Wintertime is fast approaching, which means the air outside is not only turning cold and dry, but the humidity level is dropping. 64% of your skin is water and when there's less moisture in the air; the water in your skin evaporates quicker. Therefore, your skin looks flaky and feels tight and dry.
Doesn't sound like a fun time, does it? But don't fear! We are here to help, with our super simple tips to banish dry skin this winter!
Eat the right food
You are what you eat…and your skin reflects that.
Avoid foods that are high in salt, sugar, high-glycaemic carbohydrates, and Vitamin A.
A diet that is rich in antioxidants, silica rich foods, and omega-3 fatty acids helps provide the building blocks for healthy skin cells. This includes plenty of walnuts, olive oil, avocados, fish, sweet potatoes, oysters, and cucumbers. Not a bad deal, right?
Avoid these drinks
Try reducing your alcohol and caffeine intake (surprise, surprise). These are known as diuretics which just dehydrates your skin.
But how good does a full-bodied glass of red wine sound? Well, body builders drink red wine before competitions because it dries out your skin. Keep a glass for special occasions; trust us, it’ll taste better when you havn't had a glass in a while!
Water is great for your overall health; keep drinking it! But contrary to popular belief, it isn’t exactly essential for keeping your skin hydrated. It is recommended to drink eight glasses of water a day, however, upping this intake will, unfortunately, have little effect on your skin.
Instead, some skin specialists recommend 'eating your water' through water-rich foods like fruits and vegetables, which contain structured water that releases slowly into the body. This means longer-lasting hydration rather than flushing your system out with too much drinking water.
Humidify Your Room
Central heating systems keep us nice and warm during the winter months, but this dry air is really bad for us. It gives us dry skin, chapped lips, a dry nose, and a dry throat.
Humidifiers put back the moisture in the air that indoor heating systems suck out. Experts recommend that you place a humidifier in the room where you spend the most time in – ie: your bedroom. Placing a humidifier in your bedroom will increase the moisture in the room, helping your skin stay hydrated.
Ban hot showers
This is the only difficult one in our opinion. There is nothing more relaxing than a long hot shower on those cold winter mornings or sinking into a hot bath after dashing around all day in the ice-cold air.
But, if you want to know the truth, the intense heat of hot water harms your skin’s essential barrier. It damages natural oils that sit on the outer layer of your skin. Keep your showers warm (29°C max) and short (10 mins max).
When you’re out of the shower, you should pat your skin dry with a clean towel rather than rub. For the best chance of absorption, apply moisturiser while your skin is still damp. Find a moisturiser that’s oil-based rather than water-based. Oil creates a protective layer that keeps in the moisture.
Tip: Many of the 'night cream' labelled lotions are oil-based.
Stay away from butter and vegetable shortening because this is known to clog your pores. Keep an eye out for avocado oil, almond oil, mineral oil, or primrose oil, as these won’t clog your face.
Protect your hands
In this cold, dry weather it’s extremely hard to keep your hands moist. This is because the skin on your hands has fewer oil glands and is thinner than other parts of your body.
Pick yourself up a lovely pair of gloves to avoid irritated, itchy and cracking skin.
Keep the gloves dry too! Damp gloves (and socks) will flare up dry skins and eczema.
Protect your feet
I know we all love those minty foot lotions in the summer, but our feet are going to need something stronger in the winter. Keep an eye out for lotions that contain petroleum jelly or glycerine.
Bonus tip: Get the dead skin off by using exfoliants every now and again. This will allow your moisturiser to plunge deeper and faster into your skin.
Sun cream isn’t just for summertime. Winter sun can still damage your skin.
Broad-spectrum sun cream will protect you from both UVA rays (which age your skin) and UVB rays (which burn your skin).