cleanser

10 hacks to hydrate your skin - without glugging water all day long!

New year, new you

Sharnaz Shahid

Although there is a strong focus on wellness this January, winter can be a stressful time for our skin. The colder weather can leave our bodies in need of some extra nourishment since the humidity is generally lower. And as we tend to use more central heating, this can cause dryness and make our skin become tighter and uncomfortable. For many, trying to find ways to keep your skin glowing can be a never-ending quest, so we've complied a few care tips and tricks to help keep your complexion hydrated and soft...

1. Hydrate from the inside out

During the winter months it can be tempting to overindulge in hot chocolates and coffees. The caffeine can acts as a diuretic, which increases fluid loss and can lead to dehydration – so the best way to tackle this is to drink eight glasses a day. But reaching for coconut water is an even better choice, suggests Dr Goldfaden. Coconut water contains high levels of potassium, which is an electrolyte needed to maintain balanced hydration. You can also encourage yourself to drink more water by putting a bkr water bottle on your desk, on your bedside table or in your gym bag!

2. Always moisturise

Rather than using overly greasing products, light textured creams can absorb well and leave the skin softer and smoother. Elizabeth Arden PRO Intense Hydrating Cream (available from Fragrance Direct) are great products for soft, dewy skin. Dr Robin Stones, Medical Director at Courthouse Clinics, says: "During the colder months the lower temperatures challenge the barrier function of the skin making it feel drier, tighter and more sensitive. Normally the skin has a firm barrier of dead skin cells held together with essential fats and ceramides, this barrier prevents water loss through the surface and keeps a strong physical barrier against the environment and extremes of temperature."

3. Step up your skincare at night

After removing makeup and the day's pollutants from your skin, wash your face once again with a gentle cleanser. Quickly apply a heavier moisturiser, like the Overnight Mask by Clinique, which will sink into the skin throughout the night. If you don't fancy something for the whole night, try one of Biocell's masks - the sheets are formulated to maintain moisture balance in the skin, tightens pores and increases elasticity of the skin. You can also try Young LDN's CRYOBALL, this treatment rejuvenates the skin by creating a micro-circulation effect that reduces inflammation, eliminates puffiness and brightens dull complexions.

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4. Use SPF all year round

Vicky Beckett, from wellness company Arbonne, explains: "The drop in temperature doesn’t mean the sun isn’t out - winter sun can cause the same amount of damage. Cloudy weather does little to protect us from harmful UVA and UVB rays which can damage the surface of the skin and cause wrinkles." Arbonne's Extra Moisture Restorative Day Crème has been formulated with SPF 20 to protect the skin’s youthful appearance. As an additional boost, try eating more citrus fruits, which can naturally provide UV protection.

5. Oils

Oils can help maximise the skin's elasticity and replenish dehydrated skin, which is especially important during the cold winter months. Bio-Oil combines some of the most important skincare ingredients including vitamin A and E with Calendula, Lavender, Rosemary and Chamomile oils. Justine Hextall, Consultant Dermatologist on behalf of Bio-Oil says: "When the skin becomes dehydrated it becomes dry and flaky and sometimes irritated. The skin barrier is less efficient and our skin can start to look dull and lifeless. Keep hydrated during the day. Using the right cleanser and a good moisturising cream or oil will definitely protect the skin barrier against water loss and irritants, which we encounter on a daily basis. Calm, hydrated skin glows!"

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6. Exfoliate

Exfoliate your body with a decent scrub to remove all of the dead and dry skin cells as well as makeup residue. Spa Find Salt Brushing, from the Spa Find Heavenly Hydration range, is an invigorating spa treatment using Dead Sea salt to naturally exfoliate the skin. Salt Brushing is a delightful blend of salts and minerals with Vitamin E and Coconut Oil. Skin texture is revived as dead skin cells are removed. Skin is repaired, protected, smooth and hydrated.

7. Pamper session

You can also pay a visit to a beauty salon, which specialise in facials. French Medical Beauty Clinic, Epilium & Skin - which is based in Marylebone - offers a range of treatments to address all skincare concerns. Ones for note are Deep Cleanse Facial and the Hydrafacial - perfect to replenish your skin.

8. Facial Steamer

If you don't fancy a trip to a beauty salon, invest in a facial steamer such as the Fresh Face Facial Steamer by HoMedics. Perfect for tackling dry, oily and combination skin types, the steamer means you can treat yourself to a salon quality facial steam treatment at home. The dual action of heat and ions creates the best skin primer for further beauty treatments or simply for that fresh faced feeling.

9. Eat healthy

Dr Gary Goldfaden, creator of Goldfaden MD Skincare, suggests foods with high water content such as watermelon and cucumber can battle dehydration. He explains, "Eat watermelon or other fruit that has high water content – you get around 5 ounces of water per serving of watermelon so it helps to counteract approx. 1 ½ glasses of alcohol. Eating asparagus may help to protect the liver and has high levels of amino acids."

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10. Restore and rehydrate thirsty hair

Regenerate your shiny locks with Aussie 3 Minute Miracle Moist (from Boots). The product features a super rich formula that will give your hair a big glug of hydration in just three minutes. With Australian Macadamia Nut Oil, this mask is perfect for dry, really thirsty hair.

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