Winter; the season of frosty mornings, chilly winds and glaring sun. For many, winter is a dreaded time and the season can wreak havoc on sensitive skin. With the winter season comes a change in temperatures and moisture, which can greatly affect your skin. Lifestyle and diet can also be affected by the winter months, which may have a flow-on effect for your skin Ensure your skin survives the cold with these easy steps. 1. Get a good night’s sleep Sleep is crucial for maintaining healthy skin, giving the cells in the body time to rest and repair after a long day of fighting off illnesses and viruses. A lack of sleep can have a detrimental effect on collagen production, leaving your skin looking lacklustre and dull. If you’re having trouble sleeping at night, create a relaxing nighttime routine. Ensure you switch off devices at least one hour before bed, dim the lighting in your bedroom, and drink a cup of chamomile tea. The effects of eight+ hours of sleep are invaluable when it comes to maintaining the condition of your skin – there’s a reason it’s called ‘beauty sleep’. A good night’s rest can result in fewer wrinkles over time and a glowing complexion due to the increased blood flow and collagen production that occurs during sleep. A lack of sleep can also worsen existing skin conditions such as acne and skin sensitivity. 2. Avoid hot water During winter, a hot shower or bath often seems like a great idea at the end of a cold day. But the heat that occurs from the water can break down the lipid barriers in the skin, leaving skin dry and itchy. Try lessening the water temperature, and using a high intensity moisturiser such as the Ultraceuticals Retexturising Body Complex to ensure skin stays soft and moisturised throughout the season. 3. Help your hands out Including your hands in a skin care routine is so important in winter, as the thin skin on hands feels the effects of cold and dry weather sooner than the rest of the body. The dry air can lead to redness, irritation and cracking of the skin. Be sure to avoid these effects by wearing gloves outside and always keep hands moisturised, particularly after washing them as the water temperature can remove moisture. 4. Sunscreen, sunscreen, sunscreen Despite the decrease in temperature, the sun’s harmful rays can be just as damaging in winter, particularly the UVA rays which are responsible for causing ageing skin and wrinkles. Avoid the unwelcome effects of the sun by ensuring sunscreen is part of your everyday skin care routine (even on a cloudy day!). For the snow sport enthusiasts, sunscreen is even more crucial, as the reflection of the sun’s rays on snow causes more damage to the skin than the reflection on sand. 5. Invest in a humidifier It’s not enough you hear a recommendation for a humidifier, but if you’re spending hours in an office or room in the home that uses a heat pump to heat the space, chances are you’ll be suffering from dry skin. Heat pumps have the same effect of air conditioners on the skin by drying out the surface layer. Using a humidifier can help to counteract the effects, and bring hydration back into your skin. Central heating and heat-pumps are great for warming up the skin, but not so much for keeping the skin moisturised. The dry air that blasts through the home and work space saps the skin of moisture, leaving it feeling dried out and itchy. Humidifiers work to increase moisture in the air, thus increasing the moisture in your skin. 6. Get regular facials Facials are important all year round, but especially in winter when skin is feeling dry and dull. Facials are great for rejuvenating the skin, by expertly exfoliating off dead skin, with microdermabrasion and peels, ensuring the most hydrating and repairing products can penetrate through to the deeper layers of the skin. Regular facials are also a great opportunity to discuss your skincare regime with your skin therapist, as you may need a change in the products you’ve been using in different seasons. Make sure you stick to your skincare routine, and don’t forget moisturise day and night! — If you liked this blog, head over to our Journal page to read more of our helpful skincare guides! If you live in Christchurch and new to the world of facials, get in contact with us or make a facial appointment here. Meet the Total Body Concept team on this page, or head over to our online store for some skincare retail therapy!