Monday, 18 January 2010
I get a couple of requests from readers now and again (Whoo! People actually read this!) and I thought I would start answering the questions here if they're beauty-related enough.
I think everybody is suffering from dry skin to a greater or lesser degree at the moment, thanks to the dreadful weather, here's how I deal with mine.
I've found, over the years, that the key to dealing with dry and flaky patches is to ensure you have an exfoliation routine. There's no need to go overboard, but when you're cleaning your face in the morning, you'll find the addition of a muslin cloth, and some hot water (as detailed here) to your normal cleanser and using that to remove it will help you get rid of your flaky patches, and keep on top of them on a daily basis. I get my muslin cloths from Mothercare and find that a dozen cut into quarters is more or less a year's supply! Not bad for about £6.
Please, try not to leave the house without moisurising the skin that's exposed to the elements, hands, lips, face and neck. You can use a heavy moisturiser if you've found one that suits, or you can supplement your normal one with either a facial oil or serum underneath. Currently I'm using Neal's Yard Frankincense cream, with Elemental Herbology cell food underneath, which I find have helped my skin not to dry out so much at all this winter, a result I'm happy with! Also, it's not caused zits, which can happen if your moisturiser is too oily for your skin.
Now, I know I said exfoliation was the key to getting rid of dry patches, but that doesn't mean that you should be using harsh cleansers as well! Check the ingredients list of your cleanser and if it contains "foaming agents" such as sodium laureth (or lauryl) sulfate, then it could well be the product that you're using that's making your skin feel dry. I find using a cleansing oil helps me avoid most foaming nasties, and also means I can avoid preservatives too. I'm using Nude Cleansing oil at the moment, which, after a period of adjustment I now really love!
Use a balm!
And not just on your lips. I find the more natural balms are great for using as night-creams, (Badger Balm in particular is great for this, and if Sisley weren't so expensive, I'd be splashing that around my face with a lot more abandon too), after cleansing. During the day I also use them around my nose, on my lips, around my cuticles, anywhere where the skin is dry and/or exposed to the elements, particularly if it's cold and windy.
That's basically it - to be honest, my routine doesn't vary that much year round, I might swap to a lighter moisturiser (Organic Surge is pretty good) and cleansing oil (I swap to Origins minty and lovely Liquid Crystal, now sadly discontinued, but I have a stash that I'm eking out), in warmer times but it's essentially the same winter or summer - and this is just what I've found that works for me. If you have any other tips that might help, I'd love to hear them.