Winter can wreak havoc on your skin and when you have sore, dried skin it can feel as though there is no escape from it. Cold weather, icy rain and blustery winds can zap moisture away from your skin, damaging your skin barrier. Even things that you think might counterbalance the effects of cold weather, such as an open fire or warm shower can further damage your skin and lessen the appearance of natural oils in the skin.
Thankfully, there are ways that you can take care of your skin during the winter months and combat the causes of dry skin to keep it well moisturised and supple during the winter. Even just a few small changes to your daily routine can make a huge difference. With that in mind, here a few top tips that you can add to your daily routine!
Whenever you wash your hands, face or body, you’re removing some of the natural oils that lie on the skin’s surface. These oils help to lock in moisture, so getting rid of them is a sure way to develop dry and damaged skin. Make it a habit that, each time you do wash your hands, face or body, straight after you apply a lotion or cream to replace the moisture lost during washing.
When it comes to moisturising your face, you should look into the addition of oils and serums to your daily routine as these can create an additional hydration barrier between your skin and your moisturiser, creating a supple, dewy glow.
At the end of a long cold day, or if getting in from a particularly chilly outing, getting into a nice hot shower or bath can feel especially soothing. But, did you know that in order to keep your skin feeling nourished and soft, you should avoid harsh water temperatures? Hot water can strip your skin of its natural oils faster than lukewarm water, causing damage to the skin’s barrier and making it feel drier than before.
When taking a bath or shower, try to use warm water as opposed to hot water to keep your skin feeling healthy. When drying afterwards, avoid vigorously rubbing your skin dry and, instead, gently pat down using a towel, as this will allow some of the moisture to hydrate the top layer of your skin. If applying moisturiser, some people choose to apply it when the skin is still ever so slightly damp, as it is said that this helps to retain some further moisture.
When you’ve got dry, flaky skin, it’s natural to want to reach for an exfoliator to buff away the dead skin cells. Whilst regularly exfoliating does help to keep your skin vibrant and smooth, it is possible to over-exfoliate if you use the wrong products or do it incorrectly. When you exfoliate over dry and flaky skin, you can cause it to flare up and become even more irritated, which only starts the vicious cycle again.
If your skin does look dry or flaky, then use a chemical exfoliator, such as salicylic acid, instead. Scrubs which contain large particles are more likely to break down your skin’s moisture barrier, causing further damage. If your skin is dry, raw, cracked or irritated, then exfoliating can only cause further, extensive damage which can take longer to heal. After exfoliating, be sure to follow up with a soothing tonic and moisturiser.
One of the biggest factors in terms of skin hydration is to ensure you are drinking plenty of water and eating enough fruits and vegetables as part of your daily diet. Not drinking enough can impact the appearance of your skin and cause it to look dull, tired and leaves it more susceptible to drying out.
As well as staying hydrated by drinking plenty of water, you should also look to support your skin’s health through your diet. Eating plenty of leafy greens, fruits such as watermelon, mango and apple (as well as other high water content fruits) can also help boost the health of your skin. These foods can protect your skin from environmental damage and also help boost the production of healthy skin cells.
You should also look at increasing your intake of vitamins and supplements to further support not only your skin’s health, but your overall health too. Vitamins such as vitamin D, vitamin C and vitamin A can all play a huge role in the health of your skin. Magnesium supplements, multivitamins and zinc and collagen supplements can also help to keep your skin healthy as they can contain anti-inflammatory properties that are useful during the winter months.