Skincare is super important, especially in harsh weather conditions. Cold, dry air can leave your skin itchy, red, and irritated. The cold air robs the natural moisture from your skin, leaving it dry and itchy. It can even cause severe dry skin, eczema, and psoriasis. That’s why you need to take care of it. Combat dry winter skin and keep it at its best with these tips for retaining your skin’s natural moisture.
Limit your shower time and keep the temp low
When it’s cold out, all we want is a long, hot shower, but this is actually not the greatest decision for your skin. Hot showers can dry out and irritate your skin. Research shows how the hot water causes damage to the keratin cells that are located on the most outer layer of our skin — the epidermis. By disrupting these cells, it creates dry skin and prevents the cells from locking in moisture. It’s best to have a 5-to-10-minute-long lukewarm shower or bath instead.
Keep applying your SPF
Even though the days are cold and grey, our skin still needs SPF to protect it. Whilst there is less UVB around in winter, levels of UVA (or UV-ageing as it is known in the skincare world) are still significant enough to age our skin. Both UVA and UVB cause cellular and DNA damage that lead to the hallmarks of photo-aged skin: lines, wrinkles, thickened texture, and hyperpigmentation. They can also lead to skin cancers. La Roche Posay does a wide range of facial SPF formulas that suit every skin type.
Use a gentle cleanser
Our skin is already dried out from the cold weather, but using a harsh cleanser can make it 10 times worse. Many cleansers contain irritating ingredients such as alcohol and fragrance that strip our skin of its natural oils and, with prolonged use, can damage our moisture barrier and cause red, sore skin. Try oil- or cream-based hydrating cleansers. Cerave Hydrating Cleanser is an affordable option that has been raved about by even high-end skincare experts.
Don’t over exfoliate
While our skin is dry, sometimes all we want to do is exfoliate with a scrub or acid treatment to get rid of that feeling of build-up. However, when your skin is already irritated from the weather, exfoliating too often can cause long-term damage and make your skin far worse. Exfoliating your skin once a week is fine – this helps in boosting skin regeneration and better product absorption. A gentle exfoliating option, like Lactic Acid, can suit many different skin types.
Use a humidifier
Having central heating on often makes the air dry, and dry air can pull the moisture from your skin. Humidifiers help increase air hydration levels by forcing moisture into the environment. Skincare research shows hydration is important to keep toxins flushed and fluid moving efficiently through the capillaries. The skin needs natural oils in order to maintain healthy cells and eliminate waste, as well as not cause oil production to go into overdrive.
Alter your skincare routine
Even for people with oily skin, freezing weather can dry our skin out. That’s why as the weather changes, your skincare should change too. For the warmer months, a light gel-based moisturiser may have been great, but to heal your skin from the harsh elements, a heavier cream can be beneficial for the colder times of year in order to repair and heal your skin. Other skincare products, such as hyaluronic acid and facial oils, can also make a huge difference in soothing irritated or dry winter skin.