If you live in a part of the world that experiences cold weather, you’ll know that frigid temperatures can wreak havoc on your skin, both on the face and body. It gets dry, flaky and can sometimes even crack, which can be painful or itchy.

On a quest to find out how to best protect the skin we’re in, we asked dermatologists to share their top tips for keeping our body’s largest organ healthy and hydrated throughout the cold months.


1. Keep Moisture In The Air

Our skin is the barrier that keeps water inside of your body, so when it is dry and cold, water evaporates off of the surface faster and easier.

Once you’ve had a bath or shower and moisturised, if possible, let the steam circulate throughout the house. Same goes when you are generating steam in the kitchen.

To prevent dryness drink an extra glass or two of water.


2. Use Gentler Products

The key is to use gentle cleansers. A cream cleanser is very moisturising and does not strip moisture away from the skin.

If you’re also dealing with breakouts,  just use water on those areas and gently pat your skin dry to avoid further irritation and breakouts.


3. Avoid Hot Showers And Baths

In the winter months, taking hot showers and not moisturising can create cracks in the surface of the skin. Hot water evaporates fast, and if the skin is not immediately moisturised, the cracks in the skin let the skin nerves get exposed to air, resulting in what feels like lots of paper cuts and eczema, or ‘winter’s itch.

I know it sounds like common sense, but when it’s really cold outside, the last thing you want to do is come home after a long walk and take a hot shower or bath. Water that’s too hot actually dehydrates our skin.

If you do indulge in a hot shower or bath, keep your bathroom door closed if possible, and after you dry, moisturise straight away. Just patting yourself dry and leaving your skin slightly dry before moisturising is a great tip.

You could also really indulge yourself and moisturise your skin at the same time by adding a luxury bath oil to your bath.


4. Upgrade Your Moisturiser, And Use It Often

This one might seem obvious, but moisturising your skin is crucial for keeping it hydrated throughout the winter.

Application of a very thick moisturiser as soon as you get out of the bath or shower and then one more time per day will help keep your skin feeling nice and smooth. Sometimes layering an oil on your face and body prior to a cream-based moisturiser will help trap in the hydration.

Before bathing, we always recommend body oils because they can hydrate your skin and protect your barrier before you get into a warm bath.

One common mistake people make, is choosing a lotion instead of a cream.

Lotions are common moisturisers. The issue with lotions is they’re not as thick, and so they’re not as moisturising. When your skin is dry in the winter, it’s important to use body creams. You also want to avoid synthetic fragrances, as those can also irritate and dry the skin, and instead opt for creams containing natural botanical extracts and essential oils.


5. Don’t Go Out In The Cold With Damp Skin

A lot of people will run outside after they’ve washed their hands or finished doing a chore to walk their dog or take out rubbish, but if your skin is damp and you go out in the cold, it’s going to chap a lot more frequently. It’s just like when your lips are dry and when you lick them more it makes the problem worse.


6. Exfoliate Less

When it comes to exfoliating, the answer to whether or not you should do it isn’t the same for everyone.

If your skin is really, really dry, then you certainly don’t exfoliate. But if it’s OK, then you can. Certainly you’re going to exfoliate less than you would normally, because your skin barrier is going to be a little bit compromised because of the dryness and the cold air.

If your skin is fine with exfoliation, do it once a week to help speed up the skin’s regeneration and allow better penetration of your moisturiser, Use a good quality, natural exfoliator.

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