Face The Future: On-Trend Winter Skin Made Easy
The biggest autumn/winter beauty trend on show at London Fashion Week? Radiant, glowing skin. Whichever winter make-up look you go for, healthy skin is the best base of all.
We love London Fashion Week and all the lust-worthy beauty trends that get dreamt up by the backstage pros (OK, yes, we might be a tad biased!). At Burberry this season, the make-up artists' brief was to create fresh, radiant glowing skin to offset gorgeous glittery eye make-up. At Alexander McQueen the look created for the models was “moonlit skin like a unicorn”. That might sound a bit out there, but luminous, megawatt skin is massive this winter, no matter which make-up look you choose to rock.
Strobing was one of the UK's biggest beauty trends last summer and we all got in on the light show, using pearlescent powders and iridescent creams to make our skin look radiant. Now, there are a myriad of super hi-tech cosmetics on the beauty counters to help you achieve that other-worldy glow. But the best place to start is with the skin you're in to achieve that inner glow you can only get with excellent skincare. You might be strutting down Oxford Street rather than the catwalk but this autumn is about embracing your natural skin colour and amping up the glow factor.
1. Boost the circulation. The first thing is to get your blood pumping with a light yet effective facial. Boosting your micro-circulation gets oxygen to your skin cells and energy to your complexion.
2. Nourish the skin. Next, you need to invest in some superfoods for glowing skin; facial oils containing botanical and marine extracts have all the nutrients that skin needs to reach optimum health.
3. Repair damage. Once your skin has been sufficiently fed, an antioxidant-rich serum will repair any damage and optimise cell function. Finish by working in a rich face cream all over the face and neck to reinforce the skin’s barrier and protect from our islands' blustering and wholly unpredictable autumnal weather.
With all that attention, skin should be glowing and brimming with health – perhaps not quite like McQueen’s unicorns but we’re not sure that would fly on the commute to work anyway!
HOW CAN I KEEP DEWY, GLOWING SKIN DURING WINTER?
Winter's harsh cold and windy weather can leave our skin feeling tight, dry and stingy. But rain or shine, there are plenty of ways to get back your glowing complexion and baby soft skin! Just follow our handy, little guide...
WINTER'S DRIED OUT MY SKIN
Our skin cries out for help during winter: it feels tight and itchy, suffers from red patches and our lips seem permanently chapped. Typical signs of dehydrated skin. The reason? Good ol' winter weather! Dry air (due to central heating), steaming hot baths, having to face cold, windy weather and piling on winter woolies can all drive our skin insane. Our skin's protective barrier, the hydrolipidic film, gets damaged and water stored in our stratum corneum diminishes, leaving us with dry, thirsty skin. Our once plump skin becomes drier and thinner. And there's one surefire way to get it back on track - to hydrate our skin and keep it moisturised all day long. Time to adopt a winter-busting beauty routine!
KEEP MY FACE BEAUTIFULLY MOISTURISED DURING WINTER FOR GLOWING SKIN
It'a golden all-year-round rule that's non-negotiable during winter - a good cleanse! As soon as the mercury drops, our skin becomes as dry as a bone, so missing out our daily cleanse is a big no-no. If we don't cleanse our pores will become clogged. Our skin will no longer be able to oxygenate itself and slowly suffocates. Its protective hydrolipidic layer gets out of kilter. So we need to pamper it back to health with gentle treatments such as cleansing oils and creams that will nourish, soften and clean our faces.
Once our skin is squeaky clean, we need to pack it full of moisturising goodness. Apply rich creams that contain hydrating active ingredients such as hyaluronic acid, glycerin or aloe vera, alongside moisturising serums and nourishing face masks. Why? So that our treatments give our hydrolipidic layer a helping hand by leaving an additional, protective barrier on our skin's surface. The must-do? Apply a nighttime face mask so that its thick layer will bathe your face in active ingredients that your skin can soak up whilst you sleep. You'll wake up to a baby soft, soothed, moisturised complexion. And don't forget to pamper your chapped lips by applying lip balms that contain 100% natural ingredients - shea butter, arnica/sweet almond/olive oil all work a treat. These will soothe and repair your fragile pout.
So that your good deeds don't go to waste, make sure you don't overheat your home. A home as hot as an oven may feel cosy but it won't help to keep your skin moisturised. If, however, you can't bear to tear yourself away from your radiator, treat yourself to a saturator/humidifier.
