Winter-proof your skin

June 10, 2016

There’s lots to love about the arrival of the chilly season (hello beanies and cute boots) but the dehydrated, extra sensitive and flaky skin that comes with it – not so much.

“Our skin becomes much drier and more prone to damage in the winter months,” says Swisse Skincare Specialist, Selina Mithen.

You might notice it looking duller and rougher, with fine lines looking more prominent, increased sensitivity and dry skin problems flaring up.

“Low humidity in winter affects lipid production and can increase inflammation and make skin conditions such as eczema and acne worse,” says Mithen.

So what’s the plan? You need to give your skin some extra help as temperatures drop. Here’s what to do


Choose clever products

The number one goal is to retain moisture in your skin throughout ugg boot season. “Low humidity in winter also reduces the water content of the skin. This means reduced activity of enzymes that are involved in normal skin cell development and exfoliation,” says Mithen. Bad news for your skin as it becomes drier and flaky. And thirsty. Here’s how to combat that:

  • Change your cleanser to a richer, cream based cleanser or a cleansing oil, which are much gentler on your face. “Oil cleansers are great as they won’t damage the skin barrier, and aren’t drying or irritating,” Mithen advises.
  • Switch to a more nourishing moisturiser. Look for one containing hydrating oils such as grape seed or rose hip, which are rich in linoleic acid that help strengthen your skin’s barrier.
  • Moisturisers that contain glycerine should also be in your winter SOS kit, reckons Mithen, as it acts as a humectant and increases the amount of water in the surface layers of skin.
  • Don’t forget to regularly moisturise your hands which often bear the brunt of wind cold weather (and buy a pair of gloves for those cold mornings)
  • If you do suffer from extra sensitivity or are super dry, try adding a facial oil under your moisturiser, such as Swisse Cranberry Antioxidant facial oil. It contains a high amount of natural antioxidants that can help soothe skin irritation.


Go easy on the hot tap

We know hot showers are the bomb for heating up when it’s chilly outside but they’re less than great news for your skin, making it dry and itchy. Keep baths and showers warm, not hot. Choose soaps and body washes that are PH balanced and free from too many perfumes and additives, as they tend to be gentler and less drying on your already parched skin.

After showering or bathing, dab your skin and apply your body moisturiser or body oil while your skin is still damp to lock in moisture. Pay special attention to your elbows, knees and shins.


Don’t forget to moisturise from the inside

Essential fatty acids are your friend in winter. Load up on oily fish, avocados, nuts and seeds, flaxseed oil or powder (sprinkle it on your cereal), these all keep your skin smooth and healthy and the anti-inflammatory effects can help with conditions like eczema. And you’ve heard it a million times but water (or herbal teas if you need warming up) hydrates your skin like nothing else. Drink up.