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When the clocks go back at the end of October you know that winter is on its way.

I certainly don’t miss going to work and coming home in the dark or scraping the windscreen before you can even set off, but I do love winter generally.

Wrapping up in extra layers and going for long walks is really enjoyable, but unfortunately the cold weather can take its toll on your skin if it’s not protected.

While the cold air might leave you with a lovely rosy glow, the chances are your face and hands may feel dry, taut and sore.

DOES THIS SOUND FAMILIAR?

Don’t worry. I’ve put together a few tips which might help protect your skin against the elements…

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1. Follow a gentle cleansing routine

Follow a gentle cleansing routine:  Because the wind, rain and cold temperatures are so tough on our skin, it’s important that we are kind to it.

This might mean changing the cleanser you normally use to a creamier one and gently pat your skin dry (don’t rub!)

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2. Exfoliate

A good, effective exfoliant can help remove the dead skin cells from your face or body and reveal the healthy cells underneath.

Your skin will feel fresh afterwards but this step only needs to be done once or twice weekly before you apply the most important moisturiser which will now be easily absorbed.

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3. Moisturise

There is nothing more vital than your moisturiser in the cold weather. As the weather changes so should your skincare also. Look for oil- based rather than water-based moisturisers over the winter.

Non-clogging oils such as evening primrose oil, avocado oil ,olive oil and almond oils are some examples of oils that are great for dry, dehydrated skins.

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4. Don’t forget your hands

I’m sure you are aware that the skin on your hands is thinner and has fewer oil glands than on most parts of your body.

In colder weather, especially when you are going from centrally heated rooms and shops to biting conditions outside, it can be difficult to keep your hands in good condition.

You may find your hands become dry, itchy or that the skin even cracks. Although gloves offer some attention from the elements, wool can actually exacerbate any irritation on your skin so it’s a good idea to wear thin cotton gloves underneath or choose gloves with a cotton lining if this is a problem for you.

As with your face, moisturising your hands with a rich hand cream at least twice a day is an important part of your winter routine.

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5. Our feet deserve attention

In the winter when your feet are bundled up in thick socks and boots, they would benefit from oil-based foot creams.

Hard skin on your heels can build up, so remember they also would benefit from a foot file regularly so that the cream can sink in. Good, regular foot care can help alleviate conditions that can cause damage – sometimes permanent – to your feet and toes.

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6. Look after your lips

There is nothing more annoying as chapped lips caused by cold weather and central heating.

The temptation is to lick them but it’s much easier to apply regular lip balm to moisturise and protect your lips.

They taste yummy as well.