KEEP YOUR BODY MOISTURISED DURING WINTER
We can't repeat ourselves enough - to keep your body silky soft, you should religiously apply a moisturiser. Avoid treatments that contain alcohol, as these will only dry out your already fragile epidermis. Opt instead for thick, nourishing body lotions or balms. Ones that contain shea butter or sweet almond oil will soothe your skin and stop it from feeling tight and uncomfortable. Our tip? Apply a dry oil. It will nourish and soothe your skin without leaving a greasy film. You won't need to wait for it to soak in, meaning you can get dressed straight away! It will also leave a protective coating to stop water harnessed in your skin from evaporating. Kiss goodbye to leathery skin!
One way to prevent your skin from suffering when it's freezing cold is to cover up well and protect your body from winter's harsh elements. Think of your body as an onion - covered in layers that you can take off or put on depending on whether you're out and about or curled up in front of the telly. And as any of you who hate the cold will confirm, it's our heads and feet that suffer the most. So pile on those accessories... chunky socks, fur-lined boots and a cosy hat or beanie. And don't even think about setting foot outside without popping on a pair of gloves. Wool and fleece gloves are great for everyday use, but if you're planning to spend time outdoors, wear a pair of silk gloves underneath your wooly mitts! Your hands will no longer looked dry and chapped.
Finally, don't take steaming hot showers or baths. Really hot water damages our skin's protective barrier, drying it out in the process. So warm showers or baths are best if you want to keep gorgeous, dewy glowing skin.
EASY STEPS TO GET THE WINTER GLOW, FAST!
Unfortunately, glow and winter aren’t best friends. Spending long evenings on the sofa renders we Brits a little pallid to say the least. Enter this guide to winter skincare and infusing your skin with life...
Peak glow always happens around September, when the effects of days outdoors and the bevy of nutrients typically eaten over the summer leave Brits looking fresh-faced and luminous. By January, the effects have well and truly worn off, thanks to long dark evenings and a December diet comprised mostly of M&S mince pies and mulled wine.
Getting glowing skin again requires a little bit of effort, but it’s well worth it. Follow the advice below, and you’ll find that your skin lights up, and you’ll feel a lot perkier, too.
It's perhaps the most obvious tip there is, but upping your circulation by going for a brisk walk, gentle jog or by checking into a yoga class will contribute to the glow factor and help you to shed any extra pounds gained over Christmas.
If you can’t cajole your partner into rubbing your shoulders to manually aid lymph drainage and thereby the elimination of toxins that lead to dull skin, either book in for a massage or get your hands on a tool and do it yourself. Try a jade roller to also soothe and cool skin as you use it.
WATCH WHAT YOU EAT
Hydrate your skin from the inside by drinking gallons of water or fruit/herbal teas. And aim to eat a healthy diet. Pile your plate with fruits and veg that are packed with vitamin C, alongside oily fish and eggs. A tablespoon of vegetable oil in your dressings and snacking on almonds, nuts and hazelnuts will give you a good dose of healthy fats. They're not the naughty ones that tip our scales!
WATER IS KEY
Drinking water and making sure it’s present in your skin are vital if you want to channel a glow to rival JLo’s this winter. Drink plenty of mineral water between meals, and check your skincare for hyaluronic acid, which will attract and draw moisture into the skin throughout the day.
Once you’ve done the above, introduce a non-granular exfoliant such as an AHA or BHA to your winter skincare routine to help speed the turnover of cells and remove the dull, dead skin sitting on the surface. Do this gently but often for the best effect.
AVOID DEHYDRATING ELEMENTS LIKE THE PLAGUE.
Bitter cold harms our skin - the hydrolipidic film in particular. It thins and can no longer function as our skin's first line of defence. So we don't want to add fuel to the fire. First tip - avoid steaming hot baths or shower. Once out of the tub, immediately pat your skin dry so that it doesn't dehydrate. Don't overheat your bedroom and put a bowl of water on your radiator. Don't wear synthetic materials against your skin. Opt for natural fabrics.
NOURISH AND HYDRATE DRY SKIN
Even if you're having a skimpy clothes day, your skin still needs covering! So massage on a moisturising lotion that's packed with fatty acids, lipids and vitamins to nourish and protect your skin. You can opt for body balms, rich creams and thick lotions. When applying, pay attention to stubborn areas such as your elbows and knees. If your skin completely absorbs your body cream, apply a second layer. Repeat morning and night! You'll be left with smooth, comfy, glowing skin.
PAMPER PARTS THAT ARE ALWAYS EXPOSED
Apply a hydrating, nourishing day cream that's suited to your skin type. And at night, smooth on a regenerating face cream to help your dry skin to recover. And don't forget to slather on a moisturising, nourishing face mask once or twice a week. Make sure you only use products that are soothing and gentle. So, if you have fragile skin, go easy on the face scrubs. And don't forget to nourish your hands and lips the moment they feel a teensy bit dry.