Caring for your skin during the winter months

Unfortunately the combination of colder weather and central heating can play havoc with our skin. Conditions such as psoriasis and eczema tend to worsen in winter. Our skin can also appear dry and dull looking. It’s important to keep hydrated by drinking plenty of water or hot water and lemon as central heating and colder weather will dry your skin out.

 Moisturise frequently in winter and choose a thicker cream to help protect against the elements. I’d also advise using an exfoliator a couple of times a week to get rid of dead skin cells and unclog pores which can make our skin appear dull and lackluster.

Switch to a gentle fragrance free cleanser as strong soap can worsen itchy, dry skin. I’d advise choosing a cream-based cleanser, and use toners and astringents sparingly as quite often these contain alcohol which further dry your skin out.

It's super important to use an SPF even in winter as our skin is still susceptible to damaging UV rays despite it being darker and cooler. The sun’s harmful UV rays can permeate clouds and still cause damage. I’d advise using an SPF of 15 or higher to exposed face under make-up.

Our lips tend to suffer the most in the winter so it’s important to use a moisturising lip balm with an added SPF. Those containing petroleum jelly work well as they can heal dry and cracked lips sealing in moisture at the same time.  

If you don’t already try taking omega oils in the winter months which replace the essential fats in your skin that lock moisture in the skin. 

Opt for a warm shower rather then boiling hot as hot water dries yhour skin out by stripping it of its natural oils making it feel scaly and itchy. After a shower or bath, blot skin dry and apply a thick moisturizer within a few minutes to seal the water into the skin

Treat yourself to a professional facial one a month as regular facials will get rid of dead skin cells and allow better absorption of skincare products. Facials will help keep your skin clear and hydrated. 

Hands tend to get forgotten in winter and yet can highlight signs of ageing when they’re not looked after and appear dry, lined and cracked.  Wear gloves if you’re cleaning or washing up to protect your hands and always use hand moisturizer afterwards. Frequent washing of hands in winter will also help keep cold and flu germs away.

Dr Ross Perry is Medical Director at Cosmedics Skin Clinic. 

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