The changing seasons can have a negative impact on our skin, and exacerbate pre-existing skin conditions. While summer can be the worst time of the year for those who experience rosacea, the chilly autumn / winter months can be most problematic for those struggling with eczema, psoriasis or acne.
Cold Weather Skin
Cold weather and winter winds combined with increased use of central heating can have a drying effect on the skin. Frosty air tightens the skin’s pores and reduces blood circulation. This reduces the naturally occurring oil known as sebum, which acts as a protective layer and traps moisture next to the skin. With humidity in the air lower during winter, the cumulative effect is that skin starts to dry out. This can aggravate pre-existing conditions that already make the skin prone to cracking flaking and bleeding. Even people with ‘normal’ skin will notice a change, rosy red cheeks, taut skin and cracked lips. For people with dry skin conditions, the change can often be enough to cause increased incidences of flare-ups.
TOP 5 TIPS
Here are my top 5 tips for glowing, radiant skin this winter;
1. Avoid taking excessively hot baths
Whilst it might be tempting in the cold winter months to take a long soak in a steamy hot bath, it can actually be counterproductive. Hot water can rob the skin of its moisture. Instead, use moderate-temperature water for shorter periods of time.
2. Eliminate alcohol
In all forms! Check skincare products to see if the ingredients list alcohol. Alcohol can dry out the skin. Opt instead for products that contain less-drying astringent ingredients such as witch hazel.
3. Exfoliate gently
Brushing away dead skin cells can help keep skin glowing. A simple mixture of 100g ground coffee with 2 tablespoons of almond oil and a few drops of your favourite essential oil such as ylang ylang can make a lovely home made body scrub.
4. Slather on the shea butter
Petroleum and paraffin based moisturisers can have a longterm negative effect on the skin. Using a natural moisturiser such as shea butter can be equally effective without the negative side effects. Apply right after your bath or shower when skin is slightly damp. That way, moisture becomes trapped in the skin rather than evaporating in the air.
5. Eat and sleep well for radiant skin
Never underestimate the importance of healthy eating for hydration. Eat skin boosting foods packed full of vitamins, minerals and anti-ageing antioxidants. It’s equally important to stay well hydrated throughout winter, drink 2 litres of water each day and keep alcohol and caffeine consumption to a minimum.