• Jaelithe Baxendale

Top Tips For Healthy Winter Skin

Do you have soft, glowing healthy and radiant skin in the summer only to find yourself with dry, flaky, and itchy skin in the winter? You know where you have those extra flakes on your nose and dry, chapped lips that no amount of moisturiser or lip balm can save?

Our skin often looks worse in winter and it can be frustrating, especially if you haven't changed anything in your skin routine. Your everyday skin routine just doesn't seem to do the same amount of recovery as is it did in the spring and summer.

You may wonder why? There's a simple explanation: winter has drier air because of the colder temperatures and lower humidity levels. This combination as well as biting winter winds and central heating can suck moisture away from the skin (eek!).

But all hope is not lost. Here are our tips for healthier skin during the winter months.

1. Invest in a humidifier

During the colder months, we tend to have central heating on most of the time and central heating removes a large amount of moisture from the atmosphere around us. But you may say? Um, I don't have the heating on all that often! Even for those of us who sit huddled in our dressing gown and blankets, the air is still drier.

One way to get moisture back into the air is to invest in a humidifier. Humidifiers put that moisture back into the air, improving dry skin that has minute cracks in it that allow moisture to escape. However, humidifiers can only help so much. Don't give up on your skincare routine just because you bought a humidifier! It is best to buy a portable humidifier and put it in the rooms that you spend the most time in including your bedroom while you sleep. So, along with a good skincare routine, a humidifier is your friend.

2. Lower the central heating thermostat

As winter progresses and the temperatures continue to fall outside, it is tempting to keep turning the thermostat up a notch or two (or to keep warming your bottom against the radiator). The same applies to those with gas or log fires although the exact temperature cannot be regulated in the same way. Cracking up the heat is the worst thing you can do to dry out your skin. As stated in the first point, central heating removes moisture from the atmosphere and the higher the temperature the higher the amount of moisture that is removed! Keeping the temperature at a comfortable 16-18 degrees Celcius (60-65 Fahrenheit) will help to prevent your skin from becoming dry and cracked.

3. Avoid hot baths and showers

In the winter, a nice hot bath or shower to warm yourself up after a trip out in the dismal, cold weather sounds like a dreamy idea. But try and keep your bath water a little on the cooler side. Hot water strips the skin of its natural oils and dries it out. It is better to use warm water and add bath oils or slather on an oil-based cleanser for a luxurious experience instead. Keeping the temperature a little cooler will lock in that all-important moisture.

4. Opt for gentle, fragrance-free cleansers

On the same lines as using an oil-based cleanser, washing your face and body with an enticing-smelling product can make you feel happy and relaxed. However, the fragrance can harm your skin and cause it to be drier, itchier and more prone to breakouts. If a product leaves your skin feeling tight after you wash, it does not mean that you are clean but rather that it has stripped your skin of its natural oils. So gone are the days when we should be trying to get our face to a "squeaky clean" consistency. Who knew?

Using a fragrance-free product can prevent the natural oils from being stripped. When choosing a cleanser, look for pH-balancing products, free from parabens and sulphates as these can also contribute to drier skin. And remember that unscented doesn't necessarily mean fragrance-free as unscented products can still contain fragrances to cover up the smell of other ingredients in the cleanser.

5. Modify your skincare regime for the season

You probably have a tried and trusted skincare routine that you stick to every day. It may be beneficial to consider switching things up during the winter. A thicker, richer moisturiser will help with dry skin on both your face and hands. Apply hand cream after every wash to avoid your hands becoming sore and cracked. Don't forget your lips! They also get drier and are more prone to cracking. Apply a petrolatum or mineral oil-based balm as they protect the skin and allow time for it to repair itself. Continue to use a toner in winter as it is an essential step in a good skincare routine but think about changing your toner for an alcohol-free one as alcohol can strip natural oils and dry out the skin.

6. Continue to apply sunscreen

It may seem like you don't need sunscreen in the winter because of the dull, dreary days and miserable weather. However, while the number of UVB rays is reduced there is still enough UVA to cause ageing of the skin and potentially cancer. Apply sunscreen with a high UVA rating over the exposed areas of your body before you venture outside. Plus, the extra moisture in your sunscreen can help. You may be able to find a face and hand cream with SPF in it, too.

7. Wear comfortable, non-irritating clothing

When you have dry and sensitive skin, clothing can add to the misery. Both natural and man-made fibres like wool and nylon can irritate dry skin as they are rough and can rub and make you itchy. Instead of wearing these materials against your skin, try to go for lighter, breathable fabrics like cotton and layer them, putting the wool or nylon layers as the top layer so that you are warm but your skin isn't being irritated. Loose clothing without elastic at the waist or wrists is also preferable as tight elastic can rub against the dry and irritated skin, aggravating it even more. Remember your hands too! Make sure to choose a glove with fabric that won't irritate already dry and cracked wintery hands. Perhaps layer these too by wearing a cotton or silk under-glove. If you get wet on a trip out or during a winter stroll due to the ever-unpredictable weather, make sure you change into dry clothes as soon as possible. Wet clothes can worsen skin irritation. Always put the moisture back in and make sure to reapply hand and face cream regularly, especially after braving the cold, wet weather.

8. Eat right and stay hydrated

It's important to do all of our tips above to avoid getting or inflaming dry and irritated skin but it's equally important to moisturise your skin from the inside. Food contains nutrients that can keep the skin healthy and hydrated. Foods that contain Vitamin A, beta carotene, Vitamin E, Omega-6 fats, Omega-3 fatty acids and Vitamin C should be included in your diet.

Vitamin A helps to repair skin and beta carotene reinforces the skin's protective barrier. Vitamin E and Omega-6 fats are moisturising and anti-ageing and Vitamin C and Omega-3 fats are good for irritated skin. Foods that are rich in these vitamins and fats include sweet potatoes, avocados, cucumbers, tangerines, salmon and nuts and seeds. Remember to drink plenty of water too! If you are dehydrated on the inside then your skin will be dehydrated and dry too.

Our final tip!

Our final tip for healthy skin is to book yourself a professional facial. A gentle peel or exfoliating treatment are good options to combat dull winter skin and keep it hydrated. Here at NU-U, we offer Carbon Laser Facials and Omni Hydra Facials. The Carbon Laser Facial promotes a smooth and glowing complexion and gently resurfaces the skin. The Omni Hydra Facial combines hydro dermabrasion and a mild chemical peel for moisturising and anti-ageing results. To book your treatment text us today on 07813398647!

These are NU-U Laser and Aesthetic's tips for keeping your skin healthy during the winter. What are your tips for keeping your skin healthy in winter? Do you plan on following any of our tips and tricks? Tell us in the comments below.

At NU-U, we wish you a healthy and prosperous time in the winter ahead.

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