Did you know, that our skin produces 10% less oil when the mercury drops by 10 degrees Celsius? During winter, our skin becomes naturally drier regardless of our skin type because the humidity in the air is lower, on average, than in summer.
However, this is not the sole factor that causes the skin to become drier. Dry air dispelled by air conditioners also affects the skin in an adverse manner. Not only does the skin become drier, but it is also aggravated and taut which means that it requires special care.
Here are a few methods to effectively care for the skin during winter in a gentle manner - regardless of your skin type.
Exfoliation, minus the skin-irritating side effects.
When the skin becomes flaky the use of facial scrub can work wonders. But beware, not all exfoliators are alike or deliver the same skin-positive benefits. A gentle peeling with round granules removes dead skin cells which in turn allows the skin to better absorb subsequent cosmetics, such as moisturisers and facial oils.
A drop of oil
It's a good idea to opt for facial oil during winter. Either use the oil on its own or mix a drop or two with your moisturiser to preserve the moisture levels of the skin, shielding it against dry air. Simply massage 2 - 3 drops of oil onto clean, slightly moist skin.
Nourish dry skin
Chapped lips and rough-looking hands are often experienced by many during the colder months of the year. Dry skin requires moisture all day long to allow for regeneration. Even though cosmetics can provide the skin with needed hydration from the outside, it also requires hydration from within. Be sure to stay hydrated with water, green tea or sugar-free fruit juices. Avoid alcohol and coffee which can cause dehydration.
Certain foods can help to preserve skin balance. These include foods that are high in unsaturated fatty acids, such as nuts, seeds and salmon. A healthy dose of vitamin A is essential. This vitamin is found in colourful fruits and vegetables.
Reduce the time it takes to shower
A long hot shower sounds tempting but has its own side effect. Hot water dehydrates the skin and draws out needed moisture. Water on the skin evaporates and strips the skin of natural oils that serve to maintain skin elasticity and suppleness. It is recommended to shower for no longer than 15 minutes using lukewarm water.
Be sure to use mild soaps and shower gels. During the winter the skin is strained enough as it is. Harsh cleansing agents may only aggravate the skin further. It's best to opt for cleansers that are alcohol and fragrance-free.
Moisturise the skin with oil-based creams after cleansing to prevent dryness. Products with avocado oil and/or shea butter are ideal.
Dry skin suffers when in contact with fabrics that scratch it but also when it is exposed to the elements, such as wind and the sun of which the latter is often forgotten by many during winter. Ensure that the clothing being worn do not have an irritating effect on the skin. Cotton and silks are great picks because they allow the skin to breathe. Clean the garments with mild detergents to avoid unwanted skin reactions.
With these changes adapted to winter temperatures, the skin is able to flourish no matter how low the mercury dives.