Don’t let your glow get lost in the winter weather — follow these dos and don’ts for skin that shines on until the sunshine comes back around.
1. Do invest in a rich facial moisturizer for the colder months. Your light summer lotion just won’t do the trick during a deep freeze when your skin requires extra protection from the wind, below zero temperatures and onslaught of indoor heating. Give this Green Beaver Boreal Face Cream, $15 a shot.
2. Don’t over-shampoo. Excess cleansing strips hair and scalp of natural and much needed oils. Only wash two to three times a week (max); any more than this and you’ll dry out your hair, triggering split ends and encouraging the ever-annoying wintertime static.
3. Don’t linger in really hot showers or baths. As tempting as it is to boil your freezing bones in scalding hot water, this only dehydrates your skin at a time when it needs as much moisture as it can get. Also, high water temperatures can cause veins to swell, making existing spider veins more prominent and increasing the chances of developing new ones. Super hot water is a thumbs down for vein-vulnerable people.
4. Do dry brush your skin. Our skin is our largest organ and a major pathway for eliminating nasty toxins so it’s vital to keep pores clean and unclogged. Dry brushing removes dead skin cells and helps boost circulation. This invigorating exfoliating technique also leaves skin looking radiant and feeling softer (and will help ward off cellulite too!). Gently use a natural bristle brush like an Urban Spa Stimulating Body Brush, $6.45, in circular motions before showering.
5. Don’t neglect your nails.
a) Our fingernails dislike the cold weather just as much as our delicate skin does and they are more prone to cracking and splitting during the winter months. File down rough, jagged or splitting nail edges and use a rich cuticle cream or vitamin E oil (try Jamieson ProVitamina E 100% Vitamin E Oil, $14) each night just before bed to allow for maximum absorption.
b) Do let your toenails breathe by leaving them bare for the winter months. If you – like most of us – are addicted to wearing toenail polish your nails have probably turned an unsightly yellowish hue. This means it’s time to give your nails a break! You’ll just be covering them up all season anyway so use the winter to let them recover. By going polish-free your toenails will look fresh, clean and healthy by the time summer rolls along.
6. Don’t forget to exfoliate your lips every few days – the easiest way to prevent chapped, cracked lips is to gently scrub with your toothbrush or a wet face cloth a few times a week. Apply a moisture rich lip balm afterwards (we like Burt’s Bees Ultra Moisturising Lip Treatment, $5) and apply regularly for lips that will look and feel smooth all winter long.
7. Do drink plenty of water. Even though you’re not sweating half as much as you do during the hotter months, it’s vital to stay hydrated even when it’s frosty outside. Our system gets a real beating throughout the long, bitterly cold winter so make sure you continue nourishing your body with at least eight glasses of water per day. Drinking water helps keep skin clear by flushing away toxins. It also encourages healthy circulation and can help control appetite – both extremely important for getting us through the winter when we’re hungrier and more sedentary.
8. Don’t stop exercising. As lazy as you may feel when it’s cold outside a good dose (20-30 minutes) of exercise three times a week will make the dark winter months a bit brighter. Working up a sweat improves circulation which not only gives us a natural, healthy glow but prevents us from putting on too much winter weight. Working out releases endorphins – feel good neurotransmitters – which lowers stress and insomnia and makes coping with Seasonal Affective Disorder more manageable.
Louise Griew is a Toronto-born makeup artist whose second home is Melbourne, Australia. Her work can be seen in national and international advertising campaigns, magazines, music videos and on TV.