Winter is not usually a fun time for skin due to the temperature extremes we experience. Cold weather causes dryness in our skin by wicking moisture away while, on the other end of the scale, ramping up the heat inside our homes can also lead to the same result. To help you manage this delicate balancing act, here are five tips to help you this winter.
Use sunscreen We’re not quick to think of the sun when we think about wintertime but, even if you can’t see it through the rain and clouds, it’s still definitely still there. That means that harmful UV rays are also still there and you need to protect yourself against them. Using sunscreen (yes, even in winter!) will help to defend your skin from the nasty effects of sun damage. These include wrinkles, dark spots and uneven pigmentation. The sun is also the leading cause of skin cancer – itself the most common cancer in Ireland.
Cover up This should definitely come more naturally than thinking about sunscreen. When you go outside, reduce your skin’s exposure to the cold weather and harsh wind by wearing clothes that cover all parts of your body. That means wearing more than just a good winter coat – you also need to think about your hands, ears, neck and face. Find yourself a good pair of comfortable gloves, a cosy scarf and a suitable hat to help you stay warm.
Moisturise Your skin needs moisture to stay healthy. Although wintertime is often a very wet and rainy period, cold air is not as good at retaining water vapour as warm air. That leads to low levels of humidity which can starve your skin of a natural source of moisture. As a result, your skin can become dry, which means you’ll need to find another way of keep
Avoid hot water It might be tempting to have a hot shower when it’s cold outside but water that is too hot can actually harm your skin by making it too dry. Instead, aim to have a short shower or bath in lukewarm water. This also applies to other situations like when you wash your hands or face. Less time in the hot water = more moisture in your skin.
Exfoliate – but less often If exfoliating is part of your skincare routine, it’s a good idea to reduce how often you do it during the winter. That’s because your skin is more likely to suffer dryness and redness in the cold weather, leaving it more vulnerable than other periods during the year. Exfoliating too much runs the risk of lowering your skin’s defences even more than they are naturally during this time – so it’s important to find a balance. As a guide, once or twice a week should be fine.
If you would like to discuss other ways to take of your skin during wintertime, visit your local Life Pharmacy.