THE OWNER of a specialist skin clinic is helping people to nurture their skin through short online tutorials with proceeds going to charity.

In these tutorials Kathy Scott, owner of Ginger Tree Holistic Skin and Lifestyle Clinic, will be teaching clients how to do a home care facial or hand reflexology.

Here she shares her top tips for managing your skin and wellbeing during the harsh winter months.

Read more: Plans to convert former film studio into specialist secondary school

She says: “I love all the seasons and winter makes me feel cosy and I tend to take the opportunity to hibernate a bit more. But clients often tell me how much their skin changes at this time of year. There are many factors that create this situation.

“Eating more refined sugars, colder, wetter, windier weather, central heating, sitting in front of the fire, car heating on high as we drive about, all take their toll on us in many ways, including how our skin functions.

“And if that wasn’t enough, our immune and cardiovascular systems work harder during winter months, requiring more of our energy.

“The basic starting point for healthy skin is a well-functioning skin barrier. We have several mechanisms within the skin that provide us with protection. These are our skin barrier functions. Some of the symptoms of loss of barrier functionality, include increased sensitivity, redness, dryness (less natural oil), dehydrated (loss of water) – classic winter skin.

“In cold, windy weather, the cardiovascular system is under more pressure because our blood vessels constrict, so the heart prioritises pumping blood to the vital organs, and blood flow to the skin decreases.

“As the blood delivers oxygen and nutrients to every organ, it means the skin receives lower levels of these essential nutrients.

“The skin is part of our overall immune system, it is the physical barrier against unwanted ‘baddies’ in the environment. When our general immune system is compromised or under pressure in winter, then the skin’s immunity becomes compromised too.

“Which is why we lose water from our skin, and it becomes dry and flaky, and inflammatory conditions such as dermatitis can get worse in winter.

“Keeping warm and fighting off infections requires more energy. This demand on our bodies leads to something called “winter tiredness” – higher levels of fatigue and lack of energy.

Get more news from The Northern Echo for just £4 for 4 months for a limited time only here

“The darker, shorter days, poor weather conditions affect us too. We are more sedentary, eat more comfort food, which increase water retention and inflammation.

“Sugars and refined carbohydrates also damage collagen and create premature ageing. We can put on weight and less sunlight can disrupt our circadian rhythms, meaning poor sleep directly affects our skin as cortisol the stress hormone increases.

“What can we do to help our skin health and still enjoy the delights of the winter season?

“Well, everything in moderation for a start, but specifically we can embrace winter and not expect ourselves to live in the same way as we do in spring or summer. We can make minor adaptations which will give big benefits.

“We may not want to be outdoors as much to exercise, but we can keep moving. There are so many online opportunities now to join exercise classes like yoga, pilates, dancing, meditation and mindfulness.

Read next:

“I also count clearing out the cupboards, decluttering and re-grouping my thinking for the next year as exercise!

“Taking supplements in my view is healing the skin and supports our bodies from the inside out. Vitamins D, B, C, E, Omegas and Zinc are nutrients that can help nurture us through winter.”

Kathy Scott is an award-winning skin specialist and owner of Ginger Tree Holistic Skin and Lifestyle Clinic. Kathy Scott’s winter home sessions are £10 with all proceeds going to Herriot Hospice Homecare. You can book here: