Camille Knowles – wellbeing expert and founder of The Beauty of Eczema shares her top tips on eczema skin care and dealing with common winter skin issues.
Winter weather can play havoc on our complexion – whatever your skin type. And, if like me you suffer from eczema flare ups then this time of the year can be even more problematic… making you want to hibernate until spring when you can emerge like a beautiful butterfly!
I have battled with problem skin during the winter months my whole life and over the years have developed a number of ways to help keep it looking healthy and nourished – whatever the weather. So with some minor tweaks to your skincare regime and the right products you can keep your complexion healthy all season long.
So here are my top tips for maintaining that healthy glow all year round:
1. Check Your Lifestyle
2020 Has been an unprecedented year and stress can take its toll on us in many ways, including our skin. You may not know this, but it can make skin more sensitive by causing a chemical reaction in the body, affect gut health which impacts on the immune system, prevent sleep, affect our appetite, moods and overall mental wellbeing.
Ultimately when we are experiencing periods of stress it can be hard to focus on the lifestyle choices (such as healthy eating, exercise, reaching out to friends, getting out in the great outdoors) that will make us feel better. Focusing on managing the stress in your life and opting for positive coping mechanisms such as exercise, time spent outdoors and meditation or yoga will be reflected in your skin. Believe me, I know!
2. Nourish Yourself From The Inside Out
Winter is typically a time of the year when we retreat indoors and reach for comfort food and perhaps a glass of wine or two. With less social opportunities this year you may be tempted to overindulge at home or reach for junk food and alcohol due to boredom, but this will have a detrimental effect on your skin.
I’m a huge advocate of a Mediterranean diet and all of those healthy fats and vegetables really will help to nourish you from the inside out. Up the amount of green vegetables, oily fish, lean chicken, pulses and good fats that you are eating and your skin will thank you. Reducing the amount of coffee that you drink is also a good idea – in the winter months I opt for hot water and lemon instead of caffeinated hot drinks. Cutting down on alcohol can also help. I’m a huge fan of kombucha – it’s my go to drink for special occasions.
3. Moisturise, Moisturise, Moisturise
This is my mantra all year round, but in the winter I up the ante – a lot. Your skin needs as much hydration that it can get at this time of the year so make sure that you are factoring a little bit of extra TLC into your health and beauty routine.
Take a bit of time to really pamper yourself – it’s important self-care that will make your feel good inside and out. Over the years I have tried out a serious amount of products for sensitive and eczema prone skin. In fact, finding nourishing products that are kind to sensitive skin became such a huge part of my life that I developed my own skincare range of four hydrating products – a Calming Cream, Skin Warrior Wash, Pamper Me Bathing Oil and Salty Soother. Containing a carefully curated selection of natural ingredients, dermatologically tested, vegan and free from nasties these are now my go-to products for nourished and healthy skin.
If you’re looking for a moisturiser with a little bit more gentle nourishment then my Calming Cream with natural butters, omega three and six and oat lipids is the perfect daily skin treat. Whilst anyone looking for the ultimate pre-bedtime pampering then my Salty Soother is a must. With a blend of mineral-rich Pink Himalayan blush, Dead Sea and Epsom salts, infused with soothing and restoring oils to moisturise and soothe the skin, this will set you up perfectly for a blissful night's sleep.
4. Prioritise Sleep
Speaking of sleep, I can’t emphasise enough just how important a good night’s sleep is for your body, mind and your skin! This is the time of the day when your body repairs itself. Whilst you sleep your skin rebuilds collagen, repairs itself from UV exposure and the increased blood flow helps to reduce wrinkles and age spots. Several studies have suggested that between 11pm and 12am is the golden hour so make sure you get to bed in good time to benefit from the skin boosting benefits.
5. Keep Warm
It may sound obvious but wrapping up and protecting your skin against the elements will have a beneficial effect – especially if you have sensitive skin and are prone to eczema flare ups. Gloves, scarves, hats, big coats and lots of layers – I am always bundled up in the winter months, keeping my skin hidden from the harsh winter weather. If your skin is particularly sensitive remember to go for wool-free gloves to prevent irritation.
For more wellbeing and skincare advice and tips from Camille, or information about The Beauty of Eczema skincare range, please visit www.thebeautyofeczema.com.