Winter Skin Care Tips
Winter can be especially brutal on the skin. Plummeting temperatures and low moisture in the air can leave even the most resilient skin feeling dry, itchy and uncomfortable. No matter your skin type; these winter skin care tips should help you make it comfortably through to spring.
It’s easy to forget to drink enough water during the winter months. On a cold day, a cup of hot chocolate or tea by the fire carries far more appeal that a glass of H2O, right? That said, adequate water intake is absolutely essential for healthy skin.
It’s important to remember that skin is an organ and like other organs requires water to function at its best. Harvard Medical School recommends drinking at least 4-6 glasses of water per day. If you’re looking for a winter warmer—try hot water with lemon for an added detoxifying effect.
Choose the right moisturiser
Everyone’s skin is different, so there isn’t a one-size fits all solution to dry skin. The right moisturiser goes a long way, however, to keeping dry, irritable skin at bay. And it’s all in the ingredients. Look for thick creams that contain ceramides, urea, beeswax and petroleum jelly for the most effective relief and maximum moisture retention.
Add healthy fats to your diet
Consider incorporating more essential fatty acids into your diet. Omega 3s and 6s support skin health, promote nerve and vascular functioning, and act as antioxidants. Research shows that omega 3s can have an anti-inflammatory effect that may calm certain dry skin conditions, while omega 6s can prevent thinning of the skin.
Think: avocados, olive oil, oily fish and nuts.
Strange as it may sound, hot baths and showers can have a drying effect on the skin. Harvard Medical School recommends limiting baths and showers to 5 minutes a day in lukewarm water during winter to help prevent stripping hydration from the skin.
For those with naturally dry skin, consider applying glycerine to your face and hands before bathing to help lock moisture in, or choose a daily moisturiser that is resistant to water. If you’re really missing that hot bath— add a few drops of almond oil to the water before getting in to reduce the drying effect.
Moisturise damp skin
Apply your moisturiser right after getting out of the shower to help simulate the oils in the skin and reduce water loss. Remember: opt for high-quality, thick creams and lotions with all the key ingredients to maximise effectiveness.
Cleansing the skin is important for keeping bacteria at bay, however bath soaps can often remove the natural lipids in the skin alongside the dirt. Opt instead for moisturiser or oil-based cleansers that replace the depleted lipids, rather than foam-based cleansers which can irritate the skin.
Bring your own humidity
A cool air humidifier set to around 60% humidity will go a long way to combat the drying effects of winter air. If you can bear it, keep indoor heating at a medium temperature to avoid sapping the moisture from your skin.
Wear sun cream
It can be tempting to skip the SPF during the colder months. When the weather outside is frightful – the last thing on your mind is a sunburn. That said, research shows the sun’s UVA and UVB rays can penetrate even the thickest clouds, with UVB able to penetrate thinner clouds..
Without gentle exfoliation, the skin can stay dry. Any moisturisers you apply will be absorbed by the dead cells sitting on the surface, rather than the outer layer of your skin. Choose a gentle scrub and lightly massage your skin. If you have particularly dry skin, opt for a wash cloth and warm water to avoid irritation. Always follow with a moisturising toner or cream.
Protect your lips
Don’t forget to protect your lips from the dry air and cold winds. Try to keep a moisturising lip balm with you at all times to ensure you don’t end up with dry, cracked or chapped lips. For the busy mum or professional who’s always on the go – consider using a product like O’Keeffe’s Lip Repair that’s clinically proven to provide all day moisture and protection in a single application. For further advice see our advice for dry lips.