How to beat winter skin

Any season is better than summer. But the fact remains, wintertime can exceptionally harsh on the skin. How should you treat winter skin? What are some of the common mistakes we make, and how to fix them?

Skincare routine

Cold air, wind, central heating that dries the bejesus out of the skin – all of these contribute to excessive dryness and dehydration. In some cases, you might get dry and itchy patches. All of this requires a switch in the skincare routine.

  • swap your regular cleanser for an oil, balm, or milk.
  • dry skin types – switch your moisturiser for a more nourishing cream.
  • oily skin types prone to dehydration – add a moisturiser (if you are only using serum and sunscreen during the warmer months).
  • do several lighter hydrating layers (think antioxidant or hydrating serum, essence, etc.).
  • add products that restore and protect the moisture barrier (ceramides, urea, niacinamide, Hyaluronic acid, prebiotics).
  • for dry and itchy patches of skin, use an ointment to get some comfort and help the skin repair itself.
  • consider including a facial oil in your routine (dry skin lacks both moisture and oil.)
  • vitamin C serum will give the skin brightness (much needed this time of the year) and protect it against free radical damage.
  • chemical exfoliants remove the layer of dead skin cells, which enables your other skincare products to be more effective. That said, don’t go crazy with exfoliation to prevent dryness, sensitivity, and irritation.
  • if your lips get cracked and chapped, gently exfoliate them with a toothbrush and follow up with a lip serum or a balm.

In the home

Central heating lowers the moisture levels in your home. If you can, invest in a humidifier (there are plenty of low-cost options available). Low humidity has also been linked to the airborne spread of Covid-19. Your home isn’t a Covid-19 hotspot. But, a humidifier makes a world of difference to the state of your mucous membranes (speaking from experience here). When the mucous membrane is moist, it makes it less penetrable to viruses.

Bodycare

It’s that time of the year when our skin starts to resemble that of an alligator. A few things you can do to help counteract that:

  • avoid long hot showers and baths. These dry out the skin even further. Lukewarm and warm-ish showers help prevent your skin from losing moisture in the process.
  • after the shower, apply your body lotion to damp skin to seal in the moisture. Don’t forget your feet either, as these can dry out in the winter too.
  • once per week, do a body scrub or dry brush the skin to remove any dead skin cells.

Handcare

Cold winter air and frequent washing can turn hands into a cracked, chapped mess. Have a hand cream handy (see what we did there? We’ll show ourselves out) and reapply throughout the day. During the night, apply an ointment (something like Aquaphor or La Roche Posay Cicaplast Baume B5 Repairing Balm) and let it absorb fully.

None of this is rocket science, just simple adjustments to make it through the winter. What are some of your favourite tips to keep your skin healthy in the wintertime?

Roberta Striga
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