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Is winter weather leaving your complexion dull, dry and dehydrated? If so, you're not alone. With cold temperatures outdoors and central heating indoors, the fluctuations can take a toll on our skin, scalp, feet and hands, stripping them of moisture.
And with Google searches for dry skin in winter up 70 per cent this week, it's clear many of us are looking for ways to alleviate cold weather concerns. So we spoke to Alice Henshaw, skin expert and owner of Harley Street Injectables, to get her top tips and product recommendations on how to care for and rebalance your skin this winter.
'Winter can really take its toll on our skin, leaving it looking dull and tired,' says Alice. 'Preventing lacklustre skin can be as easy as switching up your skincare routine and opting for richer and more nourishing products.'
She adds: 'My simple skincare tips and treatment guide can help rebalance and restore your complexion and help your skin survive the cold winter.'
Ahead, Alice shares her go-to skincare products and top tips to keep dry skin at bay this winter.
1. Avoid harsh cleansers
Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser £7.50
Whether or not you wear makeup, cleansing your skin is the most sacred step in your skincare routine, removing every last trace of dirt, pollution and excess oil. And in the colder months, it's particularly important to use a cleanser that helps retain the skin's natural oils.
'Switching up your regular cleanser for a gentle based balm or gel can do wonders for your skin,' says Alice. 'Be sure to toss any face washes with drying ingredients, like fragrances or additives, in favour of those with formulated chamomile or oatmeal.
Alice explains that it's important to opt for a gentle cleanser that won't irritate the skin further, such as Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser.
She says: 'Cetaphil is a great option that won't strip skin of its natural oils, which are needed to protect overall moisture. We often recommend this product post-treatment as it is very gentle on the skin and won't cause irritation.'
2. Try a hydrating treatment
Juvéderm Volite Skin Booser, available at harleystreetinjectables.com
For those who are struggling to combat dull and lacklustre skin using skincare alone, Alice recommends injectable hydration using hyaluronic acid skin boosters.
Alice says: 'Central heating dries out the air and, therefore, your skin. Skin needs moisture to maintain a soft glowing appearance and to reduce fine lines and wrinkles.
'To fight winter dehydration, you can treat yourself to an injectable Hyaluronic acid treatment such as Juvederm Volite. This treatment is an innovative injectable treatment designed to improve skin quality for up to nine months.'
'This is not a dermal filler,' she stresses. 'It's a skin conditioning Hyaluronic acid (HA) gel. Volite is injected into the middle layers of the dermis across many sites to nourish it from the inside out. Volite is suitable for all ages and skin types.'
3. Add a face mask to your routine
Skincycles Hydrating Bio-Cellulose Silk Mask (Box of 5), £80
For when your skin is in need of some TLC, the Skincycles Silk Bio-cellulose Hydrating Mask by Alice delivers is a true skin booster, plumping, hydrating and perking up dull skin in a matter of minutes.
The clinical-inspired hydrating masks contain nano-sized molecules of hyaluronic acid, helping penetrate the deeper layers of the skin for better results.
'We all know hyaluronic acid (HA) is a must have ingredient at the moment,' says Alice. 'This clever natural acid holds 1000 times its own weight in water, to instantly hydrate thirsty skin.'
'The masks also contains key anti-ageing ingredients Palmitoyl hexapeptide-12 which significantly increases collagen and hyaluronic acid in the skin. Other antioxidant ingredients include Agave and Ruby Formosa to help promote moisture, increase lifting and firming of the skin.'
For best results, Alice recommends using the excess serum in the packet over the neck and décolletage - an area of our skin that's often neglected.
4. Use bath oils instead of bubbles
Ren Atlantic Kelp and Microalgae Anti-Fatigue Bath Oil, 110ml, now £21.75 was £29
If you have dry, dehydrated skin, Alice recommends 'upgrading your bathing experience by using a few splashes of bath oil' for smoother, moisturised skin. This is because some bubble bath formulations are highly fragranced, which can cause skin irritation.
The Ren Atlantic Kelp and Microalgae Anti-Fatigue Bath Oil contains natural and hydrating oils like Atlantic kelp and microalgae oil, plus omegas 6 and 9 that are rich in fatty acids to help maintain your skin's healthy appearance and moisturise dry skin.
5. Brush dry skin away
Elemis Body Detox Skin Brush, £21
To improve skin tone and texture, Alice recommends using a body brush on dry skin before a bath or shower to boost circulation and exfoliate rough, dry skin.
'The action of dry brushing is excellent for exfoliating dry winter skin,' says Alice. 'Dry brushing not only unclogs pores in the exfoliation process but it also helps detoxify your skin by increasing blood circulation promoting drainage.'
She adds: 'It also makes you feel good since it has the added benefit of stimulating your nervous system, which can leave you feeling invigorated - just like the way getting a massage often does.'