How to achieve healthy, glowy skin this winter
Experts reveal the exact ingredients you need in your bathroom cabinet this winter to keep your skin looking its best.
Winter weather often means we need to pay more attention to our beauty routine. A mix of cold winter air, harsh winds, and central heating can be unforgiving on our bodies, particularly our skin and hair, often leaving it feeling dry, flaky, itchy, and irritated.
Luckily, there are some simple steps we can take to combat these seasonal side effects, with the additional of some staple ingredients to your routine.
Here, five health and beauty experts explain the benefits of adding these surprising ingredients to your bathroom cupboard this winter…
Pine bark extract
Cold weather is tough on skin. Fine lines and wrinkles can be prevalent during the winter months as there is less humidity and moisture in the air. It can strip the skin’s natural protective barrier, creating gaps in the outer most layer, allowing water to escape.
According to Emma Brown, celebrity facialist and skincare expert, a specific type of pine bark extract can help repair that barrier and leave you with plumper skin.
“Our skin does change in different weather environments,” says Emma, “so it’s good to be aware of this and adapt your skincare accordingly.
“In the colder winter months, use gentler cream cleansers and more hydrating serums and moisturisers to counteract drying weather conditions and central heating.
“Whilst topical treatment is of course important, when it comes to anti-ageing you should also remember to protect your skin from within.
“I’d always recommend Pycnogenol® pine bark extract as it contains a host of anti-ageing properties. Pycnogenol® increases the production of collagen and elastin, both of which are key for giving our skin that youthful, fresh look that decreases as we age. It also improves microcirculation, which boosts hydration and elasticity by upping hyaluronic acid generation. This in turn can balance pigmentations and dark spots, for a generally brighter, glowing skin complexion.
“The ingredient is available in more than 1,000 dietary supplements, multi-vitamins, topical cosmetics and health products worldwide. For a supplement, try Holland and Barrett’s Pycnogenol® Capsules, or for a topical treatment you can find it in The Ordinary’s Pycnogenol® 5% Serum.”
In winter, people spend more time indoors and crank up the heat. This leads to dry, warm air that affects the skin.[iii] As a response, the scalp boosts oil production to combat the dryness which can lead to conditions like dandruff.
Stephanie Sey, leading trichologist working with Nizoral explains: “In cold drier weather the scalp produces more oil to lubricate and protect the scalp which interacts with a fungus called malassezia causing dandruff.
"The fungus malassezia exists on everyone’s scalp, however some people can have a sensitivity to it which causes dandruff. It’s important to use a treatment with the active ingredient ketoconazole in it, such as Nizoral, as cosmetic shampoos and haircare don’t treat the root cause. You can then use your regular shampoo in between. Ketoconazole is an antifungal agent that stops the growth of the yeast malassezia. Malassezia is a contributing factor to dandruff, so using ketoconazole helps control and effectively treat the cause, as well as the symptoms.
"Nizoral® Anti-dandruff shampoo includes 2% Ketoconazole. The dermatologically tested formula is suitable for all hair types and is gentle on the scalp.”
Your skin is susceptible to looking dull and dry in the winter months due to cold harsh winds. But fear not, Vitamin C can do wonders. The water-soluble vitamin is a super-potent antioxidant that helps brighten your skin naturally and decreases rough-feeling skin and the appearance of wrinkles.
Holland & Barrett Beauty Specialist, Romi Olley, shares: “The winter can be a great strain on our skin, with multiple factors playing their part and because of this, it’s not unusual for many people to notice their skin becomes drier as the seasons transition. Those with dry and inflammatory skin conditions , such as eczema and psoriasis, also often find their skin is more problematic in the colder months. However, there are things we can do to combat this and keep our skin glowing even during the harshest of weather.
"My top tip for winter skin would always be to add Vitamin C to your daily routine. Vitamin C is an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory, meaning it can reduce harsh flare ups during the colder months. It also helps to provide a protective barrier to keep pollutants out and lock moisture in; its antioxidant properties help fight off free radicals that can impair the barrier function, contributing to the signs of aging by stripping moisture from the skin.
"I recommend Vitaskin Vitamin C Collagen Boosting Serum which contains a blend of vitamin C and omega oils.”
Oatmeal offers more than just a hearty breakfast as it is naturally rich in vitamins and minerals. It creates a protective layer that helps retain the skin's natural moisture. Helping to reduce skin inflammation, and even stimulates collagen production due to the rich beta-glucan found in oats.
Dermatologist, Dr Mary Sommerlad says, “Oats are high in anti-oxidants and anti-flammatories which fight cell damage which help combat the effects of ageing, such as dry skin and wrinkles. Applying oats to the skin can be an effective way of reducing itching, especially if associated with an underlying skin condition.”
For a moisturising lotion clinically proven to improve skin dryness, try Cetraben Natural Oatmeal Cream (£8.99 for 190g, Boots). The formulation contains naturally active Colloidal Oatmeal which proven to improve itch intensity, p romising 24 hour moisturisation for dry, sensitive and eczema-prone skin, meaning that your skin will be fresh all day.
Researchers have suspected for a few decades that people shed more hair at certain times of the year, noticing thinning in the fall.People experience more hair loss in the winter as it is related to fewer hours of sunlight as our bodies produce more hair in the summer to cover our sensitive scalps.
Whether you’re concerned about hair loss, maintaining your glossy glow or supporting healthy hair growth, the right supplement can help.
LloydsPharmacy Pharmacist Anshu Kaura comments: “It is very common for women to experience hair thinning, with over 55% of women thought to lose hair during their lifetime. However, vitamin and mineral supplements can help support hair growth especially vitamins C and B and the minerals Zinc and Magnesium.”
Zinc is particularly key in supporting healthy hair growth as Anshu continues: “Zinc is a nutrient which must be supplied through the diet –it’s not naturally generated by the body. Zinc plays a key role in maintaining hair follicles and as such can support healthy hair growth. Zinc is found in many different types of food, with oysters containing the greatest source of the mineral. There are plenty of everyday foods which contain a good source of zinc too including pork chops, chicken, breakfast cereal and even baked beans.”
HAIRBURST Unicorn Vegan Hair Vitamins (£18.74 was £24.99, LloydsPharmacy) is specially formulated to provide a range of minerals and vitamins which can help support healthy hair. The combination of vitamin C, E, A, Biotin, Zinc and Selenium will help care for your hair, especially in winter.