If 2020 has taught us anything, it is that we need to take better care of ourselves. This includes making time for self-care. Self-care doesn’t have to be a costly trip to the day spa, it can be as simple as an at-home facial with a great set skincare products and a relaxing face mask after a warm soak in the tub. With the dry, cold air of Winter causing dryness and irritation to our skin, here are some handy tips on how to achieve healthy, hydrated and beautiful skin during these cooler months.
Limit shower times and temperature
It can be tempting to take long, steamy showers to warm up after a long day, however excessively hot and long showers can do damage to your skin. Try to limit your shower time to between 5 – 10 minutes at a moderate temperature. So what is a moderate temperature you ask? If the shower water causes your skin to turn red, it is too hot and need to be moderated to a cooler temperature.
Wash your face in luke – warm water
Washing your face in luke-warm water is better for your skin as hot water strips the skins of its natural oils and causes redness and irritation which, in turn, can damage skin capillaries, make pores more visible, cause acne break outs in sensitive skin types and lead to early ageing.
Invest in gentle, fragrance – free cleansers
Regular soap bar can contain irritating ingredients and fragrances which can cause dry, itchy skin, especially for sensitive skin types. Opt for fragrance-free or sensitive skin body cleansers and moisturisers such as Cetaphil or MooGoo.
Modify Your Facial Skin-Care Regimen for the Season
During the winter months, opt for cream – based facial cleansers, moisturise your face and body each night and use facial toners or astringent products sparingly within your daily skincare regime. Many facial toners and astringents contain alcohol which can further dry your skin.
If your skin is feeling dry and itchy remove any product which contains alcohol and fragrances you’re your skincare regime and invest in products with natural ingredients to maintain and improve the natural oils in your skin.
Don’t forget about your lips! Apply natural lip balms such as Burt’s Bees Beeswax Lip Balm can help heal dry, cracked lips and prevent chapping. Opt for lip balms with natural ingredients instead of petroleum jelly based products as petroleum jelly is an oil derivative that ‘seals’ in moisture, causing skin to dry, rather than ‘nourishing’ skin.
Bonus Tip: Exfoliate your lips weekly by adding your favourite skin exfoliator to a new (unused) toothbrush, gently brush your lips in small circles to remove dead, dry skin. Apply moisturiser to your lips after exfoliating.
Moisturise your hands frequently
Living in the age of COVID-19 we are washing and drying our hands more frequently. Maintain healthy skin by moisturising your skin with hand cream after washing your hands and limit the amount of time you spend with your hands in the hand-dryer at public restrooms as this can cause dry skin.
To protect your hands from irritation, especially if you have sensitive skin, wear waterproof gloves when washing the dishes and doing house work or laundry as exposure to harsh chemicals and soaps are major causes of skin irritation.
Invest in a humidifiers
Humidifiers are a great way to add moisture to the air at your home or office helping your skin hydrate in the dry Winter air. You can even add drops of essential oils such as lavender to the water tank of your humidifier to assist with sleep. Simply place the humidifier in your bedroom for restful, easy sleep.
Lower the temperature on your air conditioner
As the temperature drops it is tempting to crank up the air conditioning unit to a tropical 25+ degrees however this can make the air in your house even drier. Try to lower your air conditioner temperature by a few degrees so that your home still comfortably warm, but not as dry to maintain healthy, hydrated skin. If you need to heat up your home fast, try setting the air conditioner on a timer setting for a short period of time.
Eat Right and Stay Hydrated
It is important to moisturise your skin from the inside through managing your diet and inner health.
When your skin is feeling very dry it can mean your diet is not nourishing your skin. Make sure to eat a balanced diet which includes important fatty acids such as omega -3, fish oil and flaxseed oil found in such foods as fish, nuts and seeds and in supplements available at your local pharmacy.
Keep up your fluids each day to ensure your body is hydrated, as hydration has visible effects on your skin texture and can prevent acne flare ups.