Health & Beauty: Banish dry skin this winter

Health & Beauty: Banish dry skin this winter

By RoxyK
Email: roxyk@48hours.co.za

Chilly temperatures, dry air and icy winds can cause skin to become dry, flaky and itchy as the winter climate strips the natural moisture of the skin. Your skin is a living organ that is responsible for keeping the body cool and protecting your body against harmful germs.

You might think that a long warm bath is ideal in winter, but too much exposure to hot water can strip the natural oils and moisture from your skin. If the skin’s moisture is not replenished, it could lead to little cracks that affect the barrier of the skin. Any trauma to the skin can result in inflammation, which will make the skin more susceptible to flare-ups such as eczema or psoriasis.

You can start prepping your skin for the winter by incorporating a regular regime of moisturizers, lotions and body oils. Keep shower times brief and use lukewarm water to bathe. Harsh soaps can quickly strip away your skin’s protective oils. Most deodorant soaps and antibacterial soaps can cause sensitive skins to become dry and flaky, so rather switch to moisture-rich body washers that contain lanolin, cocoa butter or coconut oil made for sensitive skin and apply a body cream while your skin is still slightly damp. Apply a thicker treatment cream to areas that need it the most and then apply body butter to the whole body.

Choose oils that do not clog the pores, such as avocado, primrose or almond oil. Always apply whichever oil or lotion you’re using onto damp skin – more of it will be absorbed by the skin. The most important element of all is the application of sunscreen. The winter sun is just as harsh on the skin as during summertime. Apply a broad spectrum sunscreen to the hands and face 30 minutes before you step outside. Reapply sunscreen if you are outdoors for a long time.

The skin on your hands is thinner as they contain fewer oil glands and this means that it is harder to keep the hands moist. Wear gloves if you are gardening or washing dishes to avoid the skin from becoming dry and itchy.

Use a thick, hydrating hand cream in winter to keep the skin moisturized. Loose fitting clothing is the perfect way to prevent your skin becoming irritated and chafing by perspiration. Central heating and air conditioners can also play a part in drying your skin as they can cause the humidity levels to drop inside and this has a drying effect on the skin. There is a wide variety of creams and lotions that are available to smooth out your skin and provide a seal over your skin to keep moisture from escaping.

Try out some new hydrating creams like the Turkish Delight Whipped Body Mousse by Hey Gorgeous, or the Intensive Body Care range by Vaseline.

You may have heard this repeatedly, but drinking water is more important than ever during winter. Whatever your choice of skincare products are, make sure that they help to maintain your skin’s optimum health and glow.