With the UK battling sub-zero temperatures in the past few weeks, and then the arrival of last week’s storm, the ‘beast from the east’, protecting our skin from the cold, dry air has never been so important.
In a dry environment, your skin cells start to lose water, which is why many will notice dry, chapped lips as a result of cold weather. This is having the same effect on your skin, but it may not be as obvious, therefore, it is useful to start preventing winter damage to your skin as soon as you notice chapped lips. A simple layer of moisturiser will help but won’t do the trick, especially if you already suffer from skin conditions such as acne, eczema or psoriasis, which can all be aggravated by harsh weather conditions.
Change your indoor habits
- Avoid hot, steamy showers Prolonged exposure in a humid environment after being in the cold can cause the skin to lose natural oils, resulting in a further loss in moisture
- Stay hydrated Whether it’s 25ºC or -5ºC, drinking the recommended 2 litres of water a day keeps the skin hydrated
- Wear soft cotton or silk Dry, itchy skin (also known as the ‘winter itch’) can be irritated by scratchy woollen fabrics
- Eat healthy fats Eating foods such as fish, nuts and avocados is a way Eskimos keep their skin healthy in the cold as they have anti-inflammatory properties
- Lip balm with SPF This will help relieve your dry, chapped lips. Avoid lip balms containing camphor, phenol, menthol, OL, or salicylic acid, as these actually dry your lips
- Sunscreen or makeup with SPF Don’t be fooled by the temperature, you can still get sunburn, and more likely, wind burn
- Sleep with socks and gloves on If you are suffering from extremely dry hands or feet, moisturise them and then sleep with socks/gloves on to help lock in moisture
- Deeply nourishing moisturiser Penetrating moisturisers are a good way of regaining moisture in the skin
- Olive oil Putting a small amount of olive oil on the skin can help rejuvenate the cells as it has antioxidants and fatty acids which help with dry skin. This can also be mixed with fine brown sugar and honey for a moisturising exfoliator
Text by Ella Gannon
Picture research by Ella Gannon and Juliey Pham; featured image from metro.co.uk.