As the chilly winds and frosty temperatures settle in during the winter months, our skin undergoes a series of changes. The dry air, indoor heating and fluctuating temperatures can take their toll, leaving your skin feeling parched, dull and more susceptible to various dermatological issues. However, with a thoughtful skincare routine and special treatment, you can combat these seasonal challenges to keep your skin in top form.
Below, four common cold-weather skin problems are listed, together with practical tips on overcoming them.
Winter woe #1: Dry skin
One of the most common skin concerns during winter is dehydration. The cold weather outside and heating indoors strip the air of its moisture, reducing humidity levels. This can lead to dry, flaky, tight-feeling skin and even itching.
- Hydrate from within: Increase your water intake to keep your skin well-moisturised. This includes consuming foods rich in water (such as fruits and vegetables) and drinking liquids (like herbal teas and warm water with lemon).
- External hydration: Use a gentle, hydrating cleanser to wash your skin without stripping away natural oils. Consider using a heavier moisturiser or adding hydration remedies during winter. Apply these immediately after showering or bathing to seal in the hydration.
Winter woe #2: Dull complexion
Winter’s harsh conditions can leave your complexion looking lacklustre. The dry air and reduced sunlight contribute to a decrease in cell turnover and natural exfoliation, resulting in a buildup of dead skin cells on the surface.
- Exfoliation: Gently exfoliate your skin once or twice weekly using a face mitt or a mild scrub. This helps remove dead skin cells, allowing fresh and glowing skin to emerge.
- Nourishing treatments: Consider incorporating face masks, serums, or facial oils into your routine. Look for products containing anti-oxidants like vitamin C or E, which help fight free radicals and promote a brighter complexion.
Winter woe #3: Increased sensitivity
During winter, your skin’s barrier function may become compromised, leading to higher sensitivity and irritation. The combination of cold winds and indoor heating can exacerbate this issue, causing redness, itchiness, and even conditions like eczema.
- Avoid hot showers: Although tempting, blazing showers can strip your skin of essential oils, worsening dryness and sensitivity. Opt for lukewarm water and limit the duration of your shower to prevent further damage.
- Moisturise and protect: Apply a broad-spectrum sunscreen with at least SPF 30, even on cloudy winter days, to shield your skin from harmful UV rays. Use a fragrance-free, hypoallergenic moisturiser to protect and soothe your skin. Additionally, apply healing serums high in vitamins and anti-oxidants on irritated skin.
Winter woe #4: Chapped lips and hands
The skin on your lips and hands is thinner and more delicate, making them more prone to dryness and cracking during winter.
- Apply a moisturising lip balm with high-quality, natural ingredients like beeswax or essential oils on your lips to prevent or treat cracking.
- Avoid licking your lips, as saliva can dry them out further.
- Wear gloves to protect your hands from cold winds.
- Always apply a rich hand moisturiser after washing your hands. Look for creams containing ingredients like natural oils to lock in moisture.
Cold weather can present numerous challenges for your skin; however, you can keep it nourished and glowing with a bit of extra care. As you keep cosy this winter, remember to nourish your skin with appropriate products and treatments.
At Balance Cape Town, we curate and develop our skincare range to contain only the best quality products, bursting with all the natural goodness your skin needs to withstand any challenges and weather conditions. We’ve got you covered the whole year round!