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Winter wellness for your skin, hair and body

Super winter skin

“Our skin can really suffer during the winter due to numerous factors,” says Rebecca Muir who works with organic beauty and skincare company Pravera. “Central heating is one of the main culprits when it comes to dry skin and breakouts during the winter. As our skin loses moisture, we’re left with a layer of dead skin cells on the surface which can clog the pores and prevent sebum flowing freely, causing breakouts. Try using a serum which contains hyaluronic acid to keep the skin moisturised, and remember to exfoliate once or twice per week to remove dead skin cells. Using products which contain argan oil can be highly beneficial – it is rich in vitamin E and crammed full of fatty acids, which make it an incredible natural moisturiser.”

“Botanicals and a holistic approach to self-care can help to support the skin, hair and body during the cold winter months when many of us suffer from dry skin from being inside with the heating on all the time,” says Pip Waller, author of the Health and Beauty Botanical Handbook (Leaping Hare Press). “The heat and being indoors tends to dry us out from the inside out, so drink plenty of water every day, or even better drink tea made with omega-rich linseeds. To make linseed tea soak 1tbsp of linseeds in a half-litre of boiling water, leave it for 12 hours, then stir, strain, warm it up by adding another half-litre of hot water, and drink.”

Other beauty tips for great skin:

  • Cut down on sugar and refined carbohydrates – these generate skin damaging free radicals which can lead to flare ups, rosacea, wrinkles and acne.
  • Use SPF all year round – your skin can be exposed to UV rays even on cold days.
  • If you react to dairy try an alternative – coconut, almond or soya milk are all good options.
  • Take a fish oil supplement with omega-3 – it helps your skin to maintain hydration.
  • Use an oil- or water-based skin serum – these are more concentrated than moisturisers. Look for those which contain vitamins C and E and hyaluronic acid.

Body conscious winter

“Make sure that you moisturise the skin all over your body with a product rich in organic ingredients such as argan oil or shea butter,” says Rebecca Muir. “Drink plenty of water in order to keep your skin working and avoid dehydration. I would also suggest getting some much-needed vitamin D because this vitamin helps to keep the body’s cells regenerating.”

“Once you have sorted the inside of your body, feed your skin with lovely moisturisers and natural toners,” says Pip Waller.

Other body tips:

  • Don’t cut out fats from your diet – your skin will become dry and aged.
  • Take omega-3 and omega-6 – they keep the skin’s natural oil barrier intact and your skin soft.
  • Eat olive and coconut oil, oily fish, avocados, seaweeds, chia seeds and nuts – all great for your body and skin.
  • Eat colourful fruits and vegetables, spinach, kale, broccoli, berries, blueberries and drink green tea – these are all antioxidants that fight off free radicals that damage skin.
  • Vitamins A, C and E are important for reducing fine lines. Vitamin A is in sweet potatoes, carrots, squash and spinach.
  • Vitamin C is found in citrus fruit, apples, peppers, tomatoes and a whole range of fruit and vegetables. Vitamin E is in almonds, hazelnuts, sunflower seeds, oily fish, avocados, tofu and dark green leafy vegetables.

Fabulous winter hair

“During the winter months, it is a great idea to regularly treat your hair and scalp to a moisturising treatment,” says Rebecca Muir. “I recommend using coconut oil as an easy all-rounder. It is rich in antioxidants and fatty acids which can aid in improving the health of your scalp and supporting the growth of your hair. Coconut oil is a great way to nourish, prevent breakage and add shine – all without any commonly used chemicals which really do your hair more harm than good.”

Party season recovery

“Beauty comes from the inside out, so to recover from the party season you might like to do a detox diet and take herbs to support your organs of elimination alongside of it,” says Pip Waller. “The organs of elimination include the bowels, kidneys and skin. Prunes are a good standby to stimulate the bowel; dandelion leaves, celery and nettles help the kidneys to work, and burdock helps toxins to leave the body via the skin. Boosting the liver is also important as the liver takes toxins from the blood and passes them either to the bowel or kidneys to remove from the body. Bitter tasting foods and herbs encourage the liver – for example dandelion leaves and root, artichokes (globe) and chicory leaves.”

Luxurious Body Butter

from The Health and Beauty Botanical Handbook by Pip Waller, published by Leaping Hare Press

  • 2tbsp cocoa butter
  • 4tbsp shea butter
  • 2tbsp coconut oil
  • 4tbsp evening primrose oil
  • Essential oils:
  • 10 drops jasmine
  • 10 drops sandalwood
  • 5 drops rose

Mix all the ingredients together. Makes one 250ml cup.

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