Dry hands, chapped lips, tight, rough cheeks – these are all signs that the winter cold snap is affecting your skin, as much as it is affecting your day-to-day well-being, but what tips are there for the best skincare regime for combating winter skin?
Hydration is the biggest problem for our skin as the weather changes and icy winds beat at our faces and roughen our hands. Making sure you keep your skin hydrated in winter is probably the best advice of all, but there are certainly other things you can do and treatments that can help keep your skin looking and feeling healthy all year round.
In the colder months of the year, skin becomes dull, pasty in colour and often dry. This is due to the reduction in temperature, the onslaught of the winds and the dryness of the air. One thing you do notice on people in the winter is rosy cheeks, this is a sign that the body is trying to keep warm, as blood is sent to the tiny blood vessels near the surface of the skin on the cheeks to combat the effects of the cold. Sadly though, this mostly leads to a feeling of soreness and tightness to the skin and in some cases, the extreme dryness can lead to flaky skin, as well as chapped or cracked skin, especially on the lips. If you suffer from any kind of skin condition such as eczema or rosacea, the colder months of the year can really increase the discomfort from such conditions and improved hydration is paramount.
Sun Protection Factor (SPF)
Just because it’s dull, grey and cold outside, doesn’t mean you should put the sunscreen away in the bathroom cabinet and forget about it. The sun is still there, despite it getting dark by 4pm! This means that although there is a reduction in the strength of the sun and the benefits that we get from it, including vitamin D production, it is still shining UVA and UVB rays down on us which contribute to premature ageing. This means that applying an SPF to your face daily is still a must, even when you can’t remember when you last saw and felt the glow of that big yellow sun.
Good skincare routine
As mentioned, the reduced temperatures and biting winds have a drying effect on your skin, so having a good daily skincare routine is key alongside hydrating your skin. This will help to retain the precious hydration which is added to your skin and prevent it from escaping too easily and will really help the appearance of your skin tone and texture. Products which offer hydrating components such as hyaluronic acid can make a real difference too. At Hilton Skin Clinics, we offer a wide range of professional skincare, including ZO® Skin Health, and can optimise skincare routines to your skin and its differing needs as the year unfolds. And remember, all the care you give to hydrating your face can equally be lavished on your poor, dry hands.
Hydrate with water
When the weather turns cold, all we really want are hot mugs of tea, creamy hot chocolates and dare I say it, mulled wine, but all of these are not as good for keeping up our levels of hydration as simply making sure we continue to drink plenty of water, something we more readily do in the warmer months when we want to cool down and often feel more thirsty. If you really can’t just drink straight H20, then swapping your usual caffeine-laden, diuretic coffee and tea for a healthy option of green tea, which also comes packed with anti-oxidants, will be better for you and your skin.
Weirdly though, it’s not just about drinking more water, but bathing in water will help too. Showers are great for washing quickly and efficiently and saving water in the home, but a nice, warm luxurious bath in the winter time will also help to hydrate your skin. Be sure to lock in that hydration with an appropriate oil or moisturising product once you have towel dried.
Hydrate with vitamins and minerals
Many of us are deficient in core vitamins and minerals that our body needs to maintain healthy skin and well-being, and this can get worse in the winter when there is a lack of fresh fruit and vegetables which can provide the vitamin C and other vitamins and minerals that we need. If you’re looking and feeling lacklustre, then intravenous vitamin therapy with Intravita IV drips can help your skin from the inside out.
Skin is already more sensitive in the winter, so when you are looking after it, you need to be gentle. Stick to gentle cleansing routines and products which keep the barrier function of your skin as healthy as possible, otherwise all your hard work on hydration will be lost. Skin should not feel tight or sore after washing; if it does then ask us about more gentle options and products for cleansing your skin from the various professional ranges that we stock.
Our staff at Hilton Skin Clinics in Reading are specially trained in understanding skin and which professional skincare solutions work best to target differing skin types and conditions, and the effects of the different seasons on our skin. They can also advise on skin concerns such as acne, rosacea, photo-ageing and pigmentation problems.
If you want help and advice with looking after your skin at any time of year then please contact Hilton Skin Clinics in Reading today to book a consultation to discuss how we can help.