial Scrub with its refreshing menthol fragrance and powerful granular exfoliators and Decléor’s 1000 Grain Exfoliator enriched with Grapefruit Essential Oil for a velvety smooth finish.
- When your skin is feeling really battered from wintery winds, a weekly face mask treatment can be a big boost. We love Germaine de Capuccini’s Night Success Renewing Mask for hours of hydration, repair, rejuvenation and wrinkle reduction while you sleep.
- Daily moisturisers for the face act as a barrier to prevent water loss but often will only sit on top of the skin. To really nourish the deeper layers of skin a serum is needed. They’ve been engineered to reach the lower layers, so that as the layers rise up to the surface, skin looks softer and more supple. It’s not an overnight fix, as this process takes weeks, so our top tip is to be consistent with your skincare routine. For a hit of hydration and boost of radiance try Decléor’s Neroli Amara Aromessence.
Water, water everywhere
Many of us don’t drink as much during the colder months and we tend to take hotter, more dehydrating showers and baths too. Fine wrinkles can appear or look exaggerated, particularly around the eyes, so staying hydrated can keep the fine lines plumped up. Surprisingly, UVA rays are present in natural light all year round and they can also have a dehydrating effect.
Sugars have a dehydrating effect and also break down collagen, the springy substance that makes your skin look lifted. Many people have noticed how much younger they look after they cut out sugar.
What you can do:
- Drink more! Caffeine drinks can be dehydrating so why not try switching to herbal and fruit teas for a wonderfully comforting alternative.
- Increase hyaluronic acid, a natural substance found in our body which helps to retain moisture in the skin. Hyaluronic acid can be found in foods such as root vegetables and soy products. For a topical solution, Germaine de Capuccini’s Intensive Comfort Hydrating Mask is rich in hyaluronic acid, restores moisture and helps protect the skin from future dehydration.
- Protect from dehydrating UVA rays by using a moisturising cream with sun filters or a sun cream. The SPF factor will only filter UVB rays, so check that it has a UVA screen too. This is even more important if you’re planning a ski holiday as UV exposure increases the higher you get. Germaine de Capuccini’s Urban Shield not only protects the skin, it also intelligently helps to recover cellular damage.
There’s no real magic here, but in the winter time make the effort to keep green veggies, salads and fish a regular feature of your winter diet and your skin will feel like it’s summer!