Avoiding Dry Skin in the Winter
Winter is the season for all things cozy - staying inside in the warmth, while the cold weather rages outside the window. You can’t go wrong with a steaming cup of hot chocolate, a pair of extra thick socks, a warm fireside, and a good book to carry you through those chilly days and nights.
But sadly, much as we’d all like to hunker down and hibernate until spring, there are occasions when we need to face the cold outdoors.
When the time comes to replace your fluffy dressing gown and slippers with a winter coat and insulated boots, it’s easy to forget that those vulnerable, uncovered areas like your face and hands also need protecting from the winter weather.
Shy of wearing a permanent pair of ski gloves and a balaclava, you can do a few things to make sure that, no matter what the temperature outside, your skin doesn’t fall victim to the frosty weather.
Here are a few all-natural tips to help you survive.
Warm > Hot
When you’re taking a bath or shower in the colder months, the natural inclination is to turn the heat up. And while it may feel (really, reaaally) good to warm yourself up with a nice toasty shower, this can actually be quite bad for your skin when it comes to going outside in the winter weather.
The reason for this is that when you bathe in hot water, you can end up stripping away natural oils from your skin. Needless to say, using lukewarm water instead will do less damage to your oils, which helps your skin endure the dry, frosty winter weather.
Once you’ve jumped out of your warm shower, it’s important to quickly moisturise your skin before it dries out too much. You want to lock in the moisture with a generous amount of natural moisturiser straight after towelling off, the same going for your hands each time you wash them.
It’s worth bearing in mind that oil-based moisturisers are far better at keeping moisture locked into the skin than ones which are water-based.
Having mentioned the necessity for hot chocolate (and for that matter, all hot drinks), it’s easy to fall into the trap of only drinking delicious hot stuff. However, staying properly hydrated means drinking plenty of water throughout the day.
Maintaining a good level of hydration will help your skin retain its moisture, even when exposed to cold, dry atmospheres.
It also helps to eat foods with high water content. Try oranges, watermelons, kiwifruit, and watery veg like celery, tomatoes, cucumbers and courgettes. Eating healthy foods like these can help you make sure that you’re getting enough vitamin C and zinc to support the healthy production of collagen and elastin.
Exfoliating is a staple of any skincare routine, but it’s especially important in the dry winter months. Why? Well, when you apply that much-needed moisturising goodness before or after a day of chilly weather, the moisturiser may not be able to get in fully if there’s lots of dead skin cells clogging everything up.
So, before you apply any moisturiser, make sure you’ve given your skin the exfoliation it deserves so that it can drink in all the moisturiser you throw at it.
Winter is about enjoying crisp walks in the woods, warm mulled wine in pubs, and the odd snowman if you’re lucky - certainly not about suffering with dry and cracked skin. So follow the tips above to protect against dryness, and you can make the most of all the great things winter has to offer.
For loads of homemade dry skin recipes, check out the skincare section of the Remedy Hub.