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winter skin- 101

It can often be a welcome relief moving from the humid, sticky months of Summer to the cooler temperatures of Winter. Feeling the cold air on our skin outside and coming into a warm, heated house is a lovely feeling in principle, but unfortunately it can wreak havoc on our skin. Those suffering from sensitive skin or conditions such as eczema or rosacea can be particularly affected, as skin can crack and bleed leading to further irritation. 

In our previous blog post we discussed the various layers of the skin, and the outermost layer (the Stratum Corneum) acting as a protective barrier against the external environment, particularly when it comes to moisture loss. This vital layer of skin consists of cells surrounded by fatty acids and oils, which, unfortunately, the skin produces less of in the colder months. This is where a lot of us come to suffer from abnormal dryness of the skin, or “winter xerosis”; characterised by roughness, flaking and itching.

Thankfully, there are plenty of ways to prevent excessively dry skin during Winter:

    • Cut down on long, hot baths. Hot water removes the skin’s natural oils very quickly. Try and have more showers than baths, and keep the shower temperature warm rather than hot. Additionally, use moisturising shower gels or non-alkaline mild soaps.
    • Moisturise regularly. This is one of the most effective ways to prevent dryness - and one of the easiest, too! Moisturise liberally several times a day, ideally with an oil-based cream. And while you’re at it, don’t forget your lips! For dry, flaky lips a lip balm containing Vitamin A (retinol) will help protect the delicate skin in this area.
  • Choose skin-friendly fabrics. Although wooly jumpers look lovely and are on-trend, they can be very irritating to the skin. Where possible, try to wear materials that allow the skin to breathe (cotton, silk), and aim to use non-perfumed laundry detergents.
  • Hydrate from the inside. Be sure to drink plenty of water, which is easier to remember to do in the Summer months, as it really does help your skin retain its moisture levels. Don’t forget that diet also plays a key role in skin health - pack your plate full of foods containing essential fatty acids, such as salmon, walnuts and canola oil.

  • What are your top tips for saving your skin during the Winter months? We’d love to hear them!

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