Just as you change your wardrobe in winter, your skincare should change too, or else you'll start to see problem areas develop quicker than you might expect.
Skin requires protection from the elements, which are of course especially harsh in winter. Both hot and cold weather can dry out your skin, and in winter you're exposing your skin to both chilly outdoor temperatures, and amped-up artificial heat indoors, so it's important to take the right steps and use the right products to protect and nourish the skin. Stay away from anything that contains mineral oils, Lanolin or has a synthetic fragrance, and don’t make the mistake of over-cleansing skin, you need to retain as much natural moisture as you can. A heavier day cream, oils and balms will all shield your skin from the elements - Fresh has a lovely Rose Deep Hydration Face Cream, which is incredibly nourishing and smells delicious.
Dry patches and flakiness are both far more common in winter, so make sure your beauty kit is packed with skin-loving products to keep your complexion hydrated and cared-for. Oils are fantastic for dry skin, so make sure you have a nourishing facial oil to hand; I especially like MBotanicals' Rejuvenating Facial Elixir. At bedtime, massage in your oil by warming it between your hands and sweeping over the face, being sure to take around ten minutes to properly massage it into the skin. Pay particular attention to any dry patches, and start from the centre of the face, working outwards and upwards to reduce any puffiness. I'll be sharing my insider advice on facial massage techniques in a blog post coming soon - many people are often surprised at how long I spend massaging in a facial oil, but the results are well worth your time...
And while we're on the subject of dry patches, let's talk exfoliating. It can be very tempting to go crazy with a face scrub at the first sign of any flakiness, but you must remember to always be gentle with your skin, and treat it with love and respect. Any kind of scrub exfoliant should only be used twice a week at the most, whatever the season, but take particular care in winter, when skin may be feeling less resilient and more delicate than usual.
Personally, I prefer a topical exfoliant, which I find to be far more effective and less harsh on the skin than a scrub. You can find lots of different formulas now; from tonics to saturated pads, so you can choose whichever suits your routine best. Use these once a week after cleansing and before you apply your bedtime facial oil, to decongest skin and loosen the dead skin cells, so that you wake with bright, fresh and smooth skin, without having to physically scrub away at it!
And finally - winter's biggest bugbear: chapped lips. Lots of us forget that lips need love too; it's not enough to slick on a coat of lipstick and hope for the best. Pay attention to the formula that you're using if you are a lipstick addict - matte formulas can be very drying, so opt for something sheerer to moisturise the lips throughout the day. I really recommend using a specific lip balm to condition and care for the lips, or try one of the new lip oils on the market - Clarins' Instant Comfort Lip Oil is very nice on sore, chapped lips.
Do let me know if you decide to try out my winter skincare tips - I'd love to know how you get on!