Suffer with dry, cracked skin? Give your complexion a hit of hydration with these genius tips
We know only too well how the colder months can cause havoc with your complexion. Cooler temperatures increase the risk of dry, cracked and irritated skin. But have you ever wondered exactly why this happens?
Dry skin occurs when it doesn’t retain sufficient moisture. This can be caused by a number of reasons including frequent bathing, use of harsh soaps, ageing, or certain medical conditions. Winter season poses problems because outdoor and indoor humidity levels are low. Typically, our skin reflects a similar humidity to the environment around it.
We’re exposed to low humidity and windy environments during the winter, and as a result, accelerates water loss through the skin. Water loss is further accelerated by direct heat that blows on the skin— this is caused by the heaters we use in the car and at home.
The reason skin often dries out during the winter is because of the environmental changes we are exposed to and the things we do to try to keep warm.
What can you do to avoid dry skin?
Turn down the heat.
Ideally, showers should be cool to tepid and should be kept short (less than three minutes). Long, hot showers might thaw you out in the short term but will eventually dry skin out even more. Turning down the heating is a good idea too, so water loss is not accelerated.
Avoid soap and use soap-free wash instead.
Soap-free washes remove dirt and grime but leave the body’s natural oils behind. Unlike soap, soap-free washes don’t contain strong alkaline solutions that are harsh on our slightly acidic skin.
Moisturise your skin at least once a day.
Applying moisturiser two to three minutes after your shower will give the best results. Creams hydrate more effectively than lotions. If you have a tendency to develop dry skin, consider applying moisturiser twice a day during the cold months of the year.
Use lip balm.
Lips are also prone to drying and cracking with winter winds and the cold temperatures, so use lip balm as often as you can instead of licking your lips or pulling off dry skin.
Protect your hands with gloves to prevent cracking and drying.
Moisturise after each time you wash your hands to replenish the lost moisture.
Don’t wear wool.
If you’re prone to eczema, avoid wearing wool directly against your skin as this can cause irritation that can trigger eczema.
Invest in a humidifier.
Put a humidifier in your room to put humidity back into the air.