Your skin can be affected by many factors, which include climate, environmental pollution, your health and the food you eat. Winter is on its way, bringing with it cold temperatures, chill winds and, depending on which part of South Africa or the Southern Hemisphere you live in, dry air that tends to deplete skin of its natural oils, leaving it parched. What’s more indoor heating can leave skin dry and lacking in lustre.
Suzi Burger, Manager at Inzolo Spa at Hout Bay Manor, recommends you protect your skin against the harshness of winter by taking these eight precautions in your daily skin care routine:
Some facial cleansers can strip your skin of natural oils and dry it out. Over time this can lead to an increase in visible lines and wrinkles. Always moisturise after cleansing. This is particularly important at night, even if you have oily skin, as your face loses more moisture overnight than at any other part of the day.
Exfoliation, or removing the oldest dead skin cells on the skin’s outermost surface, will bring back a summer glow that is so often lost during the winter months. However, don’t overdo it – if you do choose to exfoliate, keep it to once a week if you have dry or normal skin, or twice a week if your skin is oily.
Chapped lips are a winter curse. Get rid of dry, flaky skin on your lips with a homemade sugar scrub. Simply mix some regular sugar with coconut oil, and rub gently on your lips once a day. Add a little honey for its healing properties.
Your summer moisturising routine will probably not be enough to keep winter skin at bay over the chilly months. Your skin will most likely need more moisture, more often. If you usually use a moisturising lotion, you may need to switch to a moisturising cream.
Though you may be less exposed to the sun in winter, this does not mean you should stop protecting your skin for the sun’s rays altogether in sunny South Africa. Some skin creams do have a built in sunscreen, but make sure yours carries an SPF (sun protection factor) of 15 or higher.
Hot showers feel great in winter, but hot water saps skin of its natural oils. Try to limit any long, hot showers or baths to once or twice a week, and choose to shower in lukewarm water the rest of the week. Apply moisturising cream immediately after patting your skin dry.
Simple sugars and carbohydrates can stimulate adverse reactions in your skin that will lead to acne breakouts. Avoid these sugars and carbs in your daily intake and you’ll experience fewer setbacks when you indulge while on holiday.
To combat dull winter skin, Suzi recommends a professional facial using top quality professional skin care products, like Dermalogica skin care system, about every three to four weeks.
“In addition to helping you to feel relaxed and refreshed, a facial will give your skin a wonderful instant glow. What’s more, many professional facial treatments seal in a layer of vitamins and antioxidants that will help to protect your skin against harsh winter elements. When it comes to the whole body, in addition to being exfoliating, a massage is hydrating and healing. It will help to prepare your skin for the winter conditions it will face.”