Posted on 29 November, 2017
We are frequently being asked specific questions regarding skincare during the winter. We have gathered the most frequently asked questions and put them to our Clinical Director Elizabeth Rimmer earlier this month:
1) How does the winter weather impact skin and what are the main skin complaints from being out in the cold? 'Winter impacts the skin on a number of levels. Whilst the weather outside can cause chafing and dryness, the heating indoors also can leave the skin feeling dull & dehydrated. Many people do not maintain adequate hydration throughout the year but this can be exaggerated in winter when the feeling of thirst is less and therefore people tend to drink less. Nutrition-wise people often increase their carbohydrate intake during the winter - especially around the festive season there may be more parties and events where there are processed foods and alcohol are plentiful. This type of eating & drinking can spike insulin levels which also has a detrimental impact on our skin.'
2) Which are the best ingredients in a lotion or potion for protecting the skin? 'Protection is provided by your own skin - look for products that are stimulating a response not just feeling nice on the skin. Look for moisturisers that contain anti oxidant ingredients. The ZO Daily Power Defense is an excellent year round anti oxidant cream. Try to avoid the temptation to reach for richer and richer creams during the winter - this is a false prophet. Vitamin C is a good skin brightening agent - however be aware that is also highly unstable - research your product for its strength & efficacy, the more stable products are likely to be from a medical range - The Perfect C cream hails from the incredible Perfect Peel Range. Retinol is still the godmother of anti ageing - once again though you need to choose a medical brand with an adequate amount of retinol. From time to time you may want to consider the active form of retinol - Tretinoin. This is a prescription cream so cannot be bought on the high street and does require medical supervision but can provide your skin with a highly effective winter boost. Remember daily SPF throughout the winter - there may not be as much sun but any exposure to UV rays will increase signs of ageing so don’t leave home without it! Consider mineral makeup - there are some great ranges nowadays and this type of makeup has minimal chemicals no oil & usually SPF'
3) What lotions or potions should we avoid? 'Contrary to what you read in the beauty mags - avoid all oil based products on your face. Resist the temptation to go for richer & richer moisturisers - by doing this you are reducing your skins ability to renew itself and to hydrate itself.'
4) What are the long term effects of letting your skin get damaged by the weather? 'Skin is ageing all the time as with most things health - prevention is always easier than cure. Weather can be responsible for contributing to development of the facial thread veins, dehydrated skin, fine lines, pigmentation problems.'
5) Which treatments can help our skin through the winter? 'Consider your motivation for a facial and that will help you choose the best option. Beauty facials are often based in the therapeutics of the treatment itself. Medical type facials will be more results driven but may not feel as soothing or relaxing. Stimulation is the key for maintaining youthful skin. Dermalux LED Phototherapy is the perfect winter facial providing a source of light which your skin cells convert to energy. However to combat the feeling of dryness you may opt to use a hydrating hyaluronic acid based face mask at home - Hyalual's Wow Mask can be used weekly or 12 hours ahead of a special event. Winter can also be a good time to take a specific skin supplement, my favourite is Collagen Shots.'
6) What impact does food have on our skin? 'Be mindful of the tendency to increase starchy based foods in the winter - there is good evidence that spikes of insulin contribute to ageing and breakouts. As with the rest of the year eat as much unprocessed food as you can - increase protein intake reduce but do not stop carbohydrates There is good evidence to support the use of collagen supplements. Until recently it was unclear what the mechanism of action was for these supplements but we now know that they are able to impact our skin.'
7) Finally - any golden rules?. 'Always take makeup off at night time. Do not use skin wipes Spend 1 full minute washing your face morning & evening with a good cleansing product Exfoliate 2-3 times / week Keep shower / bath / face washing water temp to tepid - heat increases oil production & broken blood vessels Drink even though you’re not thirsty Avoid oil on the face'