Fiveways resident Dr. Liz McCulloch puts together a five-step guide to looking after your skin in the new year.
Partying, drinking and overindulgence during the festive period take their toll on our skin. The new year is a chance to start afresh and introduce simple changes that will have lasting benefits for your health, wellbeing and complexion. It’s important to think long-term, not just quick fix; one of the best ways of doing this is to care for your skin holistically.
Rehydrate your body
Cold weather, too much time in front of warm fireplaces and the usual culprits of alcohol, caffeine and nicotine all dehydrate the skin. Drinking plenty of water helps to flush toxins from our system and improve the condition of our skin. Try drinking water at room temperature, perhaps with fresh lemon or mint. Freshly-made fruit and vegetable juices, herbal and spice teas are also hydrating. Use a gentle soap-free cleanser on your face and choose skincare products that don’t contain alcohol.
Ease off the sugar
Diets high in sugar and dairy may make skin conditions like acne worse. Too many refined carbohydrates and unhealthy fats promote skin ageing too, research suggests. Avoid sugary foods and focus on a healthy diet with plenty of fruit, vegetables, lentils, pulses and wholegrains. Dark leafy greens, including kale and spinach, are good as well as nuts, seeds and beans. Make sure you include the right balance of food groups on your plate – the Food Standards Agency website has an eatwell plate as a visual guide.
Lift your mood
The shorter days and cooler months can bring the winter blues. The way we’re feeling shows up in our face. Bright light therapy is a popular treatment for Seasonal Affective Disorder and yoga can help relieve stress. Make the most of the sunlight hours by taking a brisk winter walk or sitting outside and sipping herbal tea. The fresh air and exercise will help lift your mood and bring a glow to your cheeks.
The sun is still a factor
The sun can damage your skin even in winter, so wear a good sunblock along with a hat, scarf and gloves when you go out. If you’re heading for the ski slopes wear a broad-spectrum SPF 50 – the snow reflects the sun back at your face, increasing your chance of getting burnt, and at higher altitudes there is less atmosphere to filter harmful UV rays.
Moisturise and protect
Cooler temperatures and exposure to wind and rain in the winter months can be harsh on the skin. Use rich, cream-based moisturisers with an SPF – not forgetting to protect your hands, which can become dry, cracked and irritated.
Dr Liz. McCulloch is a local GP and runs mSkin, a beauty clinic with a holistic approach to skincare and non-surgical cosmetic treatments in Brighton.
The content within this blog post raises awareness of current and new ways of caring for your body and skin. mSkin cannot accept responsibility for efficacy of any of those treatments or how the readers of this blog post choose to use or act upon its content.