We're urged in the summer months to look after our skin. "Stay out of the Sun!", "Use SPF!", "...and moisturise at night to replace lost water!"

Of course, that's great advice AND advice that you should be taking. The greatest damage to skin is caused by the Sun's UV rays and it's the quickest way to look older.

What we're not told, is that you need to look after your skin in those colder months too. 

That Sun you're told to hide from all Summer still comes out in the Winter. So guess what? You're still being exposed to UV rays, albeit to a lesser extent. If you're outside a lot in the colder months, it's a good idea to use an SPF alongside your moisturiser.

Also, you know when it's really hot, it's often the high relative humidity that's uncomfortable to be in. When it's colder, there is much lower relative humidity which means there is less water, or moisture in the air. This causes dryer skin which can lead to flaking (or desquamation), whereby dry, dead skin cells fall away from the face. When you get out of the cold into your nice warm house or workplace, the low relative humidity can further dry your skin and exacerbate the problem.

Common symptoms of dry skin include itchy, tight and flaky skin.

Here are 8 tips to help protect your skin during the colder months:

  1. Moisturise every day - You may opt for a thicker moisturiser than usual, as they can hydrate your skin more effectively and for longer. The alternative is to use a thinner cream or lotion more often; up to 3 times a day depending on your skin type.
  2. Use an SPF - If you spend prolonged periods of time in the Winter sun, this is a very good idea. UV rays are still beaming down and looking for your collagen to break down 👴🏼
  3. Avoid over-exposure to very cold weather - We're not suggesting you stay indoors all year round, but the colder the weather, the more harm it could do to your face.
  4. Avoid long exposure to harsh winds - This can cause drying of the outer layer of skin cells which can then be removed by the wind, leaving the layer below exposed and less protected. Using petroleum based products can protect the skin against the effects of the wind.
  5. Use a humidifier indoors - Heating your home can cause the relative humidity to drop, which we've already established can cause your skin to dry out. Use a humidifier to increase the relative humidity, as this will slow the drying out process.
  6. Limit the use of very hot water - We would recommend this anyway, as it's never good for your skin, but you might be more inclined to do so when it's cold outside. Not only can it cause redness, but it will further dry your skin out.
  7. Don't cleanse or wash your face too much - We recommend reducing your use of these products to once a day and at night. Cleansers and washes strip the natural oils from your face; oils which help keep your face moisturised and you need all the help you can get right now. Don't forget to moisturise after.
  8. Take vitamin D supplements - We get most of our vitamin D from the sun, so in the Winter, you need to ensure you're getting a top up. A lack of vitamin D is associated with the risk of psoriasis and atopic dermatitis, and you don't want that.
Winter is coming, but if you follow the tips above, you should get through it and come out the other side with great skin. If you don't, it's your funeral.
If you do develop any skin conditions or are struggling to keep your skin healthy, see a Dermatologist. They will know exactly what to do.
Tags: Cold Dry Winter