Autumn is now in full swing and winter is coming (not in a Game of Thrones way - hopefully)
Winter can be really tough on your skin. For a lot of people, the winter months can be more than cold and long, they also can bring dry, itchy skin and other skin problems.
Keep reading to Find out how to protect your skin from the harsh winter weather.(Although let’s keep our fingers crossed for a mild winter this year)
Winter skin care essentials
During the winter, most people find that their skin gets drier. This is partly due to the winter weather - cold air and winds dry out the skin. It is also partly due to the things people do to cope with winter, such as turning up the heat and taking hot baths or showers.
As soon as the temperature starts to drop in the Autumn (so right about now), not only will the conversation daily be about how cold it is, it's also time to make a few changes to your skin care routine and switch to a winter skin care routine.
Good winter skin care means changes to the way you clean, moisturise and protect your skin, as well as to your diet, lifestyle and environment.
When the weather is especially cold the temptation to jump in a boiling hot bath is real! However it might seem that a nice hot bath would help keep your skin moist. But hot water actually dries out the skin. Use lukewarm water instead. Spending a long time in the bath or shower can also make your skin drier. Try to limit yourself to about 10 minutes. And use a cleanser that is free of soap and alcohol - soap, alcohol-based cleansers and bubble bath can make your skin drier by removing the protective lipids or oils that help your skin hold onto moisture. You may want to try using a bath or shower gel to help with dry skin.
Moisturising is a critical step in winter skin care. After your bath or shower, pat your skin dry with a towel and apply moisturizer immediately. This way, the moisturiser helps hold moisture in the skin. Moisturiser will also help protect your skin from moisture loss during the day. The choice of moisturiser will depend on your skin type. For more oily skin, an oil-free, non-comedogenic (not causing blemishes) lotion can be used, such as NeoStrata Sheer Hydration. For drier skin, a cream, which contains more lipids or oils and moisturising agents, Hydraface by MCCM is a good choice. Some areas of the skin, such as hands, feet, elbows, nose and lips, are more prone to dryness and may need extra attention. Carry around a small tube of moisturizer and lip balm to give a quick moisture boost throughout the day.
Although cold air dries the skin, the hot dry air that comes from indoor heating can also be a culprit. Personally my thermostat is turned up to the max from October onwards.
If you don't have a climate meter (a device that tells you what the temperature and humidity is in your home), consider getting one. If your home is dry, you may want to invest in a humidifier. If this is not an option, you can also try boiling some water or putting a pot of water on the radiator to increase the moisture in the air (only if you have suitable radiators and did not pose a danger to any babies, children or animals)
By the time winter rolls around, the temptation to eat hot, stodgy and unhealthy meals increases. As hard as it is try to get your five a day! The healthier you are, the healthier your skin will be. In the winter, you may not feel as thirsty, but you still need plenty of water each day to stay hydrated. Keep a water bottle on hand or nearby at home and work to help you get enough fluid. You will need to drink water throughout the day, not just at meals. Eat a balanced diet that includes plenty of fruits and vegetables as well as non-saturated fats (such as fish oils). Other lifestyle changes that will help your skin include quitting smoking, limiting your use of alcohol (very hard during December I know), and getting aerobic exercise for at least 30 minutes per day most days of the week. Basically you need to eat well, drink plenty water and exercise to keep your skin in good health (again this is a challenge during December).
Finally, as always, make sure you wear your SPF every day.
Clinic Manager at Grand Aura