The sensitive skin on the face can be prone to irritation which causes dry, itchy, red and flaky patches.
Here's our top hot tips for getting a smoother complexion!
1. Use warm water and mild facial cleansers.
Warm water relaxes your pores and makes it easier to wash your face, but hot water can cause your skin to dry out faster! The ideal water temperature when washing your face should be lukewarm. Heat is a natural exfoliator, so hot water is great when you want to strip your skin of dead skin cells and oils, but should be avoided if you have dryness which is more prominent in winter through icy winter winds and staying inside with ducted heating.
Body soaps are way too harsh for the skin on your face, try a natural, fragrance and soap-free cleanser specifically formulated for the face. Avoid those with sodium lauryl sulfate, a surfactant known to steal moisture as well as astringents like alcohol. These cleansers normally don't lather like soap but are less harsh and not drying.
2. Pat your skin dry.
Avoid rubbing a dry towel over your skin after washing your face. Instead,pat gently with a dry, soft towel for approx 15 seconds. You don't want to completely dry the skin, it should just be moist to the touch. Using a towel that has soft fibres works best such as a Terry cloth.
3. Apply moisturisers daily, especially after cleansing.
A moisturising lotion or cream should be applied generously over your face right after you wash it. The skin should self retain a little moisture as when you apply on wet skin, it traps it so it lasts for a longer period. Using a cream or lotion that is meant for the face is the best bet as they are lighter than body creams. Look for one that has stearic acid or glycerin listed in the ingredients as they replace the protective layer on your skin which holds in the moisture.
4. Exfoliate your skin with a baby's washcloth.
Trading an exfoliating scrub for a baby's washcloth allows you to remove dead skin cells more gently than a harsh exfoliating scrub. Commercial face exfoliators strip your skin of excess oil and dead skin but also cause irritation and redness to sensitive skin types.
It is important to exfoliate away dead skin cells to encourage new ones, but using a baby's washcloth with a splash of water and massaging in small circular motions will be just as effective with out the damage.
5. Consider applying an aloe vera face mask.
The aloe plant contains properties which can soothe red, irritated skin and re-hydrate dry, flaking skin.
A great DIY mask is as easy as breaking open a fresh aloe leaf and gently massaging the sap that leaks out onto your face after washing your skin. Let it sit on your skin for 15 minutes before you rinse it off. Try it once a week for best results. If you cannot find fresh aloe plants, you can use a commercial aloe vera gel or a commercial mask with aloe vera as an ingredient.
6. Try an occasional egg facial!
Separate an egg; whip the egg whites. Spread it all over your face. Wait 10 minutes, then wash it off. Repeat with egg yolk. Pat your face down. Moisturize face with lotion. Enjoy your soft, smooth skin.
7. Go make up free, a couple of days a week.
Make up, no matter how natural has a drying and not to mention ageing effect on the skin. By going make up free you are allowing your skin to breathe and maintain it's natural hydrating oil levels.
8. Keep your face covered when outside.
Use products that contain sunscreen to protect your face from harsh UV rays. Sun damage is one of the main culprits behind most skin problems. In the winter, when the air is cold and dry, wrap a scarf around the lower half of your face before heading out. Cold air sucks the moisture from your skin, so covering your face will reduce this.
9. Add moisture to your environment.
You can infuse moisture into the air by running a humidifier in your bedroom at night to prevent the air from drying out too much. Try to keep the humidity in your room at about 50 percent. Since your resting hours are the time your body takes to repair your skin, this tip works best at night. Air from air conditioners and ducted heaters can cause your face to shed skin cells too quickly, which means you might develop flaky skin over some areas of your face, so avoid running these through the night and ensure that the room you sleep in is somewhat humid.
As an alternative, you could also place a pot of water near your ducted heater vent or place a naturally humidifying plant, like a Boston palm, bamboo fern, or Ficus alii, in your bedroom.