The cold weather is fast approaching, and it can be tough on your skin. It is important to understand how the cold winter weather affects the skin and how to stop it from becoming damaged.
What does cold weather do to your skin?
When the weather drops in temperature, the humidity also drops, which pulls the moisture out of your skin, leaving it sensitive. We also crank up the heating in the winter months to keep us warm and toasty, but this dry heat can cause even more damage! Those with skin conditions such as psoriasis or eczema are even more vulnerable to painful skin flare-ups in the winter months.
Unfortunately, we can’t change the weather, but we can change the way we protect our skin!
How to protect your skin in the winter
Below is a range of different tips which are a great way to prepare your skin for the winter and help avoid the painful side effects of the cold.
Hydrate – Water plays a big part in the health of your body, including your skin. It comes naturally to drink a lot in the summer, but when it comes to winter, we can sometimes skip the water for a tasty hot chocolate. Aim to drink around 2.7 litres (women)/3.7 litres (men) of water per day to fully hydrate yourself and your skin.
Avoid hot showers – After you have been out walking in the cold or woken up to a cold house, it can be hard not to take a hot steamy shower or bath to warm you up. Unfortunately, spending too much time in hot water can weaken the protective oils your skin produces. Use lukewarm water when washing your body and face to protect your skin as much as possible.
Humidifier – The cold is not the only thing that can dry your skin out, it is the humidity levels as well. The drop in humidity and the increased use of artificial heating can cause the air to be very dry, so using a humidifier at home or where you work can help to bring some moisture to your skin. You can even add some scented oils to add to the atmosphere!
Turn the heating down a notch – Another way to avoid the dry air from artificial heating is by simply turning it down. It can be very tempting to turn it up high and feel all cosy, but it does have negative effects on the skin. Turn the heating down, get tucked up on the sofa or in bed with a couple of blankets and a hot drink and your skin will thank you!
Use a rich moisturiser – Using your regular summer moisturiser throughout the winter months is just not as effective. Choosing a heavier, more moisturising cream that contains ceramides, plant oils and cholesterols can help support the barrier of the skin, preventing cracks and flakes.
Avoid sunbeds – It can be tempting when there is no natural sun to give your skin a golden glow by using a sunbed. Unfortunately, there are no benefits to using a sunbed any time of the year and the damage it creates far outweighs the aesthetic glow it has on the skin. Both UVA and UVB radiation can cause damage to the skin cells which can eventually lead to skin cancer.