Winter isn’t good for our skin. The cold leaves us vulnerable to trans-epidermal water loss – which basically means losing moisture through the epidermal layers of our skin. There is a thin layer of oil on the top of your skin that traps the moisture, but it will be the first to evaporate when the atmosphere is dry and, of course, the dryer the air, the more moisture you’ll lose.
Dryness, which is one of the most common winter effects on skin, is compounded by extremes in temperature, exposure from freezing wind and even when we wear wool – especially if it’s itchy! We make things worse by turning up the central heating and having long, hot baths and showers which also dry out the skin. One of the best ways to retain moisture in the skin after a bath or shower is to apply your moisturiser whilst your body is slightly damp, helping to trap a bit of extra moisture in. We recommend a product like Medik8® Hydr8TM Body lotion.
Wrapping up warm
In winter we obviously wrap up warm before we go outside. We make our bodies as cosy as possible with thermal socks, jumpers, scarves, gloves and hats… but it’s a very rare day indeed if we take as much trouble to protect our faces. Alleviate the effects of the arctic wind on your face with moisturisers like Sensicure® or Skin to Love’s own Day & Night Cream.
And even though you may not think any sun you see in winter is going to be strong enough to have any effect, it is! Always wear a sunscreen, whatever the weather.
Rosy cheeks aren’t always welcome
Facial redness and Rosacea are exacerbated by the cold. Both conditions are caused by blood vessels moving close to the surface of the skin so they become more visible, leading to misery for many. Rosacea can be managed through lifestyle changes, such as giving up alcohol and spicy food, but can also be treated with Intense Pulse Light or laser therapy which collapses some of the tiny blood vessels near the skin’s surface, thereby lessening the redness in your face.
Don’t forget your hands
Like the face, your hands will take the brunt of the cold weather, with the additional problem that the skin on your hands is thinner than most of the rest of your body and has fewer oil glands to keep them moisturised. In addition to the amount of exposure to the elements they’ll have, when you’re wearing gloves, especially woollen gloves, you’ll be drying out the oils. So make sure you’ve always got plenty of hand cream handy!
If you would like advice about contrasting the winter effects on skin this season, visit us at our clinic in the centre of St Albans. We will be happy to give you a free skin analysis to enable us to recommend the best products for your needs.
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