Winter Skin Care

The skin on your face can suffer and feel quite uncomfortable in the wintertime and unfortunately as we age the problem seems to get worse. Caring for skin, particularly facial skin is vital during the wintertime. Men and women need protection from extreme temperatures, both the exposure to cold winds and rain, and the heat and dryness of fires and central heating.

How well (or badly) our skin ages depends mostly on genetics and skin type. 10% of skin ageing is intrinsic and we can look at our parents to see how we might appear in later life. Other factors which age skin are extrinsic and under our control such as exposure to sun and wind, smoking, alcohol, poor diet and lack of exercise. People who have looked after themselves usually have healthy skin, and look years younger than they actually are. All skin will eventually show some signs of ageing and will be subject to the forces of gravity. The two main components of the skin, collagen and elastin, decrease with age causing the skin to sag resulting in lines and wrinkles.

From 40 years onwards skin becomes:
• Thinner
• Drier
• More uneven

In our 50’s and onwards we notice:
• Lack of firmness
• Face begins to look longer, especially the jowls, eyelids and the nose
• Bones shrink, and the skin and the muscles around them begin to sag
• (Particularly noticeable in someone who has lost weight)

Skin reflects our lifestyle, the following contributing to the ageing process:
• Stress
• lack of sleep
• smoking
• taking excess iron supplements
• over exercising
• over exposure to the elements , especially the sun (even in winter)

80% of premature ageing is caused by exposure to the sun or by smoking (preventable) and results in:
• age spots
• coarse wrinkles
• small broken blood vessels
• Skin of a leathery texture.

Skin dislikes:
• Coffee
• Alcohol
• Stress
• Tobacco smoke
• Processed foods
• UV light

Skin likes:
• Water
• Sleep
• Fresh Air
• Fresh Food
• Moisturizing (day cream)
• Protecting (SPF of 15 or 20)
• Feeding (night cream)

Moisturising and feeding is essential for middle aged/ and older skin to replace natural oils that dry up as part of the ageing process and to help retain suppleness and a healthy glow. Also important is using creams and lotions containing SPF (sun protection factor) to reduce damage from sunlight. To keep the body hydrated and working efficiently try to drink 6-8 glasses of liquids a day to replace lost fluids. Remember water is the difference between the plump skin of a plum and the dry shrivelled skin of a prune – although it is the same fruit!