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If you think your skin and body takes a pounding in the summer, that’s nothing compared to Autumn and Winter. The colder months can signal a whole host of problems including dry skin, eczema, colds and a distinct lack of motivation. So while the last few sunny days are still lighting the way, here are 6 changes you can make to your daily routine to keep your mind and body healthy and happy throughout Autumn.
In the summer, your skin sweats and pores get clogged more easily. This lends itself well to a richer cleanser, one that gives your face the deep clean it needs. But as the weather turns colder, these products often become too harsh for your skin. Cold weather requires a little more TLC so try switching to a more mild cleanser throughout the winter months.
To keep your skin soft and protected, try a cleanser that contains oatmeal extract, chamomille or vitamin E, all known for their soothing properties on dry or irritated skin. We love this Rituals Mild Facial Cleansing Milk or the Sensitive cleanser from Burt’s Bees.
Other ways to ensure your skin stays flawless throughout Autumn is to avoid using alcohol-based toners, which dry out the face. Don’t forget to include SPF protection in your daily routine too – you may not see the sun as much in the Autumn but it’s still there and the rays are just as damaging as they are in the summer months. Ensure you use at least SPF 15, which has UVA and UVB protection, to ensure your skin is protected from skin cancer and premature ageing. If you don’t like the thick texture of a traditional sunscreen, try Ark Skincare’s Skin Protector SPF 30 Primer, which creates the perfect make-up base, while offering a broad spectrum defence against the sun and its harmful properties.
Thanks to colder weather and central heating systems, moisturiser is the fastest selling beauty product throughout the winter months. To ensure your skin stays silky smooth and doesn’t become a victim to winter eczema or dry patches, choose a thicker moisturiser and use it twice per day, once in the morning and once at night so that the skin absorbs as much as possible.
The Organic Pharmacy’s Ultra Dry Skin Cream calms and soothes dry skin and contains soothing organic ingredients such as Evening Primrose and Rose Hip Oil, to restore skin and retain moisture. For a slightly cheaper alternative, try L’Occitane’s Ultra Rich Shea Butter Body Lotion which is rich in shea butter, honey and sweet almond to help add moisture to dry skin.
With the colder weather comes a natural inclination to eat tummy-warming meals that are heartier and more filling. Unfortunately, such carb-heavy dishes can suck the energy from you and leave you feeling bloated and uncomfortable.
A great alternative to sausage and mash type-belly warmers can be a homemade creamy soup. Easy to make and containing at least 2 or 3 of your five a day, this is a great way to give in to your comfort food craving while still staying healthy and providing your body with the nutrients it needs.
We love this Butternut Squash soup recipe from Mary Berry as an example.
To make the most of your meals throughout the winter months, try to plan around the foods that are in season. This will ensure you’re eating fresh, delicious fruits and vegetables rather than those that have been genetically modified to grow within the winter months or that have been imported. Autumn is a great time for Pumpkin, Pheasant, Swede and Sea Bass, whereas Winter is best for Chestnuts, Clementines, Geese, Brussel Sprouts and Cranberries. If in doubt, think of the types of foods you would see in a traditional Christmas dinner or Thanksgiving feast- these would have been the only foods available before Genetic Modification was even a thing, so it can often be a good indication of seasonality.
There is nothing worse than waking up ready for your morning run to a cold, wet, miserable day. Even the most enthusiastic of us can get disheartened when it comes to getting active in the winter. But it’s important to keep your body strong and healthy all year round, particularly if you want to indulge in extra chocolates and red wine on those cosy Sunday afternoons.
Instead of your usual outdoor routine, try downloading an app like Nike Training Club which gives you an amazing selection of exercises – all of which can be done indoors! This app even lets you play your own music to the movements so there’s nothing to stop you getting motivated from the comfort of your own living room.
Our poor hair doesn’t seem to get much of a break does it? In the summer it’s blasted with hot weather and salty water and in the winter it’s subject to drying heating systems and harsh winds. If yours needs a little TLC, invest in a nourishing oil such as Coconut and apply it once a week alongside your regular routine. Also switch up your usual shampoo for one that’s moisture rich and free from nasty sulphates (the foaming agent which dries your hair out).
Autumn and Winter bring with it some of the most exciting festivities of the year; bonfire night, halloween, Christmas and the start of a great new year. But the change of seasons can also have an effect on our mood and mental wellbeing. The days get shorter and much darker, which can mean that you leave in the dark each morning and return home in the dark each night. For those with SAD (seasonal affective disorder) this can upset the hormone balance and cause symptoms of depression.
To combat this, try investing in a specially made SAD lamp, which gives out the type of light that your body (and mind) recognises as natural sunlight, bringing with it all of the benefits and helping to chase those sad feelings away. You can also invest in a cheap Vitamin D supplement to make up what you would usually receive from the sun and eat lots of Vit-D rich foods such as fatty fishes like Tuna and Mackerel, Milk, Yoghurts and Eggs.
Even if it’s cold and wet outside try to get outdoors and spend time with friends and family as much as possible. There’s nothing more refreshing than a fresh, Winter walk in the crisp, cold air. Having company may feel like the last thing you want to do when you’ve got the winter blues, but after a short while being around people who you love and who love you, will undoubtedly boost your mood and those feel good pheromones.
Beth is a Writer and Digital Marketer who founded The Full Agenda as a place to talk about the things that kept her and her friends up at night. Currently working as a Marketing consultant to various SMEs she is a big fan of the startup market and loves technology, apps and anything social media related. When not obsessively checking Google Analytics, she can be found reading, writing or relaxing with a glass of Prosecco.
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