Winter Beauty Part One: Moisture

Following on from last week's post on winter beauty essentials, it's no surprise to discover that we all reach for the same products when the cold sets in: moisturisers. Cold weather combined with an increased use of central heating conspire to dry our skin, leaving many of us with parched, dull and greying complexions. Not the route to a glamorous winter!

So what happens to our skin when the cold of winter sets in? A lack of moisture in the environment means that skin is more susceptible to the drying effects of cold weather, central heating and air conditioning, so the key to happy winter skin is to ensure that it is well moisturised. However, slathering on any old cream is not always enough to seal in that precious moisture.

Moisturisers fall into two categories: humectants and occlusives. Humectants draw moisture from the lower to the upper layers of skin - moisture derived from the water we drink. Occlusives act as a barrier to lock existing moisture into the skin, and form a layer of defence against further dehydration of the skin. Occlusive ingredients include oils and petrolatum - products that form a physical barrier on the skin - and humectants are found in more standard moisturisers.

First and foremost, it's as important as ever to make sure you drink 2 litres of water a day to ensure that your body is hydrated and your skin is healthy, so that your skin has a water supply to draw on. Secondly, most people will benefit from using a heavier moisturiser for day than normal, and dependant on your skin type, a combination of humectant and occlusive moisturisers will help. As I am prone to dryer skin on my body, my top tip is to use a body oil like The Sanctuary Spa Essential Massage and Body Oil first and then top with a standard moisturiser like Vaseline Intensive Rescue. This combination forms a barrier to lock in the moisture so that the skin is able to absorb everything it needs. It works AMAZINGLY!

This routine also works well for lips, and I use Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Cream topped with a coating of Vaseline on particularly cold, windy days. The Eight Hour Cream moisturises and the Vaseline locks it in: perfect!

Finally, for my face, I tend to use a slightly heavier cream than normal on my cheeks, but stick to the same products on my oilier t-zone. This year, I'll be switching up to Liz Earle's Skin Repair moisturiser combined with my beloved No. 7 Protect and Perfect serum.

Hopefully this will help you choose your winter moisture products. Do you have any moisturising tips?

Finally, if you haven't done so already, enter my Barry M giveaway here!

Image courtesy of nordiclandscapes.com

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