Read on to find out what to do about your dry skin this winter.
Winter has its highs like Christmas, falling snow and the holiday season that comes with a lot of shopping and partying. But this cold season also wreaks the worst of havocs on our skin. Humidity during wintertime is very low both indoors and outdoors. This reduces the water content in the epidermis, which is the outermost layer of the skin. Our skin becomes rough and flaky. Sometimes it itches and feels uncomfortable.
What you eat always shows in your skin, and so a daily dose of healthy fats helps with dry skin. You need to eat foods like avocados, olive oil, fatty fish, nuts like walnuts, whole eggs and full-fat yogurt. These healthy fats help to keep your skin thick, supple and moisturized. While you need to up your intake of healthy fats, you also need to cut down on alcohol, coffee and caffeine. These are diuretics and make you lose body fluids through urination, causing your skin to dry out. And of course, drink your recommended eight (8) glasses of water every day.
You must not substitute a healthy diet for a good skin care regimen. The two work hand in hand to combat dry skin.
HAVE A HUMIDIFIER AT HOME
If the air at home is not humid, chances are that your skin will get dry. You need to have a humidifier in the room you spend the most time in. Usually, this is your bedroom. You can also have one in your living room. Humidifiers work to increase the moisture in the air, which keeps the skin's barrier hydrated. You also need to make sure the heat is turned low or at a moderate level as too much heat also dries out the skin.
STOP USING HARSH CLEANSERS
Ditch any cleansers that contain drying agents or ingredients like fragrances, alcohol and additives. These will strip your skin of their natural oils, which are needed to keep it hydrated. Instead of these, opt for cleansers with ingredients like chamomile, oatmeal and calendula. These ingredients are good for soothing dry skin. Alternatively, you can use cleansing oils and balms since these can cleanse your skin thoroughly and moisturize your skin in one step. In fact, depending on your skin type, you may not need a moisturizer after using a cleansing oil or balm.
Buffing your skin or body polishing removes dead skin cells, promotes cell regeneration and moisturizes the skin. This opens up your skin's pores and makes it able to absorb more moisture. Creams and serums now work better because they can penetrate the skin and do their work. Use an exfoliator or a gentle scrub with mild glycolic or lactic acid instead of your regular cleanser at least two times a week - it works better. If your skin is extremely dry, your washcloth and a bit of your regular cleanser do a much better and gentler job than an exfoliator or a facial scrub.
SMOOTH ON AN ANTIOXIDANT SERUM
Of all the skincare products, serums are the ones that are all-season. So, you can continue to use your regular serum all through winter so long as it doesn't contain alcohol. Premature ageing causes dry skin and for that reason, an antioxidant serum will help your skin fight off all the free radicals that cause your skin to age. Most skin experts advise applying a serum with Vitamin C (which is a powerful antioxidant) first thing in the morning as a foundation for other heaver skincare products. And get protected too by applying an SPF every day – an SPF 30 is preferred since the winter sun is less intensive.
SWAP YOUR LIGHT MOISTURIZER FOR A HEAVIER ONE
Lighter moisturizers or lotions are best for summer, but when the cold winter hits, it's time to use heavier moisturizers or creams if you mean to get serious with hydrating your skin. Preferably, go for creams that contain ceramides and hyaluronic acid. Ceramides, in particular, help to prevent the skin's barrier from breaking down during winter. If your skin is extremely dry to the point that you are chafing, then pack on heavy amounts of this in the morning and at night.
MAJOR ON NIGHTTIME
With skincare, your daytime routine is just as important as your routine for the night. Unfortunately, most people do not have a nighttime routine or neglect it altogether. The truth is, your skin cells rejuvenate or repair themselves when you are asleep, which is usually at night. So, if you want to achieve better results with your skincare regimen for dry skin, you need to put a lot of effort into how you care for your skin during PM hours.
An effective nighttime routine will be to put on your face serum and moisturizer. Then, apply eye cream under your eyes and eyelids (this eye cream should be gentle since the skin around the eyes is the most sensitive). As part of your regimen for the night, cut down on shower time to five minutes max and use lukewarm (not hot!) water to shower to prevent drying out the skin. Do also use a creamy cleanser instead of run-of-the-mill soap bars or body washes, which are usually irritating or harsh and will worsen your dry skin. Within a minute of stepping out of the shower, apply a thick body moisturizer that contains either lanolin or mineral oil or ceramides. This will lock in moisture for the long haul (you know how winter nights can drag on). Putting on a hydrating sheet mask once a week at bedtime is also not a bad idea. And don't forget to moisturize your hands at bedtime.
Avoid sheet masks that contain charcoal or clay and opt for those that contain ingredients like hyaluronic acid.
Alrighty, enjoy your skin this winter with no worries about dry skin.
Disclaimer: The information shared by this post is for informational purposes only. It is not meant to be professional medical advice nor a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Consult your dermatologist concerning anything you have read here.
By Nana Ama Afoa Osae I Writer I GreatWonderful Team
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