Let’s be honest, we don’t get the best weather here in the UK. It’s been a long hard winter of snow, wind, rain, and freezing temperatures. It’s not much fun for any of us, but did you know that cold weather can have a really negative effect on your skin? Along with colder temperatures, winter weather brings changes in humidity and cold winds that can wreak havoc on our skin.
Common Winter Skin Problems
Dry Skin – When the temperatures drop, it’s accompanied by a drop in the humidity levels. These reduced humidity levels cause the water in our skin to dry out and evaporate more quickly, resulting in skin that feels tight and dry. Often, this results in flaking, peeling and itchy skin if it’s left untreated.
Itchiness – Along with dry skin, the next most common skin problem we experience in the winter is itchiness. While this is usually a result of skin becoming too dry, it can also be caused by certain clothing and fabrics we wear. Since we cover more of our skin during the colder months, the skin that would normally go uncovered can be more sensitive to fabrics and materials, especially coarse or rough products like wool and other materials used in jumpers. This combination of dry skin and skin irritation leads to itching, and unfortunately scratching to relieve the itch simply makes the problem worse by damaging the surface of the skin.
Rashes & Recurring Skin Conditions – If you occasionally suffer from psoriasis or eczema, you’ll likely find that the winter time is when flare ups become worse and more frequent. This is due to the increased dryness of the air, reduced exposure to UV rays, and the drastic changes in temperature you experience when you go from heat inside to cold outside multiple times per day. These factors can make rashes and other recurring skin conditions worse and more frequent in the winter. We suggest seeing your dermatologist if your usual symptoms worsen or change.
Chapping – Since our faces are the one thing that is left uncovered most often during the winter, it’s no surprise that our lips can get seriously damaged from constant wind and exposure to cold, dry air. Dry skin on the lips leads to chapping, which is uncomfortable, unsightly and sometimes even painful. Chapped lips are extremely common in the winter, and without constant protection and treatment, can recur easily.
Cracking – If your hands or feet always seem to be dry during the winter, be wary of letting them get to the point where they begin cracking. Cracked skin on your fingertips and cracked cuticles around your nails can be very painful, and very unsightly. This is caused primarily by excessive dry skin, dehydration in some cases it can be a sign of infection. If you’re experiencing severely cracked skin, or cracking that recurs frequently or won’t heal, visit your doctor for advice.
While this may seem like a long list of problems to overcome, these common winter skin problems can be minimised with some simple changes to your regular skin care routine, and supplementing with a few essential products for even better results.
Our Top Tips for taking care of your skin
Wash in warm water, not hot water, and use a gentle cleanser
Although having a steaming hot shower or a nice long soak in a hot bath may feel heavenly during those chilly January days, hot water strips away much of the protective oil and moisture from our skin, leaving it dehydrated and dry. By dialling down the temperature of the water a bit, especially when washing your face and other skin that is more sensitive, you can minimise this effect. Our Facial Scrub contains Cucumber extract which consists of antioxidants and silica that are known to rejuvenate skin, having a cooling and soothing effect for those who suffer with sensitive or irritated skin.
Moisturise, moisturise, moisturise
Yes, it may seem a bit repetitive, but this really is one of the best things you can do to make sure that your skin stays healthy when the weather gets chilly. The first thing you’ll want to do is moisturise immediately after you wash. This will help replenish the moisture your skin loses during the washing process, and keep the top layers of your skin from getting too dry. We suggest keeping a bottle next to the tub or near the shower so you can easily apply after washing, as well as small bottles near each sink in the house as a simple reminder to moisturise after you wash your hands or face. Try the Antioxidant Moisturising Balm with Artichoke Extract to protect sensitive, irritated skin, and maximise and lock in the skins moisture
Drink lots of water & stay hydrated
Your body will do its best to keep your skin hydrated, but without enough water your skin will be one of the first things to feel the effects of dehydration. Winter can be a time when we fall into the habit of drinking more warm beverages like coffee and tea, but these have a diuretic effect and can be dehydrating. The best thing to drink, as always, is plenty of water. We suggest keeping a refillable water bottle close by, especially at work where it can be easy to miss drinking the necessary water we need unless it’s right there at hand.
How do you deal with skin problems in the winter? Let us know in the comments!