HEALTH AND BEAUTY by KERRY HARKIN

The Winter Skin Routine

Dry weather can have a massive effect on our body, especially during winter when the temperature drops and the wind picks up. Sadly, the worst effect is probably on our skin. A colder climate means less moisture in the air and this can dry out skin. The cold winds can take the moisture from any skin which is exposed to the elements and the dry months can lead to skin becoming tight, red, or cracked. And, if we’re lucky enough to get it, snow can cause glare from the sun. This can lead to premature aging of the skin and wrinkles. Different parts of the body need different protection from the winter weather.

The lips are a major area of damage when it comes to winter. Dry air will kill your lips and if you’re wanting to get kissing, ladies (or gents, you never know) a lip balm or moisturising lipstick is definitely needed. No one wants to kiss dry or cracked lips, it’s not exactly pleasant, now is it? If you’re on a budget and don’t want to spend a lot on lip care try a small amount of Vaseline, which will keep your lips full of moisture and help them stay supple in the dry weather. If you want to splash out and spend more, try the Clinique Superbalm Lip Treatment or the Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Nourishing Lip Balm. Both these products aren’t exactly cheap but you want to look good, right?

As a whole, your face can see the brunt of the winter weather as it’s the most exposed part of your body. Our face is the first thing people see (we hope!) when they look at us, so we want it to look its best, right?  Avoid hot showers, making sure the water is warm but not overly hot, as this will cause your skin to dry out faster. Make sure your skin is completely dry before leaving the house, as dry air is drawn to moisture and will suck it away, seriously. Moisturise daily and use a good quality moisturiser, such as L’Oréal, Garnier or Simple, to keep your skin from drying out. Switch to a cream cleanser, not a foam one, to help skin stay moist (The Body Shop is a good idea for low priced but good quality cleansers). And make sure you exfoliate, as dry skin finds it much harder to get rid of dead skin cells and no one wants to look like the walking dead. Most drug store products aren’t too expensive and will work just as well as high end products. It’s also a good idea to find a moisturising face mask and use this once a week (The Body Shop Vitamin E Sink-In Moisture Mask works wonders, seriously).

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When it comes to hair, everyone gets in panic. Is it frizzy, greasy, matted or does it look just plain wrong? We’ve all been there and will probably be there again. In winter, hair problems can get oh so much worse. The dry air dries out your hair and scalp, leading to hair snapping and an itchy head. The best thing to do it keep your head covered when leaving the house, so get a hat to keep your head nice and toasty. Again avoid water that’s too hot, because like the skin everywhere else on your body, your scalp will dry our after too much heat. Avoid blow drying or heat styling your hair too much, leave it to air dry if you have the time but don’t go outside with wet hair as, like with wet skin, the dry air will remove the moisture quickly and damage your hair. Shampoo’s containing oils will protect your hair and scalp from the dry hair, so try argan or keratin oils (Organix is a fantastic brand), or even buy a hair oil and mix it with your normal shampoo if you feel attached to your usual brand. But the most important thing for winter hair is conditioning, so make sure you do.

Your hands are another major place to protect during the winter. No one wants ghostly pale zombie hands (what are we? 90?), so keep them covered with gloves and use a hand cream. Creams containing aloe vera or an oil will help protect your skin and also your nails. And to have model hands like Karlie Kloss you must also have drop dead gorgeous nails, so a good product to use is a peeling and brittleness solving nail lacquer. Avon sell one of these for a low price or, if you want to spend a little more money, try Nailtiques. Avoid washing your hands in hot water and don’t over use soap, as this can soften your nails.

Now, exercise is maybe not on your must do list when it comes to winter but your body will thank you for it. It’s important to keep active during the winter to strengthen your immune system. You know, healthy lifestyle equals healthy body, right? And during winter we want to eat more, it’s a survival instinct (or maybe it’s the Christmas food everywhere?), to help us during those cold months, but we’re not living in the stone ages anymore. Clearly. We don’t need to store fat like we used to, central heating keeps us warm and you could layer clothes, so you’d look extra cute and cosy. It’s better for our bodies, not just during winter, when we look after them. Although, exercising outside during winter isn’t always a good idea. Sweating may help you cool down in summer but in winter it can cause your body to cool down too fast, resulting in your body temperature becoming too low which is scary. Keep active but also keep warm.
So take care of yourself this winter. Find a good mix of exercise and warm movie nights. Keep your skin beautiful and look amazing. Be the best you, no matter the weather.


Best Foods to Eat in Winter

You should eat well all year round. I know you’re probably fed up of hearing that but hear me out. Even if you don’t want to eat healthy all the time at least try to in winter. Your body will thank you for it.

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Obviously, during winter there aren’t many foods in season but there’s a few you should try. Let’s start with pomegranates. Since you’re probably not wanting to exercise as much when it’s cold these brilliant fruits will keep you healthy in different ways. Grapefruits and oranges are also really good for you and surprisingly grow great in winter. Who knew.

In terms of veg, potatoes are high in starch and vitamins which is always good. Just don’t eat them all the time because you’ll gain weight like there’s no tomorrow. Small doses people. Butternuts squash, and any other squash, are beneficial in loads of way and very low in calories (yay!). Now you’re tired of hearing about kale and all those other leafy greens but they’re so good for you that you need to keep being told to eat them.