Taking good care of your skin over the winter months is essential to fighting damage caused by the cold, wet and windy elements, and regular facials are one of the most effective methods by which to nurture your complexion.
With November upon us the change of season means days are becoming shorter and cooler, nights are inevitably longer and darker, and we will all be turning on the central heating. All these factors take a toll on your skin; cold weather and brisk winds, a lack of vitamin D due to minimal sunshine and, of course, the drying effects of central heating.
1. All good facials begin with a double cleanse. The purpose of cleansing twice is to rid your skin of any dirt, oil and makeup. Using a skin-specific cleanser is essential not only for achieving good results, but also for ensuring your skin is not stripped of its natural oils. Following a thorough cleanse, your skin will enjoy a gentle toner to tighten pores and remove any residual cleanser / debris.
2. Exfoliating your skin regularly at home is really important; however, professional products do achieve better results so an exfoliation as part of a facial is vital. Exfoliating removes dead skin cells (which can make your skin look dry and dull), and treats certain forms of acne, the removal of blackheads, and some other skin conditions. It also increases blood circulation, which will give your skin a boost and leave it glowing with health.
3. Facial massage is one of the most relaxing and tranquil elements of a facial. However, it also relieves facial tension which, in turn, can help to prevent wrinkles. When the muscles in your face tense up they are more likely to harbour, and be the root cause of lines. As with exfoliation, facial massage increases the flow of blood and oxygen to your face, which results in that beautiful post-spa glow. Plus, more blood flow can help to boost your skin’s natural levels of collagen so you will enjoy a natural facelift. And finally, facial massage will better prepare your skin to absorb the nourishing benefits of the face mask, which comes next.
4. Face masks benefit every possible skin type. Oily skin can be a sign of dehydration as it essentially lacks moisture from water – not oil. Ylang ylang is an essential oil that is perfect for calming, soothing and restoring dry / combination / oily skin types. Blemish prone skin is generally quite unsettled so the best ingredient to help draw out toxins, imperfections and impurities is clay. For drier or ageing skins, then hydrating face masks are essential and should include rosewater, rose oil, avocado oil, jojoba oil, borage oil, or omega-3. And finally, sensitive skin will respond to soothing rose oil, geranium oil, or white tea.
5. Monthly facials will ensure you see results and also nurture your skin all year. However, remember that twice-daily cleansing, toning and moisturising is essential, as is using an exfoliator and skin-specific mask weekly.
6. What you eat has a direct impact on your skin’s health. A diet rich in oily fish and lean protein, at least 5 portions a day of fruits and vegetables, and wholegrain carbohydrates is advisable. Drink at least 2-litres of water a day to increase your body’s moisture levels and limit alcohol, sugars, refined carbohydrates, salt, caffeine and saturated fats as these can all lead to a toxic build-up in your body.