As the cooler months approach, I notice the skin on my face and body starts to feel a little parched. I'm switching up my regime and adding in some simple yet effective products to give my skin some extra hydration. Spending more time indoors in heated rooms can dry out skin, as can the hotter showers and baths that we all take when it gets chilly outside. Dry skin is easily remedied with gentle care and clever products.
Top Tips for gentle skin care
- Use lukewarm water on the face, not hot or cold.
- Avoid harsh scrubbing - use a gentle cloth with your cleanser to remove dead skin instead.
- Handle your skin delicately; tugging and pulling while applying products can cause sagging.
- Sleep with a silk pillowcase to prevent your skin dragging and rubbing in the night.
- Pat and press your products in gently, and always take care around the eye area.
I've long been a fan of plant oils to moisturise and give skin a boost; these eco-friendly ingredients are not to be underestimated. Below are a few of my favourites, and all can be used directly on the face as a serum or hydration booster under your regular moisturiser.
Hemp seed oil
I recently discovered how soothing and healing hemp seed oil is, and I am converted. Hemp seed oil is high in vitamins A and E, and also contains magnesium, zinc, and antioxidants (anti-aging wonders). This incredible oil is anti-inflammatory and improves blood flow to the skin. Massage liberally all over! You can also use hemp seed oil in smoothies and salads for a whole host of amazing health benefits. My favourite can be bought here.
Sweet almond oil
I adore this lightweight, vitamin-rich multitasker. For the delicate skin on the face, try the Wendyl's Rose Face Cream which has an almond oil base - thankfully this oil won't congest the pores. For the body, straight almond oil makes a wonderful moisturiser, massage oil, shaving oil, and hair masque.
I adore olive oil as a body moisturiser - I find it highly effective on dry, scaly legs in winter. Italian screen siren Sophia Loren enjoys olive oil with her meals, in her bath, and applied liberally to her skin, and swears it has kept her looking young. Good enough for me. I also love olive oil as a hair masque: apply to damp hair, wrap your locks in a warm towel, and leave on for a few hours.
Coconut oil has become a popular choice both in the kitchen and the bathroom. I love using coconut oil as a makeup remover and general face and body moisturiser. It's excellent on dry, flaky skin, and I've even used it on irritated skin with no issues - it has natural antibacterial properties due to its high levels of lauric acid. Again, coconut oil makes a beautiful hair masque.
Other ways to use plant oils
- Mix with sugar and a few drops of your favourite essential oil to create a body scrub.
- Apply to bare legs in summer for a beautiful sheen and glow.
- Massage into your cuticles.
- Use pre and post-shaving for a super smooth finish.
- Apply a drop of oil to cheekbones for a natural glow and highlight.
- Use on dry lips to moisturise.