Like plants have different instructions for caring for them each season, our skin does too. In fact, it’s necessary to ensure that we adjust our skincare routines according to the climate. Winter’s icy weather, combined with the effects of indoor heating, can deplete your skin of moisture, causing it to feel dry and flaky and your lips chapped.
All is not lost, however. With a few simple at-home hacks, we can put what’s missing right back into our bodies. Sabashni Naidoo, Managing Director at Amani Spa Radisson Blu Hotel Waterfront shares her tips for caring for your skin at home this winter.
Remember your ABCs
Skincare ABCs are those fundamental skincare regimens that we all need to incorporate into our day and nighttime routines. These include making sure to wash your face with a good face or body wash every morning and every evening.
There are many good-quality, affordable products on the market to care for your skin, but look out for ingredients like hyaluronic acid, which is a natural anti-inflammatory that soothes winter skin sensitivity and reduces the redness caused by dry air. Niacinamide is another winter-friendly ingredient, as it strengthens your skin’s moisture barrier, helping it to hold onto moisture and making it less likely to dry out. Next, apply a good moisturiser, using one containing sunscreen for your daytime routine. Sun protection is vital every day of the year, even during the winter months, to assist in preventing skin cancer, aging and sunspots.
Even if you’re moisturising your skin every day, make sure you’re drinking enough water to hydrate from the inside out. Even in winter it is important to maintain a water intake of at least 2 litres a day. Warm drinks count too. But remember that beverages that contain caffeine and sugar can be drying to our skin, so limit your intake of these to around two a day. Matcha and green tea can be low-caffeine alternatives to coffee or Ceylon tea.
Opt for antioxidant rich warm drinks like rooibos and white or flower tea. There are a range of sugar-free beverages available at many retailers across South Africa, including soda waters that contain no sugar and no artificial sweeteners.
Hydrating and nutrient rich foods like bananas, spinach, lettuce, citrus fruits and dishes like soups and stews are great to incorporate into your winter diet.
Look to home ingredients
Oats, avocado, honey, turmeric, mangoes, eggs, flax meal, and olive oil are wonderful pantry staples that can be used for easy at-home spa treatments.
For a winning DIY pampering session, begin with mixing one avocado, a tablespoon of pure honey, a quarter cup of oats and a little water. Place this in a blender then and scoop out into a bowl. Cut two round slices of cucumber and set them aside.
Next, pour boiled water into a boil with a gentle essential oil or some sprigs of lavender. Place a towel over your head and breathe deeply in and out through the nose and mouth for five minutes. This works at opening the pores, and steaming and cleaning the face to prepare it for receiving nourishment.
Wipe your face with the towel and apply your face mask. Find a comfortable place to lie down for 10 minutes and place the cucumbers over your eyes. Wash and remove the face mask and apply your normal serum or moisturiser.
Cucumber is hydrating and helps to reduce puffiness in the eyes and the mixture of avocado, honey and oats works to add moisture and nutrients to the skin. Rinse and repeat when necessary to combat dryness.
What you eat
You are what you eat as the famous saying goes. And this rings true for what you consume in winter. South Africans enjoy their winter desserts like malva pudding, but as previously mentioned, too much sugar can be dehydrating and cause blemishes. Keep your sugar intake as low as possible, and perhaps substitute sugar in dessert recipes for healthier alternatives such as apple puree or mashed banana in breakfast dishes like warm oats.
Look out for seasonal ingredients like butternut, pumpkin, and others. Fruits and veggies that are in season generally contain more nutrients and are more affordable.
Ask the professionals
There are some treatments such as extractions that cannot be done at home. Some skin ailments are not only because of a change in season, so make sure to consult a skin care specialist at least twice a year. Although treatments at home are both fun and beneficial, it is also always more of a treat to be cared for by someone who knows just what to do to best nurture your skin.