1. Go yin with your skin
Winter is the perfect time to apply the gentle, slow and relaxed focus of Yin energy to your skin. “It’s the most Yin moment of all seasons, a time to slow down and nurture,” explains skin therapist Aleshia Marie. During the colder months, it’s a particularly important time to take some care of yourself and tackle your skin diet to make sure you’re getting the food and protection you need from the environment.
To combat dehydration and redness, the first step is to strengthen the outermost layer of your skin (the stratum corneum), which is your first line of defense against the environment. You need this healthy, intact layer to achieve general homeostasis and skin function. This means removing harmful ingredients that can compromise your skin barriers, such as emulsifiers, amines, colors, silicones, preservatives, mineral oils and fragrances.
“In winter, the sebaceous glands drastically reduce their oil production to prevent the skin from drying out, so it is important to increase lipid content through ingredients such as wheat germ, rosehip and avocado oils.” Apply a nourishing oil before a shower or bath to prevent your skin from dry out and become sensitive to heat,” says Marie.
It also recommends brushing your dry body to increase your energy in the morning. “It is a beautiful ritual used for many centuries and in a wide spectrum of traditional cultures. Effective and gentle, it exfoliates the skin and increases circulation and lymphatic flow throughout the body, which has a detoxifying effect by moving what is stagnant and slow to revitalize and promote the growth of new cells. Always work towards your heart in an upward movement, using a vegetable bristle brush for best results.”
2. Erase technical neck
The rise of technology and the fact that we are glued to our phones have contributed to the “technological neck”, where wrinkles, looseness and sagging skin are more prominent than ever or affect us before. Research shows that for every inch that lowers the head, the load on the neck muscles doubles, to about 27 kg of extra weight, altering the way the muscles, bones, and skin sit. The skin on your neck and décolletage is thin and delicate, so it’s vital that skincare is applied everywhere, from the forehead to the chest. In fact, the skin on your neck has fewer sebaceous glands than your face, so it can age faster and succumb to gravity. Improve your hydration and apply skincare in an upward direction from chest to jawline in a lifting and sweeping motion.
3. Revisit peptides
Peptides are not new, but new innovations are giving them an update. Protein fragments, peptides are made up of amino acids. When amino acids are combined into specific formations, they create specific peptides (there are many), and when peptides are formed in a specific way, they create specific proteins. Proteins are the basic components of the skin and without proteins or peptides, your skin will suffer, causing wrinkles, sagging and opacity. Some of the most important proteins are collagen, keratin, and elastin, and peptides are excellent for increasing and strengthening all of this. The latest formulations can address all kinds of skin problems and work for all skin types. When combined with other stimulant ingredients such as retinol or vitamins, you can over-feed the power of peptides.
4. Protect against blue light damage
Also known as high-energy visible light (HEV), which is found in sunlight and screens, blue light can penetrate the skin and increase free radicals, leading to accelerated aging, pigmentation and protein decomposition. Vitamins and antioxidants can help protect the skin and absorb light. Together with UVA and UVB broad-spectrum protection, they are your best defense.
5. Fix winter shoots
There are many skin conditions that get worse when it’s cold: this is how you can treat the three most common winter problems… Keratosis pilaris: those small bumps on the back of your arms are caused by an overload of the keratin protein. They are extremely common and often affect people with dry skin, so they will probably get worse in winter. A gentle daily exfoliator will help break down dead skin cells and allow the moisturizer to penetrate deeper to help your skin clear.
Cracked heels: If you notice that your heels dry, hurt and even crack when it’s cold, you’re not alone. The combination of cold weather, friction from closed shoes and dehydrated skin worsens cracks. It is important to hydrate your heels as soon as you leave the shower. Apply emollient before bedtime and wear cotton stockings to help soften the skin.
Eczema: Victims will be very familiar with outbreaks in skin conditions such as eczema and psoriasis when the temperature drops. Water loss causes even more irritation and itching, so it’s important to invest in an approved eczema lotion, keep showers below five minutes, and avoid air conditioning when possible.
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