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The Essential Guide to Winter Skin Care.

Winter is around the corner and in the months leading up to winter and during the colder months, your skin will thank you for taking care of it. Skin care is a funny, albeit annoying factor in many of our lives. Our skin can look glowing and radiant sometimes, and other times we will experience breakouts, pigmentation, scarring and the dreaded dryness that comes along with Winter. We will go over the basic steps you should (and should not be doing) in your skincare routine, and then read on to get some first hand product recommendations that you can go and try out for yourself.

The most important thing to remember when taking care of your skin during Winter is NOT to over-exfloliate. Your skin is dry and flakey and so you think that exfoliating those dead skin cells away is the most logical option. False. Your skin needs as much of its own natural oils as possible in order to stay hydrated and healthy. When you exfoliate, you are stripping your skin of dead skin cells, but also of all the natural oil on your face. You should only be exfoliating 3 times a week anyway, and maybe even less in Winter. Rather give your skin the hydration and nourishment that it needs, rather than scrubbing away at your sensitive skin too often.

Another important winter skin care tip is to wear sunscreen. You may be under the false pretence that you can't get burnt in Winter. This is not true. Even though it may be colder and the sun may not always be visible, the UV rays can still penetrate your skin, causing skin damage, burns and pigmentation. So always use sunscreen no matter where you are. You can even get burnt through a window while working from home during Lockdown, so make sure to lather up on the lotion.

You should be washing your face twice a day; in the morning and in the evening. Begin your skin care routine with a gentle cleanser. If you have oily or combination skin, a foam cleanser is a good option. This one from Luxe Loft is a great all natural Korean skin cleansing foam that is gentle but thorough. If you have extremely dry skin, stay away from foam cleansers and rather stick to a cleansing lotion or cleansing milk that is gentle on dry and sensitive skin, like this Skin Creamery one.

Next, use a toner to get rid of any excess dirt. Try not to use toners that are alcohol-based, as these also strip the oils from your skin and dry it out. If you have oily skin, rather use a topical acne treatment or tea-tree oil if you have breakouts. For dry skin, use micellar water or a gentle alcohol-free toner like this one from Garnier.

Not everybody uses serums but as we get closer to the colder, drier months of Winter, investing in a good serum may not be a bad idea. Serums are highly concentrated essences or oils that target specific skin concerns. These should be used at night so your skin can absorb an optimal amount of product while you sleep. You can get anti-aging serums, acne serums, or hydrating serums that often contain hyaluronic acid to give your skin that extra boost it needs.

You can use a facial oil to treat extreme dryness too. Jojoba oil is a great one! It doesn't clog the pores and provides intense moisture and hydration. After applying serum, use a nice moisturising cream. Again, your choice of moisturiser should depend on your skin type and skin concerns. For dry skin, this Benton snail and bee venom steam cream from Luxe Loft is great! The snail mucin helps with anti-aging concerns and the bee venom stimulates collagen production in the face. It goes on thick and feels luxurious, but does not make your skin oily. If you have oily skin, try a mattifying moisturiser. Be careful though as matte moisturisers often don't provide enough hydration to your skin, so it's about finding the right balance. 

Lastly, stock up on some face masks that will help get your skin through winter. Sheet masks are great, once-off masks that are soaked in skin-loving ingredients and serums that are left on the skin for 20 minutes, after cleansing and before applying moisturiser. You should be doing a face mask once or twice a week, to really give your skin the love and attention it needs. If you don't require the hydration, go for a charcoal deep cleansing mask or a tea tree infused mask to assist with acne and breakouts. These Korean Sheet Masks are a great addition to your skin care routine. Under eye hydrogel patches are also great for revitalising the eyes and the delicate skin around them. These collagen eye patches are a great option for under-eye treatment.

Make sure to drink enough water and cleanse your skin twice daily for the best results. Apply hydrating serums, masks and moisturisers to help with the dryness that many of us will be experiencing as Winter approaches. Always remember to remove your make before bed and always apply sunscreen, no matter what the weather looks like outside.

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