Dry, Winter Skin Survival Guide
Have you ever thought about how your skin changes in the colder months?
Dry, tight, irritated skin
We're all familiar with the symptoms; the dry, tight, irritated skin, the flakiness, not to mention the Sahara-like parched face.
The thing is, cold temperatures play havoc with our skin. Add into the equation central heating and steamy hot baths and you have the perfect skin snow storm.
Dry flaky bits. Sore bits. And a rather unfortunate scaly appearance.
And compromised skin is bad news as the skin as an organ is so important.
Apart from the fact that sore, itchy skin is no fun at all and distract the most focussed individual; the tight uncomfortable feeling you get as you exit the shower, or that feeling where it feels like all the moisture has been sucked out of your face.
Skin is one super organ, with a wealth of responsibilities.
It's the first line of defence against the outside world.
It provides a waterproof, protective barrier.
It converts sunlight into vitamin D - at least when the sun appears…
It acts as a thermostat to regulate temperature.
It secretes waste away in our sweat
It's full of friendly bacteria
Colder temperatures are bad news for skin.
As the temperature drops, the humidity in the air around us drops too. Our skin is primarily made up of water, and by the principle of osmosis, water is literally being sucked out of our skin.
This water loss means a reduction in the barrier function of our skin, and once the barrier function of our skin is compromised, it can leave skin open to a host of irritations and infections.
If you start with having problem skin of any sort, eczema, dermatitis etc, this combined with freezing temperatures is a double whammy, making the skin more fragile and vulnerable.
Here are a few of my favourite tips for dealing with winter skin.
And don't forget to check out my Cold Weather Cheat Sheet.
How Protect and Treat your Skin in Cold Weather.
Ditch the harsh detergents. A stripping shower gel or harsh soap is just going to dry skin out further. Look for an old fashioned cold process soap bar made with beautiful plant oils, it will be much gentler on the skin, and as a bonus, no plastic bottles either. My own Apricot & Geranium Cleansing Bar is made with pure olive, almond and apricot oils enriched with shea butter.
Consider an oil in the bath, as an alternative. Gentle, hydrating and soothing it's win, win.
Avoid any face cleaner which involves getting that 'squeaky clean' feeling. Clean is good. Stripping all the natural oils from your face is less good. Check out my super gentle, award winning Cleansing Butter which cleanses and hydrates in one easy step.
A face oil is your friend. Here's why.
For skin that is dry through the year, and exacerbated in times of environmental stress like the very cold, it's likely you have a genetic predisposition to dry skin. Make sure you are getting plenty of good fats in your diet, and lots of essential fatty acids. Oily fish, nuts and avocado are all good.
Watch out for oils that are oleic acid rich. These best suit dry skins and have a richer feel, though can still be fast absorbing and can help hydrate your skin for longer.
For a fast absorbing, fragrant boost, try one of my organic body oils straight out of the shower on wet skin. Super fast and effective. Applying to wet skin helps seal in another layer of moisture.
For skin that's already suffering in the cold, and is feeling a little tight and itchy, supplement your TRT Bath & Shower Oil bath with a little boost. A handful of salt helps with the skin's moisture levels, drawing moisture to the skin. Mineral salts are good, just avoid any dodgy additives to your salt, things like anti-caking ingredients.
Oats also make a good addition, a handful in your bath, is super soothing, anti-inflammatory and nourishing. Adding them to a muslin bag or an old pair if tights you have tied a knot in works - and there's no picking bits out of the tub afterwards.
Winter skin doesn't have to end in tears - with a few beautiful natural ingredients, and a bit of TLC you can sail right through winter with healthy, supple skin.