Winter is particularly harsh on our skin. Constantly bundling up against the cold means we don't allow our skin to breathe very often. As if that wasn't enough, there's the fact that most of us are taking hotter-than-usual showers and baths more often to try warm up our icy extremeties, and wash away essential natural oils in the process. And that's only the beginning of our skin's winter woes...
Bitter winter winds also cause chapping and windburn which leads to rough skin that feels tight and uncomfortable.
Make sure to leave no skin exposed when out in the elements. Winter is particularly harsh on your skin as the air lacks moisture, drying up your skin’s natural oils.
Here are a few tips on how to take good care of your skin in winter:
Stay warm not hot. Whilst your first reaction may be to warm up your house as much as possible, this sudden temperature change can harm your skin. Indoor heating systems dry the air inside affecting your skin much the same as if you were outside.
That goes for bath time too. Those extra-hot baths may not be as good for you as you think. Prolonged exposure to water, especially hot water, can wash away the natural oils that protect your skin and lock in moisture.
Create moisture indoors. Use a humidifier to keep moisture circulating indoors. The humidifier is your skin's best friend in winter as it hydrates and keeps it supple.
Use a good hand cream regularly. This is especially important if you hardly or never wear gloves as your skin is constantly exposed to the winter chill.
We often forget about our hands (despite the fact that we constantly use them), so make sure to use moisturiser in the morning, at night and when washing hands.
Make careful decisions about your soap and laundry products. Steer clear of harsh soaps that will strip your skin of its protective oils.
One of the biggest reasons for dry skin is due to using harsh soap which is typical of heavily deodorised soaps and antibacterial soaps. Soaps which contain lye can cause irritation to dry and sensitive skin.
Wear loose-fitting, cotton clothing when you can. This will allow your skin to breathe a bit. Often bundling up against the cold can mean smothering your skin.
Adjust your skincare regimen. Take into account that your skin will need more nourishment in winter - invest in a slightly richer moisturiser.
Be aware that if you have any pre-existing skin problems winter weather may increase the problem.
Even healthy skin can get irritated, so make sure to pay attention to how your skin is feeling and add extra moisture if necessary.
Try coconut oil. Use this on your skin and hair to lock in the moisture – our hair and skin become dry as a result of the stripping of natural oils which lets moisture escape.
Give your lips extra attention. To avoid your lips chapping and splitting remember to apply lip-ice whenever you remember and at least once a day.
Edited by Bryony Whitehead