Against the Cold Wind
Words: Shane Lau
With winter’s biting winds and freezing temperatures, the skin often becomes dry, red, chapped, or even itchy. It’s unsightly. And what’s more, dry skin makes signs of premature aging like lines even more pronounced. Follow these easy tips to keep your skin soft and supple even in harsh winter weather.
When you finally arrive home from the cold wind outside, it’s only natural you want to have a hot bath or shower. Well, think again. Really hot water can strip your skin of its natural oil, which leaves it more vulnerable to dehydration and irritation. Use lukewarm water instead. Some people develop itchy skin in winter and the temperature of your shower could be the culprit. And make sure after a shower, you pat dry your skin with a towel rather than rub it dry and put on some moisturiser while it’s still slightly damp.
Humidity also plays a role in the moisture level of your skin. While we can’t control the weather, we can make sure air indoors is all nice and moist by using a humidifier. It can also prevent the feeling of tight throat when you wake up in the morning. If you haven’t got a humidifier, place a bowl of water near your bed before you go to sleep.
Hydrate from within
I cannot stress too much the importance of beauty from the inside out. Your skin doesn’t lie and what you eat will ultimately show on the skin, so it’s wise to eat foods that help the skin glow. If you want dewy skin, start with water. Drink plenty of it. Foods rich in omega-3 have been shown to reduce water loss in skin cells so eat lots of salmon, sardines, or nuts and grains like walnut, almond and flaxseed. Did you know a deficiency in B vitamins is linked with cracked skin, dryness, wrinkles and rashes? B vitamins are found in many foods like meat, nuts and legumes, but consider including yoghurt in your diet. Not only is it rich in vitamin B complex, probiotics in yoghurt will keep your gut healthy and eventually your skin radiant.
I know when the temperature drops, your craving for a nice hot cup of latte just gets stronger and stronger, but please limit your intake of caffeinated drinks as they’re known to dehydrate your body. The same goes for alcohol. If you must drink, why not have a glass of hot mulled wine? Not only does the heat greatly reduce the alcohol content (without compromising on the taste!), the spices and fruits add plenty of antioxidants to it to give your immune system a boost!
Exfoliate and Moisturise!
When your skin is thick with dead skin cells, all your rehydrating efforts go into waste. Exfoliating helps renew your skin and exposes a new layer of healthy glowing skin while making it easier for moisturiser and nutrients to penetrate. Try using olive oil with table sugar as a facial scrub or adding some dried citrus peels to yoghurt and use it as a mild exfoliant. The lactic acid in yoghurt can shed dead skin cells and minimise your pores.
For a truly extravagant treat at home, whip up a delicious facial mask by blending aloe vera gel with cucumber. Both ingredients are naturally hydrating and provide an abundance of vitamins and minerals for your skin. Another fantastic moisturising mask is the banana honey mask. All you need to do is blend a banana with some honey and a few drops of lemon juice and just slather it on your face. You know the best part of it? After a soothing shut-eye with these amazing masks, you can just lick them off your face!
Winter may be ruthless, but what plays most havoc with your skin is lack of attention and care. If you follow these tips religiously and keep your skin hydrated, when spring comes, you’ll have gorgeous supple skin for others to envy!