With winter on the way, many of us are turning our attention to our skin. While the primary goal in summer is to prevent burning and photo-ageing, the task in winter is to avoid dryness, cracking and itchiness.
Being kind to your skin in winter is actually easier than you think. Once you understand how the combination of indoor heating and low humidity can adversely affect your skin, you can take measures to prevent it.
In this article, we’re going to take a look at some of the ways that you can take better care of your skin. So, without further ado, let’s get straight to the tips.
Replace Wet Clothes with Dry Clothes Quickly
In the northern hemisphere, winters are cold and wet. Typically, there’s more rainfall in the winter months than at any other time of year, meaning that you’re much more likely to get soaked in a torrential downpour.
Wearing wet clothing, however, is not a good idea if you’re trying to protect your skin. Water in contact with your skin can dry it out, leaving it wrinkled and stiff. It’s vital, therefore, to take off wet clothes as soon as you get the chance and replace them with dry ones.
Deal with Cold Sores Immediately
Cold sores are a regular feature of winter skin health. The virus that causes them thrives in cold weather and can flare up, especially around the lips. The good news, however, is that you can find a pharmacy online, like Oxford Online Pharmacy, that provides both over-the-counter and prescription treatments. These treatments contain agents that help the body health from a cold sore faster, eliminating all of the itching and discomfort sooner.
Don’t Let Rough Clothing Touch Your Skin
While the winter holiday season is famous for thick, woollen jumpers, leggings and the rest, these items of clothing aren’t always kind to the skin. Wool, in particular, can have a profound drying effect owing to its abrasive properties. When sheep’s wool comes into contact with the skin, it can remove the surface layer and expose the sensitive, fresh cells underneath.
If you decide that you can’t resist the urge to wear a big, woolly jumper this winter, no problem! Just make sure that you wear skin-friendly fabrics underneath that are soft and breathable.
Wear Sunscreen, Even on Grey Days
UV light (the kind that damages the skin) is deceptive. Our eyes can’t see it, so when you step out of the house on a grey winter’s day, you’re not aware of it at all. Unfortunately, it can still get through thick clouds and damage the skin.
Dermatologists recommend that people apply SPF 30 sunscreen or above, even in the winter months. Applying sunscreen helps to prevent so-called photo-ageing, something that can lead to wrinkles and skin dryness in the future.
Choose Fragrance-Free Cleansers
The chemicals that give soap and cleansers their fragrance can also dry out the skin, especially during the winter months. Skin health professionals recommend, therefore, that you choose cleaners that do not contain these agents.
Be careful when choosing fragrance-free cleansers. Some cleansers may claim to be “unscented”, but that doesn’t mean that they are necessarily free from skin-drying chemicals. It’s wise to choose cleansers which explicitly market themselves as being “fragrance-free.”
Buy A Humidifier
Human skin evolved on the plains of Africa, where the air humidity was typically somewhere between 50 and 100 per cent. In today’s indoor environments, however, modern heating systems can reduce humidity far below this range, causing the skin to dry out.
Buying a humidifier, therefore, is a great solution. Humidifiers gently replace the moisture lost from the air to levels that are friendlier to your skin.
Don’t Crank the Thermostat Up to Maximum
While you might want nothing more than to return to a warm, cosy home in winter after a busy day, it’s not advisable from a skin point of view. The reason for this is that, again, high indoor temperatures reduce humidity. A temperature of 25 degrees, for instance, can soon remove the moisture from the air in your home, putting you at risk of dryness.
The optimal solution is to choose a medium temperature – something in the 19 C to 21 C range.
Use Toners and Astringents Sparingly
You can get away with using toners and astringents quite frequently in the summer months, but come winter it’s not advisable. Toners and astringents may contain alcohol which can dry the skin. If possible, stop using alcohol-containing products and replace them with those that contain natural oils.
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