Even those of us who don’t normally suffer from dry skin can feel the effects in winter. As brilliant as central heating is, it has a tendency to dry out the air around you, which in turn sucks the moisture from the skin. Combine this with the UK’s inevitable cold, windy weather and you have the perfect formula for dried out skin.
So, what steps can you take to keep your skin hydrated and healthy?
1. Steer clear of hot showers
Our immediate reaction to colder weather is to immerse ourselves in hot baths or steamy showers, but this hot water strips your body of its natural oil barrier that normally helps to trap moisture and keep your skin smooth and moist. Instead, cool it down and try to stick to warm showers that last no longer than 10 minutes.
2. Use gentle cleansers
Make sure you use a gentle, soapless cleanser when you shower, as products with antibacterial additives can be harsh on skin. If you can, try to find a cleanser containing ceramides as these help your skin to maintain moisture.
3. Be smart with your shaving
Shaving body hair can irritate dry skin as you tend to scrape away natural oils from your skin. Be sure to shave after you shower or bathe as your hairs will be softer and more pliable. Always use a shaving gel/cream and be sure to shave in the direction the hair is growing to protect your skin.
4. Layer up
When it comes to dressing in winter, opt for light layers you can remove. This will prevent you from overheating and perspiring – both things that can irritate dry skin.
Probably the most obvious step, but an important one nonetheless. Often the simplest formulas are the best, so opt for something unperfumed and rich in ceramides, stearic acid or glycerin. Keep your moisturising routine consistent and be liberal in particularly dry areas.
For an expert’s opinion, you may want to seek help from a dermatologist. Find out more over on our Dermatology page.
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