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How to Cope with Winter Dryness: Ask the Experts

There is nothing like a cold winter’s day to dry out the skin and make it difficult to manage. If your skin is suffering from the cold, then this article is a must-read and you’ve come to the right place! From easy care steps you can do at home to specialist skin care services, here are five tips for maintaining healthy, hydrated skin in winter.

1. Modify your skin care routine

If your skin is suffering from the chill, then it might be time to modify your skincare routine. What our skin needs changes throughout our lives and even throughout the year, so make sure your winter skincare routine right for the season.

  • Choose gentler, fragrance-free cleansers. During winter, the cold and the frosty bite of the wind will dry out our skin even more, therefore a good first step to take to protect your skin is to switch up your cleanser. Choose gentle cleansers that aren’t too harsh or stripping so that your skin can retain more of its natural oils.
  • Exfoliate less. While exfoliation is good for removing dead skin cells, promoting skin regeneration, and encouraging moisturiser absorption, it can also be too rough on the skin when done too frequently. If your skin is already suffering from winter dryness, try limiting your exfoliation to once a week.   
  • Avoid alcohol-based toners. Toners that contain alcohol can further dry out the skin, so opt for ones that are alcohol-free and fragrance-free.
  • Choose creams over lotions. Lotions are often less hydrating than creams and therefore will provide your skin with less support against the cold. If your skin is still feeling dry and tight after applying your moisturiser, it’s probably time to switch to a thick, cream-based moisturiser.  
  • Apply sunscreen. No matter the season, the sun still sends down harmful UV rays that can damage the skin. Include a sunscreen or a moisturiser with SPF in your morning routine for extra protection.   

2. Make your showers short, sweet and lukewarm

Stepping into a hot, steamy shower can feel like heaven, but if your skin is already sensitive and dry, hot water can irritate it more. When you wash your hands or take a shower or have a bath, if the water is warm enough to turn your skin pink, then it’s too hot. Try decreasing the temperature of your showers and make your showers short, sweet, and lukewarm.

Another tip is that if you are having a bath, you can add moisturising bath oils to the water, lather a silky layer of body oil (coconut oil), or add an essential oil (argan oil, tea tree oil, rose oil, or rosehip oil) onto your skin before getting into the water. This will add an extra protective barrier against the heat and will also leave your skin feeling moisturised and divine.  

3. Keep moisture in the air

If moisture-rich climates do wonders for the skin, it’s no surprise that dry, arid climates leave the skin rough and depleted. While moisture naturally evaporates off the surface of our skin, if the air is too cold and dry, it can leave our skin wanting. If you’re in need of a solution to keep moisture in the air, here are two options to consider.

  1. Buy a humidifier. Use a humidifier in the rooms you spend the most time in, to prevent dryness at home or in the office.
  2. Lower the thermostat. Hot air constantly blowing into the room can dry the air out even more. The best strategy is to keep the room at a cool, yet comfortable temperature.   

4. Prevent dry, chapped lips, hands, & feet

If the air is too dry, the hands are one of the first places to show tell-tale signs of skin dryness, and during winter, symptoms are often exacerbated. While washing hands in winter to prevent illness, and stay clean and healthy is a MUST, this can also sap the nutrients and natural oils from the surface of the skin.

No one wants to suffer from dry, cracked knuckles in winter, so as a preventative measure, keep hand moisturiser in your handbag and remember to apply it throughout the day after cleansing. You can also apply a rich layer of cream to your hands under cotton gloves while you sleep – this ultimate hand rejuvenation sensation is perfect for those that have already dry and cracked skin. Your skin will feel better than ever in a matter of days.

Lips are another area we should take care of during winter. This is especially true if you’re getting dermal filler treatments because your lips might feel slightly dry for a few days afterwards. Licking your lips when they are dry should also be avoided because it can exacerbate dryness. Select a lip balm that feels moisturising and apply it regularly after drinking, eating, kissing, and the like.

If you’re feeling like a full-body pamper session, then why not include a foot peel? If your feet are feeling dry and chapped in the winter, a foot peel will break down the outer layers of rough dead skin cells and kick-start a shedding process, which will leave your feet feeling silky smooth afterwards.

5. Consider professional skincare treatments

Winter is a great time to get ahead of your skin treatments! A face peel or an IPL treatment for hair removal done in the autumn or winter months of the year means that your skin will be glowing and hairless just in time for summer. You also don’t have to worry as much about limiting your exposure to the sun and UV rays, which can irritate and inflame the skin post-treatment.   

For general beauty and self-pampering, consider getting a facial every three or four weeks and enjoy the rejuvenating and hydrating effects.

Important: If you are going through a skin treatment plan, make sure to follow the treatment guidelines, and use the specific products given to you by your nurse post-treatment. If you want to change things up, make sure to check with your skincare specialist first.

Treat your skin this winter with an appointment at The Skin Department

Here at The Skin Department, we offer a wide range of appearance medicine solutions to suit every need and every skin type! Contact us today to make an appointment with one of our specialists, or simply book an appointment!