Can you feel the cold weather settling in? That crispness in the morning, that bite of the wind once the sun has gone in the afternoon? Time to get warm, right?
No! Time to get gorgeous!
Actually this article isn’t so much about how to get gorgeous (because we’re sure you are gorgeous anyway), but how to look after your some of your best assets through the shivery part of the year. Because the cold weather takes a toll on external bits like your skin, nails and hair, you need to boost up your daily routine a little right now to give yourself some extra care. And we’ve got some wonderful healthy and natural goodies to help you.
Why is winter so hard on your body?
It’s relatively easy to understand why summer gives your skin and hair a bit of a beating, with all the harsh sun, salty ocean and pool chemicals. But winter can be just as harsh. And for some people with particularly sensitive skin, it can be much worse. Here are some reasons why.
- Lack of natural light
In the warmer months you are much more inclined to get outside and soak up some rays, even small incidental amounts of sunshine like when walking the dog or to work. Vitamin D is necessary for your hair, skin and nails, as well as just for your general emotional wellbeing, so lack of sun can make you pale, drained of energy and can lower your immune system.
- Lack of fresh air
In winter your bits are all rugged up to keep them from freezing and falling off. But all that rugging up stops your skin and hair being able to breathe and get the fresh air it needs. Lack of air means your complexion is sort of just sitting around festering in its own oil and impurities, as are your luscious locks.
- Extreme heating
You will likely spend your colder months going from one overheated environment to another. Your skin and hair can dry out from all the hot air blown onto it, leaving it thirsty for moisture and nutrients. Also your body needs a little cold every now and then to freshen it up, so constant heat for too long will leave you feeling tired and sluggish.
Being in warm air all the time dries out your insides too, leaving you dehydrated. In summer we tend to remember to drink lots of water, but this one is a bit harder to remember in winter (unless double tall mochas with extra whipped cream and chocolate shavings count as water).
Extra heat in winter can be extra hard for people with sensitive skin or irritations such as eczema. Skin conditions are aggravated by high heat, smothering and rubbing from wool and other thick coverings, and lack of drinking water. Sufferers of these conditions will need to be extra careful to look after their skin in wintertime.
- General sluggish behaviour
While your skin and hair are feeling a bit lank and sad, your whole energy levels are also lower, leading to an overall increase in general sluggishness. You generally exercise much less in winter, preferring instead to curl up on the couch or in bed a lot more. Lack of movement means the blood and all of its good stuff are not circulating properly around the body, so your skin, nails etc are not being well fed.
- Comfort eating
Speaking of not being well fed, you tend to eat worse in winter as well. Summer just sings of tropical fruit and rainbow coloured salads, with heaps of raw lighter food and healthy crisp and crunch. Winter is more about comfort eating; heavy stews and pastas, lots and lots of carbohydrates and warm, filling baked goods. Sounds wonderful I know, but the reduced vitamins coming into your system will be leaving your skin and hair undernourished.
Natural products that can help prepare you for winter
Drink loads and loads of it. Getting some of it from coffee and tea is ok, but don’t let this be your only source as the diuretic properties of drinks like coffee cancel out a lot of the goodness of water. Try to replace your first drink of the morning with a hot water and lemon juice; it will waken and warm you up and will also get your system started just right.
Make sure you drink water all day long; buy a cute reusable water bottle to sit on your desk and try to empty it twice throughout the day. You will feel better on the inside, and your skin will look a lot better on the outside.
Implement a skincare routine designed for winter
You should upgrade your skincare to include a more oil-based moisturizer to keep the water in your skin for longer. Avoid soaps that can dry your skin, and choose ones that are higher in natural oils and other nutritious ingredients.
Also ensure you are exfoliating daily to get rid of old skin cells and impurities and give you a clean, clear look. Use a lovely rich lip balm to protect your pucker against the harshness of the wind. And add some fantastic nourishing face masks to really replenish your face while you have a nice long soak in the tub on a cold night.
Some wonderful ingredients in skincare products on the shelves include coconut oil, rosehip oil, beeswax, shea butter and green tea. Some amazing things you can use from home include mashed avocado or banana, honey, natural yoghurt, buttermilk or olive oil. Slather on for a moisturizing mask, or add sugar and make a great exfoliant.
Care for your hair
The indoor heating and lack of fresh air and moisture are not nice to your hair, leaving it brittle and increasing damage and split ends. You can also suffer from increased scalp problems in the colder months.
To combat this, wash your hair less often during the winter. Another great tip; rub some coconut oil on your hair, especially the ends for a few minutes before you shampoo. Use deep conditioning treatments once a month or so to help lock in moisture. Avoid blow-drying as much as you can. You can also massage your scalp with a natural oil like jojoba.
Nail that treatment for your nails
Like pretty much every other part of you, your nails get dehydrated in winter and need extra moisturizing and protection. Give your hands some good lotion loving whenever you can remember it, with extra massaging into the nails. Rub olive oil into your cuticles. Use natural nail polish removers, as the usual alcohol and acetone in these products helps to dry them out.
Think of great ways to get your fruit and veggies in
Winter fruit and vegetables can still be comfort food, and give you wonderful nutrients for your system. Look for food that is brightly coloured; red, yellow, orange and deep green, which are high in essential vitamins and antioxidants. You can make roasted vegetable salads and serve them with quinoa and almonds. Winter fruit can be roasted, stewed or poached and served over porridge or muesli, or eaten for dessert.
Increase your intake of Omega-3 oils to help you battle infection during this time. Good sources include nuts and oily fish like salmon, but the best way to make sure you are getting enough is to take a good daily supplement. Check out one of the great range of Omega-3 products at Eric’s.
You may not have heard of this one, but adding a chlorella supplement in winter can also have amazing benefits for your skin cells, encouraging them to turnover and regenerate. Chlorella is a form of green algae which can help keep your skin fresh, supple, new and generally irritation and blemish free.
There you have it. Some really simple tricks using wonderful healthy products that won’t break the bank. You will feel brighter, softer and positively glowing, and you will smell tasty too! You will still be warm, and you will be gorgeous as well, both inside and out.