Brrr! Baby, it’s cold outside!
Winter is the perfect season for snuggling up with a nice cup of hot chocolate.
Or to catch up on your favourite TV series.
However, while winter is great for many things, it often takes a harsh toll on your skin.
And it’s even worse if your complexion is prone to dryness and cracking.
There’s less moisture in the air during the winter months.
A lack of moisture can dry out your skin, and your protective barrier can become impaired.
Dryness, wind, and air conditioning pull moisture out of your skin, leading to dryness, flaking and discomfort.
You aren’t alone if you experience dry skin issues during the winter.
But with our top winter skincare routine tips, you don’t have to endure discomfort forever.
Understanding the Signs of Dry Skin
It’s true; we all experience dry skin differently.
You may experience signs like redness, roughness, flakiness, itching, cracks in your skin, and even burning or itching.
These signs of xerosis, the medical term for dry skin, often appear on the parts of your body with the thinnest epidermal layers, including your face, neck, hands, and lips.
When your skin is dry, the health of your skin is undermined, so you need to take extra care to look after your skin during the dryer months of the year;
Hopefully, with our dry winter skin tips, you can banish dryness for good.
The 10 Tips to Treat Your Winter Skin
1. Avoid Hot Water
It may be tempting to take steaming hot showers and baths during winter.
But as this study (1) found, hot water can strip the oils away from your skin, leaving the barrier function impaired and your skin more prone to dryness and flaking.
Use tepid water whenever possible to wash your face, body, and hands, which will help you preserve your skin’s barrier over the season.
2. Moisturise Before Your Skin Dries Off
After a tepid bath, shower or hand-washing session, apply your moisturisers directly to your skin before it has dried completely.
This will help to lock in extra moisture and leave your face and hands looking soft and healthy.
3. Prevent Dry, Chapped Lips
Many people struggle with dry, chapped and flaky lips during winter.
The reason for this is that the skin on your lips is fragile and is exposed not only to the elements but to heat, salt, and other factors that can dry it out further.
Your lips also don’t have any oil glands, making moisturising them especially important.
We recommend using a thick ointment or balm to seal moisture, heal dryness and cracking, and prevent moisture loss on cold and dry days.
4. Use the Right Ingredients
Your skin needs additional care in winter.
It’s essential to check the active ingredients of your favourite skincare products to ensure they are up to the challenge.
Skin-identical ingredients like ceramides, peptides, hyaluronic acid, squalane and shea butter do a great job of attracting moisture to your skin and sealing it in to help it stay hydrated for longer.
5. Don’t Over-Exfoliate
Exfoliating products can keep your skin looking smooth and healthy when used occasionally.
However, using them too often can cause irritation and dryness by disrupting your skin’s lipid barrier.
Try a gentle chemical exfoliant this winter instead of a physical scrub, and avoid exfoliating raw, irritated, or cracked skin until your winter skin tone is balanced and repaired.
6. Keep Your Hands Nourished
If your hands feel the brunt of the winter chill, taking special care of them is essential.
You should apply a rich hand moisturiser regularly throughout the day, especially after washing your hands.
Use cuticle oil before applying hand cream to keep your nails strong and resilient.
7. Try a Humidifier
Humidifiers are designed to replenish moisture in the air and keep indoor humidity levels at an ideal level of around 40-60%.
Maintaining humidity levels in your home or office can help keep your skin hydrated while you’re inside.
This also has other benefits, like preventing dry eye conditions and excessive dehydration.
8. Don’t Forget Your Sunscreen
It’s easy to think that because the winter sun is weaker, it won’t damage your skin as much as it would in summer.
Use sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30 every day during winter, even on overcast days.
You should always apply your sun protection product to your hands to keep them looking youthful for longer.
You can also consider choosing a sunscreen with nourishing actives like squalane and hyaluronic acid to protect your skin from dryness and sun damage.
9. Use an Emollient at Night
Emollient moisturisers are rich, heavy creams or ointments that seal moisture and keep it locked in; there the perfect treatment for winter skin care.
They promote skin healing and are best used at night to give your skin time to replenish its natural barrier.
If you plan on applying an emollient to your hands or feet at night, consider wearing gloves to keep the product in place for maximum benefit.
10. Keep Your Skincare Routine Simple
The harsh dryness of winter can sensitise your skin and make it more prone to redness and irritation.
In this case, adjusting your skincare routine for winter is best.
Remove all harsh and astringent products like alcohol and fragrances, and use high-quality products with minimal irritating ingredients.
Once your skin feels smooth and hydrated, you can slowly incorporate some of your favourite products into your routine.
To conclude. The naked truth
Winter can take its toll on your skin, but that doesn’t mean you must deal with months of dryness and irritation.
The number of men taking an interest in skincare products is on the rise, too, for treating dryness.
So everyone can ensure they’ve got the right tools to combat that dreaded dryness.
The Naked Chemist offers a range of customised skincare solutions for all skin types and requirements to keep your winter skin looking and feeling its best!
1. Impact of Water Exposure and Temperature Changes on Skin Barrier Function
2. UV Radiation and the Skin