Winter can bring a whole host of skin issues, from eczema flaring up in centrally-heated environments, to dehydration from cold winds. In this blog, we look at what you can do to look after winter skin.
A good place to start when looking at what can help dry skin in winter is to work out what doesn’t help!
- Central heating can both dry out and overheat sensitive skin
- Low humidity in the air sucks moisture from skin
- Thick woollen clothes can make skin hot and itchy
- Long hot baths can dry out and irritate skin
- Colder temperatures increase transepidermal water loss
- Dry skin is more sensitive to allergens and irritants
With all those in mind, we can start working out a strategy to keep skin warm, well-hydrated and healthy!
The key to looking after winter skin is using emollients regularly and generously to lock moisture into dry or damaged skin, so that it can repair itself rather than suffer further damage.
- An effective, non-irritating emollient can help prevent further water loss in cold dry weather. Pick one that is unscented and has a high oil content. Balms or ointments are more effective than water-based creams; creams can sting on raw or scratched skin because of the extra additives, preservatives and fragrances needed to keep them fresh and attractive to use.
- Apply your chosen emollient as often as you feel you need to throughout the day, to top up the protection. This applies doubly after washing your hands or having a bath or shower, as these can really dehydrate already-sensitive skin. Keep it close to hand so you can reapply at regular intervals!
- Keep your rooms a little cooler and more humid than usual: lower the thermostat so your skin isn’t overheated as well as dried out by central heating, and invest in a humidifier, especially if your room doesn’t have much airflow.
- Keep baths brief and warm, not hot. If you do want a good long soak, it’s worth adding some oil - or an oat-filled sock! -to the water, to keep your skin soft and moisturised.
- Think about what you’re wearing: loose, light, easily removable layers of natural fabric are better than prickly thick woollies, so you can adjust your temperature as you need to.
- Protect your skin when you go outside into cold, dry or windy air by applying a thin layer of Skin Salvation as a protective barrier against further moisture-loss.
- Avoid your own particular triggers for flares while your dehydrated skin is extra sensitive and delicate! These could include perfumes, detergents, dust, mould spores, preservatives in toiletries, and soap or sulphates in cleansers and washes.
If you take care to follow all these steps, you should give your skin a fighting chance to beat the winter chill!
Balmonds Skin Salvation
with hemp and beeswax
Bath & Body Oil
with lavender, hemp and olive
If you require medical advice we recommend you always contact your healthcare professional.
If you or someone you are caring for seems very unwell, is getting worse or you think there's something seriously wrong, call for emergency services straight away. For general medical advice, please contact your healthcare professional, this article does not contain or replace medical advice.
Do not delay getting help if you're worried. Trust your instincts.