Dry skin is a common problem, and it's one that grows significantly in the winter as the cold weather causes our skin to lose moisture and hydration.
Our Winter Skin School seeks to advise you on the simple steps you can take to keep your skin healthy and hydrated this winter.
Source: Bob Peace
MoisturiseWhilst a light moisturiser is perfect for the summer, in the winter months it is vital to invest in a heavier moisturiser that specifically targets dry skin and aims to lock moisture in.
Moisturising helps to boost your skins hydration levels and rejuvenate any dullness by conserving water in the epidermis (outer layer of the skin) and locking in your skin’s natural oils.
It is important to make sure you use a suitable moisturiser; one that is rich and nourishing to restore moisture levels and rejuvenate your skin.
Whilst your moisturiser needs to be quenching, it also helps to look for one that offers quick absorption, enabling application of make up shortly after moisturising.
As appealing as it may be on a cold winter morning, a hot shower is one of the worst things you can do when trying to prevent dry skin. Hot water causes the skin to lose hydration as it removes sebum from the surface of the skin.
Furthermore, showering for a prolonged period of time removes the natural oils that protect your skin. This causes your skin cells to shed at a faster pace, leading to dry and flaky skin.
Therefore, it is vital to ensure the temperature is warm rather than hot when showering and washing your face. This reduces the pace of cell turnover and prevents the dehydration process. Followed by a post-shower body moisturising routine, your skin will feel soft and smooth.
You may be feeling confused as to why we recommend wearing sunscreen in the winter months. Surprisingly, UV light is present all-year round; even in rain and snow! These rays damage your skin cells, decrease elasticity, reduce skin immunity and contribute to ageing skin.
Consultant dermatologist Dr Noor Almaani notes, ‘Sun protection should be a habitual part of the daily routine and ideally it should be practiced all year round.’
As the sensitivity of your skin is already heightened in winter, sun damage can have dire effects upon your skins health. Therefore, sunscreen should be an essential part of your winter skincare routine.
Our lips are another area that often suffers from dryness in the winter months. The skin on our lips offers only a thin layer of protection from the harsh effects of winter weather. Furthermore, our lips contain few of the essential oil glands required to contain moisture and resist dehydration.
You can combat chapped lips by simply applying a nourishing lip balm. This forms a protective coating to shield your lips from drying out and seals in moisture. Dr Woolery-Lloyd highlights important ingredients to look for when choosing your lip balm; ‘Petrolatum is occlusive and traps in moisture.’ Dimethincone and beeswax have a similar effect.
It also helps to gently exfoliate your lips every week to eradicate any indication of dry and flaky skin. This can be done with a washcloth or a lip scrub and removes any dead skin, smoothing the surface of your lips.
Nourishing your body from the inside can help to keep your skin hydrated and rich in the fatty acids required to combat dry skin.
Source: Free Stock Photos
Firstly, Vitamin C should become a staple part of your diet. This is due to its ability to induce collagen formation, a necessary element for skin moisture. Citrus fruits and dark leafy greens are rich in Vitamin C.
If your skin is lacking in fats, this leads to water loss and therefore results in dehydrated, dry skin.
Omega-3 fatty acids help to restore hydration to your skin. Omega-3 can be found in a variety of foods including salmon, nuts, flax seeds and avocados.
To find out more about the benefits of these foods please read our previous post.
As the weather gets colder; many of us turn to our central heating systems for warmth. However, such systems can have negative effects on our skin.
The hot dry air removes moisture and dries out our skin. A humidifier will generate and release moisture into the air, preventing your skin from drying out.
When the weather takes a turn for the worse this winter, be sure to follow the steps above. Your skin will thank you for it!