Why and what you should change about your skincare routine in winter if you are prone to dry skin.
Should I change your skincare routine in winter? The cold harsh weather affects our skin in a number of ways. Dryness is one. Generally there are many reasons why your skin can get dry and itchy.
Itchy skin is not a skin condition as such and it can be caused by dry skin, clothing, menopause, genetic predisposition. Patches of dry itchy skin can become visible on the arms lower legs and abdomen.
Here I am going to talk about dryness during winter.
Dry skin can be quite a concern for many darker skinned people, causing patches of dry skin or ‘ashiness’.
Lack of treatment can lead to dermatitis, inflammation of the skin, swelling and even infection. Fortunately most of these are external conditions and the remedies are external too.
To prevent dry skin and any side effects you need to be taking better care by adapting your routine. If you suffer from dry skin you have probably tried a lot of moisturisers already. These should be an integral part of your day to day facial and body skincare routine especially if you have dry skin. Knowing how to use moisturiser is also important.
It is best to apply on wet damp skin, not dipping wet though, pat down your skin and apply the moisturiser, this traps and increases water content onto your skin repairing the protective barrier and making the skin look more dewy.
Wait a little for skin to absorb and towel off any excess.
Ideal winter moisturisers for Black / Dry skin
Try a mild, non perfumed one and with no alcohol. You need a thick moisturiser to seal in moisture. You can test it by putting some on the palm of your hand and turning it over. It should not drop off but stick to it if the right consistency .
You will need to change what you use from spring and summer. You want an ointment or oil based moisturiser rather than one that is water based. Oil helps maintain the covering film or acid mantle as opposed to water based lotions. Choose any thing labelled as night cream.
Consider non clogging and appropriate oils like, primrose, jojoba or almond oil for facial skin protection.
Sunscreen is not just for summer time. Winter sun and snow glare can also cause skin damage. A broad spectrum face and hand sunscreen is good when going outside. Re-apply frequently if out for a long time.
- Hand care
The skin on your hands is thinner and has less oil glands than the rest of your body. Cold dry weather makes it harder to keep them moisturised which is likely to cause itchiness. Try to wear gloves when going outside. If they are woolly put a thin cotton glove on first to avoid irritation.
Humidify central heating and space heaters that blast dry hot air throughout the home and office make the skin dry. A humidifier helps keep the air moist and prevents it drying out. Have several humidifiers around the house if you can to disperse moisture all over the house more evenly.
- Drink Water
Drink water to hydrate for health rather than your skin. I am sure you have heard a thousand times that water is good for your skin. Some dermatologists say that your skin does not always benefit from the water you drink i.e. you can drink 12 glasses of water a day and still have dry skin. There are many other factors to consider.
- Avoid Harsh Chemical Peels and Masks
Avoid harsh masks facial peels and masks, and alcohol based toners and astringents which strip the skin of oil. A mild cleansing milk or hydrating mask and toner are more suitable for winter.
- Foot Care
Heat up your feet up! In winter your feet need strong stuff, not fragrant minty cooling summer lotions. Find something with glycerine to use and periodically exfoliate dead skin to help your moisturiser get into the skin.
- Ban hot baths.
Soaking in burning hot water is a no-no. The temperature difference after being out in the cold damages the acid mantle by contributing to the stripping of oils on your skin. It feels good after being out in the cold but intensely hot water adversely affects the skin breaking down the epidermal lipid barriers of the acid mantle, leading to dry itchiness. Try using bath oils relieve and moisturise to avoid the need of prescribed ointments etc. resultant from dry skin.
10. Try a Body Butter
If you have not done so already, try a body butter. There are many luxurious butters that make great moisturisers. Shea, Cocoa, Mango and Avocado are my favourites! Find a combination that works for your skin or even just one.
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Our Winter Survival Kits contain a range of products for you to try.