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Rude Looks

Winter skincare made easy

During the winter skin can suffer from being covered up, constantly being in heated environments and low humidity. Here’s how to keep your complexion looking radiant thoughout the colder months


All dried out

Natural skincare expert Michaela Maguire of Alchemist Earth in Limerick: “Drink at least eight glasses of water daily, increase the amount of essential fats in your diet and apply a 100% natural rosehip seed oil directly on to cleansed skin prior to your moisturiser for an added nutrient boost and deeper moisture penetration. Try an oil-based cleanser too, this melts off make-up but leaves a film of protection on dry, sensitive skin. Skin should feel clean and smooth, but not at all tight.”

Joanne Reilly PhD of natural skincare brand Kinvara Skincare: “The best advice for dry skin is to look for a gentle cleanser, as we find this is the stage most people get wrong. Inappropriate cleansers with foamers, alcohol and other strong ingredients can strip dry skin and customers then feel they need to reach for a thick, dense moisturiser. Avoid that imbalance by using a cleanser loaded with plant oils.”

The natural choice

Joanne Reilly: “natural is better than a product of pure synthetic ingredients – the reason is that natural plant extracts are highly complex and you can’t replicate that complexity by synthesising parts in a laboratory. Look at the product label and see if you can recognise some of the ingredients. Anything natural sounding should be in the middle of the label and not at the end where it means it is in tiny amounts (essential oils are an exception to this as they can only be used in very small amounts). And while natural is good there is no doubt that organic ingredients are grown without chemicals giving them a greater purity.”

Michaela Maguire: “Using natural skincare products means that you are not polluting your body’s largest organ – the skin – with thousands of harmful chemicals which at best accelerate the ageing process and at worst contain known carcinogens. Using 100% natural products means you are actually feeding your skin as natural plant oils and butters are full of naturally-occurring vitamins and minerals that enhance and strengthen the hydro lipid film on the skin which keeps it supple, preventing daily damage to collagen fibres. Skin is nourished and the result is a more youthful, glowing complexion.”

Winter skincare routine

Michaela Maguire: “With the shorter days use the time to go to bed earlier and introduce some extra pampering into your cleansing routine such as facial massage using 100% natural organic almond oil, and apply a hydrating facial mask 2-3 times per week. Wash your face with lukewarm water – too hot and you risk breaking capillaries. Follow by splashing your face with cooler water after washing, pat dry and smooth on a richer based moisturiser for an extra layer of protection and hydration. If skin is extra dry apply 100% pure aloe vera gel once the moisturiser has soaked in.”

Joanne Reilly: “If you don’t already, then winter is a great time to introduce a quality serum into your skincare routine. You only need a drop or two under your regular face cream to extend your product’s versatility and give you enough moisturisation to cover the demands of winter. A rosehip face serum is a good night treatment.”

Lips, hands and feet

Joanne Reilly: ”Winter lips can benefit from gentle exfoliation in order to remove dead skin and allow your balm or lipstick to work well. Mix equal parts of a good quality olive or rapeseed oil and caster sugar, then gently massage onto your lips.”

Michaela Maguire: “Lips are vulnerable to chapping in harsh winds so a natural lip balm helps hydrate lips as well as keeping them youthful and full. Use bees wax or shea butter combined with honey and lysine to fight against cold sores. Hands are exposed to the harsher elements so use an intensive almond oil-based long-lasting hand moisturiser – and invest in some gloves.”

Feeding your skin

Michaela Maguire: “A diet containing a high percentage of organic fruit and veg is essential for glowing, luminous skin. Fruit and vegetables also contain lots of water as well as powerful age-busting antioxidants. Wholegrains and allium veggies contain selenium, a mineral that gives skin its elasticity. Eat quinoa, brown rice, onions, leeks and garlic to ward off viruses and protect skin from becoming tight and dry.”

Bath time

Michaela Maguire: “Try adding a few cups of whole milk or oatmeal to your bathwater – an ancient remedy to soothe extra dry skin. The proteins, fats, and vitamins in milk can help soothe rough skin. Follow by applying a rich body lotion within three minutes of stepping out of the bath or shower. Use an oil-based salt or sugar scrub for speedy, effective exfoliation that leaves skin hydrated and buffed as well as baby soft.”

Skin vitamins

Vitamin C – can help boost the body’s production of collagen, a protein that maintains skin. Plentiful in fruit and vegetables, or take as a supplement.

Omega oils – play a role in keeping skin plumped and hydrated, moisturising your skin from the inside out. Found in oily fish, nuts, olive oil, flax, sardines and avocados or in supplement form.

Vitamin D – research has shown that people with higher levels of vitamin D may actually age more slowly than people with lower levels of vitamin D.

Hyaluronic acid (HA) – holds 1,000 times its own weight in water, thus attracting water to the skin and holding it there. The result is a luminous, plumped complexion. Various supplements available in health stores.

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