During the winter months, skin holds less water and our protective skin barrier has less lipids too, leading to sensitivity and dryness. On top of that, “cold harsh air will dry out your skin,” shares Etre Vous Expert, Dr Emmaline Ashley.
“This is made worse if you live somewhere windy or frequently enjoy outdoor activities. And the dryness is then compounded when we step inside overly heated rooms, sit close to large fires, or take long extra hot showers,” adds Ashley.
If your skin is prone to dryness or dehydration, the situation will only be exacerbated during the colder months. Plus, age plays a part too – as we age our cell turnover naturally slows down, compounding the dead skin cells on the surface of the skin, leaving complexions dull and dry.
To combat the effects of winter on your body, we asked Ashley for her top 4 bodycare tips…
Rethink how you showerOne of the biggest mistakes you can make in the winter months is over washing and stripping your skin of its natural lipid barrier, further exacerbating dryness. So, use a gentle cleanser sans sulphates, and bathe in warm water rather than hot, again to avoid further drying out your skin. Don’t take long showers either, do your best to limit them to less than 10 minutes.
Stay hydratedChoose body lotions, creams and balms packed with hydrating ingredients, and don’t be afraid to layer them. Look out for gold standard hydrators like humectant hyaluronic acid which locks moisture into the skin, and lipids like ceramides and squalene that keep the skin barrier healthy to ensure water loss is kept to a minimum.
Switch up your activesYou don’t have to stop exfoliating altogether but try gentler options while your skin is enduring the harshness of winter. Rather than using alpha-hydroxy acids like glycolic acid, get gentle exfoliation from polyhyodroxy acids (PHAs) like lactobionic acid and gluconolactone.
Rethink your wardrobeFabrics like wool which are prevalently used in winter clothing can actually be irritating to the skin. Make sure that you are wearing appropriate layers of breathable materials like cotton, merino wool and silk, and if you are wearing coarser fabrics don’t allow them to touch your skin. And always change out of wet clothes quickly, as wearing wet clothes for too long will further irritate your skin, leaving it itchy and red.
Emmaline Ashley, Aesthetic Doctor
I'm Dr Emmaline Ashley, the founder of Ashley Aesthetics. I'm passionate about beauty, wellness and science. I wanted...Book with Emmaline Ashley