Have you got the dry skin winter blues?
The winter season is well and truly upon us, and with it comes all the joys of the cooler months….winter
clothes (especially amazing boots!), homemade soups and roast dinners, red wine at the right temperature, gardening in the middle of the day without the harsh sun…the list goes on. Unfortunately winter also brings with it a few downers and our main bugbear is dry skin! Despite the action many of us take, winter is the time when our skin tends to dry out, worst case scenario it dries out to the point of being scaly and itchy. Definitely not a good look for those Christmas in July gatherings!
Here are our top tips on how to prevent developing dry skin during the cooler periods.
- Hot Showers – although there is nothing better than a long, hot shower during the colder winter months, too much hot water can really dry out your skin. The excess tends to deplete the natural oil barrier we have built up on our skin, that’s the barrier that helps trap in moisture and keeps your skin in peak condition. We all agree that there is nothing worse than jumping out of the comfort of your shower into the cool air but it is definitely one of the best things you can do to remedy dry skin. So do your best to keep it short and sweet, not too hot, and always remember to pat dry (not rub furiously) and moisturise straight away.
- Think about what you put on your skin – consider using a soap-free cleanser, something that is fragrance free and maybe even one that contains ceramides. Ceramides are the fatty molecules that are naturally found in the outer layer of your skin, the stuff that helps hold the moisture in. Whatever you do, lay off toners, peels, astringents containing alcohol and be gentle when you exfoliate! Try one of Ripple’s nourishing collagen face masks or book in for one of our facials. These facials really nourish your skin.
- To shave or not to shave? When shaving is your preferred method of hair removal you need to consider that you are also scraping away these oh-so-important natural oils. To avoid causing dry skin in winter, soften the your hair in the bath, use a shaving cream or gel, shave in the direction of the hair and always use a nice, sharp razor.
- Cover Up – we tend to forget about the harsh summer sun over the winter months, opting to bask in the warmth whenever we can to escape the cold, or take advantage of a time of year when we can actually get outdoors without fearing dreaded skin damage from the sun. In reality, our amazing Australian sunshine is doing us damage all year round. To protect your skin, wear a good quality sunscreen throughout the whole year. And don’t forget about your lips – to prevent dry, chapped puckers, always use a soothing lip balm that contains SPF 15. Dressing in layers in the winter months will help you regulate your body temperature. Being covered keep the cold winds from drying out your skin. And being able to take a layer off alleviates any overheating and sweating which can both be major skin irritants!
- Moisturise, moisturise, moisturise…and do it right! Make moisturising part of your routine,
don’t be tempted to skip this vital step because the bathroom is a little chilly at this time of year. After washing with the right cleanser pat your skin dry, don’t rub and scrub, a simple short amount a patting will do, 20 seconds or less should be plenty. While you skin is still slightly damp it’s time to moisturise. Use a nice, thick moisturiser, cream or lotion, and take the time to cover your whole body – enjoy this part of your daily routine, a little bit of pampering goes a long way! If you need something super rich for your dry skin, try the likes of ceramides, glycerine, or shea butter. Of course, always consider the level of sun protection in your regular daily moisturiser.
- The air that we breathe – there is nothing better than curling up in front of the fire, or turning on the heater and snuggling up on the couch on a cold winters night. Unfortunately, when we warm our houses we are also removing the moisture from the air around us. This is a killer for dry skin in the winter. By using a humidifier you’ll be able to replace some of the moisture in the air, your skin will thank you for it, as will your indoor plants! No need to buy a fancy humidifier, simply put a pot of water on top of your wood heater or leave a
pot of water on a slow boil on the stove.
Already past the point of no return? Have you missed the boat to the prevention of dry skin revolution? Has your dry skin turned into itching, crawling skin that is driving you crazy? It’s never too late to get yourself back on track. Try some of these easy home remedies for dry skin. Bring your skin back from the brink then get into the routine above, your skin will love you for it!!
- Add a cup of baking soda to a bath and have a 30min soak. Alternatively add 4 tablespoons to a litre of water for a soothing sponge bath.
- If you’re getting no relief from your moisturiser try using good old fashioned vegetable oil or olive oil. You might look like a 1980’s coconut oiled bathing beauty but using a plant based oil is a great way to boost your skins natural oils.
- Oats are a great source of vitamin E, add a cup of quick oats (the type you would normally cook in the microwave) to your bath or create a paste with a little water to give your body a rub down. After you rinse give yourself a quick rub down with some dry oats to really lock in the goodness. Messy, yes! But this is a fail safe way to boost your levels of vitamin E.
- For dry, capped hands or feet – combine 2 cups warm water, 1 cup apple cider vinegar and 3 tablespoons olive oil. Soak for 10min then pat dry and moisturise – bliss!!
Be gone dry skin, hello beautiful glowing winter skin…ready and waiting for exposure in summer!