Did you know it’s National Winter Skin Relief Day on 8th January in the USA? We just found out ourselves. And while we’re not sure Britain is quite ready to dedicate a whole day to winter skin relief, here are our thoughts on the subject…
What can you do if you’re having a dry January?
Winter is the season when many of us feel like we’re turning into walking, talking snow globes. Yes, January doesn’t just bring the post festive-season blues… it also brings us the joys of dry, flaky skin. And boy, can it itch!
You might have found yourself clawing uncontrollably at your calves or rubbing your back ultra-vigorously with the bath towel trying to find relief. But even if you’re not experiencing what’s known as ‘winter itch’, you might still be wondering what makes your skin so super-ashy at this time of year.
Okay, so don’t have to be Sherlock to work out the weather has a lot to do with it. The decrease in both temperature and humidity gets the ball rolling on dry skin and really exacerbates any skin conditions you have such as psoriasis and eczema. If you lick your lips a few times in a cold wind, you’re just asking for trouble. The same goes for blowing a streaming nose on toilet paper.
And, of course, what do we do as soon as we come in from the bitter cold? Turn up the central heating and hop into a steaming hot shower – the other two big offenders in this winter offensive. What can you do to defend your skin against these skin-desiccating conditions? Here are our suggestions…
Go get yourself a humidifier
To offset the drying nature of your central heating, you need to replace the humidity in your home. You’ll be able to pick a decent one up for around £50. Okay, it’s added expense right after Christmas, but that’s about the price of a quality moisturiser – which is how we like to think of it.
Go easy on the hot showers
Oh, how good it feels to stand under that gorgeous piping-hot water and reheat your frozen bones on sub-zero days. But all that hot water strips your skin of its natural oils, especially when you couple it with soap and scrubbing. If you’re doing that daily, your skin dries out, which means it’s not acting as efficiently as it should in keeping out bacteria and infections.
Instead, have a short, lukewarm shower using a gentle moisturising shower cream and, when you step out onto the bath mat, just pat yourself till you’re almost dry – no more vigorous rubbing. Your skin is at its most vulnerable just after you’ve showered; treat it kindly. For optimum moisture retention, use a natural body butter from top to toe while your skin is still a little damp.
Go see your local therapist
Ask your therapist for some expert skin advice. If they offer Dermatude skin-needling, they’ll be able to assess your skin and create a custom blend of specialist deep-skin moisturising serums known as ‘subjectables’. They contain unique nourishing ingredients that reach the living skin cells directly via the tiny perforations created by the needling.
Our other winter workarounds for seasonally affected skin
- Moisturise before bed to help your skin recalibrate overnight.
- If you use facial wipes to clean your face, swap them out for a creamy cleanser.
- Try a heavier face cream – one with moisture-retaining hyaluronic acid and ceramides to help restore your skin’s protective barrier.
- As cosy and inviting as they look, avoid irritating fabrics like pure new wool jumpers
- Exfoliate, but don’t over-exfoliate. Once a week will suffice.
- Stock up on your creams and have one handy in every room so you’re more likely to moisturise itchy skin rather than scratch it.
- Finally, hang on in there – spring is just around the corner!
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