Winter is well and truly upon us – when we’re outside in the dark at 5pm, the wind blows freezing cold air into our faces. And then when we seek comfort and attempt to thaw out indoors, we crank the central heating up, which dries out the atmosphere and drains our poor skin of what little moisture it has left. It’s hardly surprising, then, that lots of us suffer from dry skin in the coldest weather, even if we’re blessed with perfect skin for the rest of the year.
Causes of winter skin problems
So, what does winter weather and central heating actually do to our skin?
Basically, when our skin is exposed to cold or dry air, the fats that prevent water loss and enable skin cells to stick together are lost. And without these magical fats (science bit – lipids,) skin cells flake off and some of our natural defences are lost, and skin is left vulnerable to the elements. Skin in need of extra nourishment and moisture feels tight and uncomfortable, and this can become painful, with very dry skin cracking and even bleeding.
Alleviate winter skin problems
Luckily, though, it’s not all bleak, and there’s no need to suffer for the whole of the winter. It’s not just you versus the elements and there are plenty of things you can do to help. We’ve compiled a list of top tips to help your skin survive the season (other than get on a plane to warmer climes and return home when the sun comes out again, that is...)
- Up the humidity – combat dry air caused by central heating by using a humidifier. A simple way of doing this is to leave bowls of water near radiators.
- Eat a healthy diet – essential fatty acids like Omega 3 will help your skin stand up to winter.
- Turn the central heating down – it won’t dry out the air so much (and will save a few pennies as a bonus!)
- Bundle up with hats, scarves and gloves when you’re out and about.
- Use a water free hand cleanser instead of washing your hands with soap and water that can strip away your defences.
- Cut down on the length of your showers or baths – hot water can wash away natural oils that protect your skin so minimising your exposure will help limit the damage. And when you’re done, pat your skin dry gently rather than vigorously rubbing it.
- Take collagen supplements – collagen is the natural glue that holds the body together. A totally natural product, premium collagen supplements have been reported to improve skin condition and may benefit skin hydration and elasticity.
Get into good skin care habits – use a high quality moisturiser whilst your skin is still damp from washing. The Perfect Secret Anti-Wrinkle Serum offers a unique blend of ingredients combining new technology peptides, with collagen, hyaluronic acid, and aloe vera – to help keep your skin hydrated whilst also reducing the effects of ageing. Bonus!