As we are now into December, our skin is in for three months of winter weather, which can leave us looking grey, chapped and dry.
The unpleasant combo of cold wind and central heating leaves our skin seriously dehydrated and really not looking it’s best.
But don’t panic – there are plenty of ways to bring a bit of summer colour back into your complexion.
Combat the dreaded ‘grey face’ this winter by following these top tips from industry experts.
Do a DIY facial using a cold teaspoon
It sounds bizarre but it’s true. It’s a go-to of Shane Cooper, the skin supremo who Maya Jama, Phoebe Dynevor and Sienna Miller turn to ahead of their red-carpet appearances. It’s part of his ultimate at-home facial, which starts with a thorough cleanse and tone, followed by exfoliation.
‘When dealing with dry and dull skin, I’d then suggest using a mask, which is fantastic for adding instant radiance and hydration to the skin,’ says Cooper.
‘Facial massage helps with puffy under-eyes and lymphatic drainage around the eye area. If you don’t have a cryo ball, which is like a massage roller, use a really cold teaspoon against the eyes — the coldness restricts the blood flow and the pressure of the spoon helps the lymphatic drainage. I also like to use a hyaluronic boosting serum and mist for further nourishment.’
Try face tapping
Beauty editors swear by the Bradden Method for lifting, toning and tightening the face. It’s been created by cosmetic acupuncturist Sarah Bradden and it involves face tapping.
‘It’s so important to keep the blood flow and circulation in the skin and stimulate the muscles of the face,’ says Bradden.
‘Use all your fingers, starting at the forehead and working your way down the face and neck with that finger-tapping motion. Repeat all over the face using a good firm pressure. You can do this in three minutes but obviously, the longer the better.’
Play with colour and use metallics
Although there’s an abundance of neutral-coloured clothing during the winter, stylist Miranda Holder believes we should steer clear.
‘Wearing zingy, bright colours or rich, deep jewel tones can be far more flattering and lift your face in just the same way as adding a dash of your favourite lip stain,’ says Holder.
‘Use your jewellery as a guide. If silver looks best against your skin, you’ll suit cooler, blue-based colours. If gold looks better, think warmer, yellow-based tones. Fabrics such as silk, satin, metallics and sequins are also fantastic at reflecting light back on to your face, and provide that glow.’
Smile when you sleep
You’ve heard of the term beauty sleep — that’s because shut-eye is important for cell renewal.
‘When we sleep well, it restores the body on every level, including the skin,’ says sleep expert Dr Nerina Ramlakhan. ‘First, optimise your bedroom environment by using aromatherapy oils, keeping the room well ventilated and having a wind-down routine.’
Then smile: ‘When we smile, the muscles around our mouth and eyes are contracted, which helps optimise muscle tone in the facial muscles,’ says Ramlakhan. ‘So go to bed in a happy state of mind, with a smile on your face, or an inner smile, and do the same when you wake up instead of reaching for your phone.’
Get some vitamin B12
No prizes for guessing that vitamins and minerals are essential for healthy skin. But one of the lesser known is vitamin B12, which it’s thought at least 40% of us are deficient in.
‘I think of vitamin B as a “youth vitamin”,’ says Dr Miriam Adebibe, co-founder of skin clinic Victor & Garth. ‘It’s required by every single cell in the body to divide and multiply so a deficiency in B12 can wreak havoc on your skin as the cells on the face renew every 28 days, faster than anywhere else in your body.’
Effective sources include dairy, meat and fish, and there are supplements if required.
Use ceramides to maintain moisture
Humidity is low during the winter months — outside as we battle the elements and indoors due to central heating. ‘The water content of the outer layer of the skin tends to reflect this, becoming dry and dull,’ says Dr Sasha Dhoat of Stratum Dermatology Clinics.
‘Intensifying your moisturising routine is the first step in correcting this imbalance. Look for products that contain ceramides, which help repair skin barrier function and improve water retention, and hyaluronic acid, which plumps skin cells by attracting water to surrounding tissue.’
Refresh your makeup
As the queen of dewy skin, celebrity makeup artist Nikki Wolff has amassed almost two million followers on Instagram and has some valuable tips on brightening a dull complexion. She suggests using anti-greyness primers by the likes of Make Up For Ever and Nanoblur.
‘If you want to sculpt but keep things natural, use liquid products such as KVD Modcon Liquid Gel Contour [£22, Boots] or Clinique’s Sun-Kissed Face Gelee [£25], and use a cream blush rather than powder,’ she says. ‘Apply on the apples of the cheeks, across the bridge of the nose and even across the eyes to keep the look cohesive and warm everything up.’
Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate
Keeping skin looking fresh requires a whole lifestyle approach and that includes what you eat and drink.
‘Plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables is key, with the more brightly coloured ones providing the most antioxidants, important for skin brightness,’ says Sophie Medlin, dietitian and founder of City Dietitians.
‘Hydration is also super important. When we’re dehydrated, metabolites can build up in our bloodstream, making us look less well, so drink plenty of water and try to reduce those lifestyle factors that affect your skin, including alcohol.’
Modify your stress
Stress can have a negative effect on skin wellness and exacerbate a number of skin conditions, such as psoriasis, eczema and acne.
‘Stress triggers an increase in key hormones, such as cortisol, which impacts blood flow and affects the look of skin. It can also disrupt the epidermal barrier, and lead to irritation,’ says Dr Emma Craythorne, a Harley Street dermatologist and host of The Bad Skin Clinic.
‘Understand stress in your lifestyle, and modify where you can,’ she adds, and suggests being open to mindfulness and meditation. ‘There is some evidence it may help to regulate stress hormones in the body.’
If you want glowing skin, then get moving.
‘Regular exercise increases blood and oxygen circulation to the entire body, especially the top layers of the skin,’ says Dr Angela Tewari, consultant dermatologist at the Lister Hospital. ‘This keeps skin cells nourished and the sweat helps to remove any excess toxins through perspiration.’
Even a walk can be beneficial by helping us de-stress.
‘That relaxes the muscles of the face, which will improve appearance of the skin,’ says Tewari. ‘Being outdoors and having some sun exposure also helps to top up vitamin D levels, which play an integral part in skin rejuvenation and skin cell growth. Just don’t forget your SPF with high UVA cover, which should be worn all-year round to keep your skin healthy and protected.’
Sometimes only a facial will do and we rate Hydrafacial’s non-invasive one, which combines cleansing, exfoliation, extraction, hydration and antioxidant protection in a gentler manner than other treatments that deliver fast visible results.
The Waterhouse Young clinic on Harley Street offers the treatment with a rejuvenating red-LED mask (£250).
‘It’s soothing and moisturising,’ says Anna Miller, a registered nurse and the clinic’s managing director. ‘It also contains a gentle peel to reveal healthy new skin underneath any dull top layers.’
Credit: Original article published here.