Tips for preventing Dry Winter Skin
It’s that time of year again to turn the heating on and snuggle next to a wood-burning stove or even a radiator when it’s cold outside. However, if you are prone to suffer more with your skin in the Autumn and Winter you can now learn some basic tips to help you prevent dry winter skin.
Many people suffer from dry winter skin: dry patches as well as getting an itchy feeling on the shins, back or all on the body. Dry patches on the hands and chapped lips are also common in autumn and winter. The cause is clear: dry air. There is not much we can do about that in the winter, so it’s important to be extra kind to your skin. We have put together a few good remedies to inspire you.
1. Moisten the Air
The heating makes the air in the house drier. The quickest and easiest way to rectify this problem is to hang some water containers on the radiators. The water evaporates, causing the humidity in the house to increase again. The extra moisture in the air will allow your skin more moisture from the inside: drink extra water, tea and delicious juices. Eating lots of fruit and vegetables is also good for your skin, especially things like nuts and avocado: these foods contain many healthy fats that improve the condition of your skin. You can also keep your skin hydrated throughout the day with a moisturiser. If you use a face serum it will allow the moisturiser to penetrate deeper into your skin. It is also important during the winter to keep your skin protected from the sun with a good sun protection SPF. It is important to get Vitamin D from the sun during the winter months but also to remember to keep your body protected. It is just as important during the winter skin as it is during the warmer months. Also, remember that sometimes dry skin may seem like you have wrinkles but it is just dehydration lines.
2. Exfoliate and Remove Dry Skin
Winter weather can cause your body to become dry and flake. The dead skin flakes cause additional irritation and itching. A good exfoliation ensures that your skin becomes smooth, supple and soft again. By regularly using a good scrub to gently remove dead skin cells you will allow your skincare products to work better and thus rehydrating your skin more.
Here is an example of a homemade mild scrub you can use in the shower in the bath. (Tip: mixing sugar with some olive oil makes a super- fine scrub!) and gently massage your skin.
Do not rub too hard and do not scrub too often. If you are scrubbing around your eye area be extra careful. If you then lubricate immediately after drying with a moisturizing body lotion or use a body oil. Areas around your elbows and knees may need some extra care. Scrubbing your skin varies per person depending on what type you have if you are dry, sensitive, combination or oily. Each type requires a different way of treating it. If you aim to start with this one a week it will help keep away any dryness.
3. Avoid taking Hot Showers
Taking a long and hot shower is very tempting if you are completely numb from the cold. Do not! A short, less warm shower is better for your skin, better for your hair and also better for the environment. Beware of shower gels and other soaps: dry types are prone to get irritated quickly, so that you may experience more problems with itching or a feeling of tautness. Get a shower product that is tailored to a more dry and sensitive type. If you are feeling really itchy, take a warm bath (not too hot) with a few spoons of oatmeal. Oatmeal has also been known to have healing properties for Eczema sufferers. This grain has a calming effect on the skin and will soothe the itchiness. Drying after showering or soaking is best done with dabs. Do not rub!
4. Keep your body hydrated
As long as the heating is on, it is important to keep protecting yourself from getting dehydrated. Good cremes to care for your body is, therefore, really important so rehydrate to treat or prevent dry winter skin! The greasier the product, the better. Cocoa butter, shea butter or Vaseline are all great for dry types on the body.
Do not apply these products to your face: you may suffer from pimples. A special day and night cream for dry skin is better. Spoil your hands in the evening before bedtime with a greasy hand cream that slowly sinks into the skin all night. Do not forget to frequently rub your dry lips with a good balm. FoIn this way you will pass itchy, chapped and peel-free through the winter.
5. Wear Soft Breathable Fabrics
In the UK, many people like to wear knitted wool jumpers and fleece jackets in the winter months, especially when there’s a cold snap. However, wool can irritate dry and sensitive types so always opt for an undergarment made of a smooth fabric, such as a pure cotton t-shirt or a silky vest. Silk sheets and pillows cases are also preferable to cotton as they don’t ‘catch’ on the skin or take moisture from the skin in the way that cotton ones do. Alternative bamboo is also a good substitute for wool as it is more gentle on the skin.
Do you have any tips?What helps you?
Sources: Aesthetics Journal, British Skin Foundation.