How To Winter: Skincare

Winter is a season where most of us pretty much can’t be bothered to do...  anything really. Well, besides maybe snuggling up with a hot water bottle and a mug of hot chocolate topped with whipped cream a fatal amount of marshmallows. As comforting as that can be, it’s important to not neglect your skin.

1) Face masks!

Some of the oddest, most unexpected ingredients can make your skin feel softer than a baby’s butt. Before mixing anything together, take a moment to determine your skin type- dry, oily, normal or do you maybe have a lot of blemishes? Combine certain ingredients depending on your requirements...

Dry skin *sigh*. It makes everything just ten times worse, especially applying makeup. Two great natural moisturisers (that won’t worsen your situation) are banana and yoghurt (this also tightens pores); both of these are a good base for any face mask no matter what your skin type is. Extra virgin olive oil is fab for dry skin too and works as a surprisingly effective makeup remover. Aloe vera is also extremely effective for treating flakiness.

Despite the numbingly cold weather, many people still have oily skin. Most of us have been there, I mean, it feels gross, it makes your pores look colossal and it’s just... ugh. You might be relieved to know that oily skin actually ages better than dry skin, however, you’re probably not concerned about that at this moment in time and you probably also want to get rid of the damn problem, like, now. One way to do this is to apply lemon juice to the skin, or combine it with other ingredients, as it is a natural astringent. Additionally, ground oats work wonders if you want to get glowing skin within a matter of minutes. You can also use them as often as you wish. (I’m not usually a tree hugger or anything, but this natural stuff actually works!).

Last but not least: blemished skin. Whether you have acne or have had a small constellation of zits suddenly emerge out of nowhere, you can put something together to reduce the redness and make them disappear faster. Tea tree oil is a magical substance which is helps fade blemishes and reduces pimples. In addition to this, applying a paste of bicarbonate of soda and water can also help acne prone skin, however doing this too often can cause drying, so be careful.

2) Don’t over scrub

Most of us are guilty when it comes to over-exfoliating. I mean, it makes sense; your skin gets dry so you scrub away the dead cells to make it cleaner, right? Except- that isn’t really true. Over scrubbing can actually damage your skin and dry it out even further. You see, you need to allow time for your skin to regenerate after the process. So it does work, but in moderation. You should exfoliate around twice a week, depending on your skin type. If your skin is more sensitive, it would be a better idea to give it more time to recover. A simple scrub you can make at home consists of just honey and sugar (please use it on your face. It’s edible, but not recommended...)

3) Replace caffeinated drinks with water

You’ve probably heard this a million times but water is soooo much better for your skin than things like coffee or sugary, fizzy drinks. It may be a little difficult to reduce your intake of caffeinated drinks, but when you start to see results (and you will), you’ll want to soldier on. Coffee isn’t just bad for your skin, but also your teeth and various other things that I won’t go into. You don’t necessarily have to gulp over two litres of water a day and nothing else. There are an array of different flavoured herbal teas available which can actually taste as good as any sugary, unhealthy beverage. Green tea is pretty much a magical elixir filled with antioxidants and provides us with an endless list of other health benefits. Chamomile is an ingredient which not only known for aiding relaxation but also has anti-inflammatory properties which help reduce puffiness and dry skin.

Incorporating these three simple steps into your routine won’t require too much effort and I can assure you, they will save you time and money as well as preventing those all too common (and all too stressful) ‘bad skin days’. Since you can’t physically embrace your skin, show it some love by taking care of it this winter.

-Barista Ria-

Images:  UrbaneWomenMag, Greg Riegler