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Winter Skincare

Winter Skincare Tips

Whether you’ve been looking forward to autumn or sad to say goodbye to summer the colder months will soon be upon us. And as the seasons change the condition of our skin will often change too. In warm humid conditions our skin is less likely to lose water but as the air becomes colder and drier skin can become dehydrated particularly if the skin barrier is damaged.

Dry cold outdoor air will take its toll on your skin sapping moisture from the skin’s upper layers, so it is important to stay hydrated and protect skin from moisture loss. Indoor air can also become drier as the central heating goes on so our skin is faced with challenges inside and out!  And if you are planning on flying to the slopes for a week of skiing, skincare should start before you board the plane – did you know that aircraft cabin air is drier than the desert? You will also need to consider using a good shielding lotion with SPF to protect from winter sun at high altitudes.

The symptoms of dry winter skin can vary, from mild itchiness to cracked, sore skin. This can lead to the itch/scratch cycle and cause conditions like eczema and dermatitis to appear but by following a few simple guidelines you can keep your skin in good condition all winter.

Maintain Hydration

A good sign to tell if you’re dehydrated or over hydrated is from the appearance of your urine. Ideally urine should be a pale straw colour – dark orange is usually an indicator of dehydration and clear water could mean you’re overhydrated.

The correct level of hydration is important for maintaining healthy skin as well as other important factors like temperature control, blood pressure optimal organ function and our general health. Stress, lifestyle, and diet can all have an impact on the health of our skin so maintaining the correct level of hydration is essential. When our general health is in a good state our skin has a better chance of being able to repair itself.

Avoid using very hot water

Taking a hot shower on a cold winter’s day may feel great, but over exposure to very hot water can cause skin to become dry and worsen areas of dryness on our body. Make sure the temperature of the water when washing your hands, washing up or bathing is not too hot. If your skin turns red upon contact, then it’s too hot!

Moisturise daily

Using an effective moisturiser is a good daily habit to get into and is more important during the winter months. The majority of moisturisers provide a short term fix but will soon wash or rub off. In fact there is a school of thought that says adding artificial moisture can actually make dry skin problems worse.The presence of artificial moisturiser sitting on the surface of the skin convinces the brain that the skin is adequately hydrated so it actually causes a reduction in the production of the skin’s own natural  moisture. This means that skin actually stays dry as the problem is not being resolved. Gloves In A Bottle does not add artificial moisture but enhances the skin’s ability to retain its own natural oils – better in the long run. See our blog on reasons to avoid traditional moisturisers

Protect the skin’s barrier

A compromised skin barrier which can arise from repetitive hand washing and exposure to household chemicals will result in sore dry skin. Look out for products that work to enhance the skin’s natural barrier which will help to protect from outside irritants as well as locking in natural moisture.

Avoid further irritation

Many detergents and shampoos contain surfactants that can damage the skin barrier and strip away natural protective oils. Have you noticed your hands getting tight and sore in the winter? In addition to dry cold air robbing your skin of moisture, many shampoos and detergents contain damaging ingredients such as sodium lauryl sulphate (SLS) and triclosan which can further irritate damaged skin. It is also a good idea to select non greasy, hypoallergenic and fragrance free products to reduce the risk of further irritation to sensitive skin.