If you're anything like me, you'll understand my pain when I say, I DESPISE mornings that are too cold for me. From as young as I can remember I've never been a fan of winter. Sure the hoodies and hot chocolates are great, but when I know winter is coming, I start mentally prepping for those harsh early mornings, when I'm up before the sun, (or anyone else in the house), so its up to me to jump out of my warm cosy bed... to turn the heating on.
Luckily; I have the perfect routine to shake those winter blues and get ready for the day.
So once I decide to soldier up and go turn the heating on whilst everyone remain sleeping peacefully, I like to go feed my cat and give her some morning loving, (as you do). Pop my Chaii on the cooker and maybe make a quick brekky (depending how much time I have).
When my Chaii is nice and piping hot, I head back up stairs, settle it down and get ready to take my morning shower. Now this is the most crucial part:
Do not, I repeat, DO NOT jump into a boiling hot shower. For so many reasons.. it is the worst thing you can really do. No matter how tempted you are, to feel the warmth of the water hug you back, I promise you, it's not worth it.
Because...YOU ARE DAMAGING YOUR SKIN BARRIER
The heat of the water is stripping the natural oils that your skin produces to protect you, leaving your skin exposed to free radicals, allergens, irritants & environmental stressors. It dries out your skin, leaving it cracked, un-nourished and SCREAMING FOR HELP.
When your skin barrier is damaged, weakened or broken, you can be sure to tell through the many different signs;
- Your skin feels uncomfortably tight
- A break out in body acne
- Your skin is dry, inflamed, irritated
- You might even start to develop or worsen Keratosis Polaris ( we'll touch on this in another blog..)
- Your skin doesn't retain hydration or moisture as well
- Loss of elasticity and firmness
- You can even be prone to contracting bacterial and fungal infections.
Yeah... all that & more from using hotter than should be water in your baths and showers. Now I know some of you may believe the old myth that 'the hotter the water the cleaner you are' and yeah, it's not true. You are not metal and you do not need to be sterilized by boiling water. Your skin requires gentle cleansing to perform at its optimal ability.
So what are you meant to do ?? Shower in Ice cold water! Yeah, no thanks. Here's the hack...
Close your bathroom door, turn your shower on to the hottest temperature and let the water run for a few minutes. In this time, take the opportunity to brush your teeth and wash your face. Yes, wash your face before you shower. Now everyone has their own way of doing things, but here's why my way is better.. While your showering, your face is getting a deeper cleanse from the steam & it's immensely hydrating. (Try it for 7 days, and then thank me later...I like Lindor chocolate if you want to send gifts)
So once you're done with washing your face, and the room is all steamy, turn the temperature down to lukewarm, now you can jump in and enjoy your reasonably warm shower..
You might think I'm pushing it too far now, but if you are brave enough to try, the next tip is for you. Once your done cleansing, scrubbing, singing or whatever you get up to, turn that temperature to as cold as you can tolerate and rinse for 30 seconds - 2 minutes! I know the whole point is to avoid the cold right? But cold water offers SO many benefits physically and mentally, just to name a few;
- Promotes blood circulation
- Skin tightening
- Reduces stress
- Increases alertness
- Improves energy levels & SO MUCH MORE.
So that sounds all good and well right, but the most daunting part of all of this is when you have to get OUT of the warm shower and sprint to your room in the space of 4 seconds without slipping and spraining your ankle because its too cold to bear... well this is where my FAVOURITE part comes into play.. lathering up in the world's most velvety, fluffiest, moisturising body butter
- The Everyday Soufflé
This is the final and definitely most satisfying part of a shower. Turn off your water, PAT (not rub) your skin dry with a towel and make sure your hands are dry before sticking them in the tub of soufflé. Apply your soufflé generously all over your body to really lock in all that hydration and warmth that you gained from the steam. When I first discovered that rubbing my soufflé all over, while still in the shower, not only gives me nourished, soft skin, but also keeps me warm when walking out of my bathroom, back out into the cold air .. I was shook. I have never had a daunting winter morning since! Honestly it's been a game changer.
So now I'm ready to take on the day confidently no matter how cold it is, and bonus, I still have my Chaii waiting for me in my room.
*Disclaimer; I am not a licensed dermatologist and any advice given is purely subjective to personal experience. Please consult a professional if you struggle with medical, chronic conditions or are pregnant.