Health & Fitness
Winter-Proof Your Skin
November 29, 2018
Harsh winds and icy cold temperatures can strip away your skin's moisture levels leaving it feeling tight and dry. Indoors, central heating and the extra layers of clothes you wear can prevent your skin from getting the air it needs to properly breathe. As the season changes, so too should your skin care routine. The key to soft and supple skin all year round is simply to adapt your skin care routine to the elements around you. So as we approach the cooler months, it’s time to set in place a new regime that takes into account the extra bite of blistering winds and freezing temperatures. So here you have it, your winter skin survival guide – all you need to know to ensure you have baby- soft skin even after exposure to the harshest of elements.
There is nothing more soothing than a nice, long, hot shower. But what you may not know is that using hot water in your bath or shower dries your skin and removes the essential natural moisturizers your skin needs to stay healthy. For the sake of your skin, resist the temptation and try shorter showers with warm water. While you’re lathering up, go easy on the soap! Soap strips the complexion of its natural, protective oils – which no moisturizer can replace – leaving it exposed to the elements. As much as you can avoid strong soaps, opt for super-fatted soaps such as Dove or Neutrogena. Super-fatted soaps have more fatty substances such as cold cream, cocoa butter, coconut oil, or lanolin than regular soaps. In addition to harsh soaps, avoid alcohol-based cleansers. While it is essential to cleanse your skin at night to remove dirt and makeup, you can skip this step in the morning and simply rinse with luke-warm water before applying a moisturizer.
The golden rule when the elements are at their worst is moisturize, moisturize, moisturize! At base, moisturizers are a mix of oil and water, and although all of the moisture evaporates almost as soon as it is applied to skin the oils in the formulation sit on the skin's surface, preventing the skin's own natural moisture reserves from escaping. If remembering this means keeping a bottle of moisturizer in your car, bathroom, kitchen or handbag, then so be it. During the colder months it’s important to moisturize your body at least twice a day – immediately after showering and before you go to bed. After showering it’s best to pat dry and apply moisturizer immediately. When skin is damp, moisturizer is absorbed more effectively than if skin were completely dry and the additional moisture is trapped in the skin. Don’t forget to exfoliate! Exfoliation is an essential part of your skin care routine, be it summer or winter. Moisturizers can not penetrate through layers of dead skin so when applied to non-exfoliated skin, the result will still be dry-patches and flaky makeup.
Whilst feet are always perfectly pedicured and well maintained in the summer months, when the colder weather comes in they tend to get neglected and often become dry and cracked. A quick fix you can try at home is soaking your feet in warm water and lavender oil. Afterwards try massaging them with Vaseline Petroleum Jelly and wearing socks overnight to seal in the moisture. It’s a perfect treat for cracked heels and dry feet.
When the temperature outside drops, the heat inside increases, another factor which contributes to dry skin. Consider purchasing a humidifier especially for the bedroom. Pans of water, plants placed next to the radiator or simply draping a damp towel over the radiator can have the same effect as a humidifier, helping to boost the air's moisture level. Want the simplest solution? Turn the dial a little to the right and lower the heat!
Remember, not only does dehydrated skin droop and sag, it could be your body’s way of sending an SOS signal – well-moisturized skin provides a barrier that keeps out infectious bacteria, viruses, and fungi, and it protects against friction. So don’t let winter get the better of you, follow these simple tips to keep your skin feeling and looking healthy sun, rain, hail or shine.