Cold Weather Skin Care

Autumn has arrived in Exeter offering some sublime seasonal gifts like dreamy sun drenched afternoons, the gorgeous changing tree colours, and, in my opinion, the best fashion trend: layers. However, we take the good with the bad, and indeed autumn also brings shorter and much colder days which can have a negative effect on your skin. Changing your skin care routine is essential to prevent it becoming dry, irritated and sensitive. Here are my top ten tips for keeping your skin healthy this autumn:

1. With the cold weather on its way nothing is more appealing than a really hot shower or bath to warm up and relax after a day on campus. However, you should avoid scorching hot showers as the heat dries out skin even more by stripping it of its natural oils causing irritation.

2. Exfoliate. The cold will dry out your skin making it look dull and grey, the solution is to exfoliate which will get rid of the dead cells and give your complexion an all round glow. I suggest exfoliating with a product that has natural exfoliants like grounded apricot stones, or sea salt. These are harsher on the skin and so you only need to think about doing it once a week or once every two weeks (also, natural scrubs are so much better for the environment than the synthetic ones!). Make sure to intensely moisturise afterwards. My favourite: St Ives, Fresh Skin Apricot Scrub.

3. Introduce a serum, oil or balm to your daily skin care routine. Apply in the morning and before bed to really give your skin a boost. During the colder days this will help your skin repair itself as well as provide extra protection from the elements. My favourite: Botanics, Facial Oil 100% organic.

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4. After applying the serum or facial oil you should moisturise your skin with a day cream that contains SPF. A minimum of SPF 15 should be used all year round. This protects your skin from harsh winds and the cold, as well as dangerous UV rays. My Favourite: La Roche-Posay, Hydrophase UV, 24 Hr Rehydrating Protective Care, SPF 20.

5. Don’t neglect your hands and lips. Keeping a hand cream in your bag and applying it after washing your hands will prevent those awful cracked knuckles. Remember to moisturise your lips as well as they can get very d
amaged from the cold. I suggest using a lip balm with added SPF. My favourites: Neal’s Yard, Wild Rose Hand Cream and The Body Shop, Vitamin E Lip Care SPF 15.

6. Get a facial. If you have the time and the money, treat yourself to an intensively nourishing facial. There are lots of places in Exeter whish do them with a student budget in mind. Top three places in Exeter: Magdalen Chapter, Aromatika, Purity Boutique Spa.

7. You are what you eat… and drink! Although ‘tis the season of the pumpkin spice latte, do remember to drink as much water as possible. If chucking back a glass of cold water doesn’t appeal during the colder months, get your daily water intake through teas and infusions. My favourite is hot water, lemon and honey. In terms of diet I suggest eating lots of seasonal fruits and vegetables, which are naturally high in anti-oxidants like Squash, cranberries, pomegranates and blueberries.

8. Keep up the exercise. Building up a good sweat and turning a bright shade of crimson after a workout is excellent for your skin as it boosts circulation in the face, and sweating helps to eliminate dirt, replicating the effects of a facial. Just remember to wash your face afterwards.

9. Cheat with a bit of Makeup. If you’re feeling a bit lazy but still want that Sunday-afternoon-walk-fresh-face-glow, cheat! Use a bit of blusher on the apple of your cheeks to instantly brighten your complexion. My favourite: Bourjois Paris, Blush in Rose Ambre.

10. Go natural. Try to use natural products that are free of dye, perfumes, parabens, alcohol… The chemicals used in most products will simply irritate your skin even more during the cold season. I suggest checking out Neal’s Yard,Kiehl’s, REN, and Origins. There is also a relatively new shop in Exeter called Aromatika on Queens Street, which does all natural skin care products and it looks utterly delightful!

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Sadie Lister

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