We may be getting closer to that brief bit of sunshine that we call summer, but it's still chilly out there and this is the time of year when your skin is at its peak dryness. It's all due to the killer combination of cold temperatures outside and dry heat indoors, so we need to take extra measures to promote healthy skin. To avoid uncomfortable, dry skin until the sun shows its face, here are our top cold weather skin care tips.
Drink lots of water
You should drink plenty whatever the weather. According to the European Food Safety Authority, women should drink about 1.6 litres of fluid and men should drink about 2.0 litres of fluid per day. Around two-thirds of the weight of a healthy body is made up of water and, just like any other part of the body, your skin needs water to function at its best; it will also keep skin looking youthful. If your skin isn't getting enough water it will become dry, tight and flaky.
Wear sun protection throughout the year
Don't limit your use of sun care products to the summer, using a sun tan lotion doesn't just stop you from burning, it also helps to protect you from the elements. It's also worth remembering that the winter sun can still be damaging. If you're heading out on a crisp, cold day, don't forget your sun block.
Turn the temperature down
Boiling hot showers, central heating on high, hot water bottles; what do they all have in common? They're lovely when it's a bit chilly, but they're also all very bad for your skin. Luke warm temperatures are much better for maintaining a healthy glow since heat and water strips our skin of its natural moisturising oils, making your skin even dryer.
Make sure you take extra vitamins when it's colder to help replenish moisture and also boost your immune system to keep winter illnesses at bay. Omega 3 is an excellent example because it contains eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), which helps to regenerate and regulate the skins natural oils. Cod liver and other fish oils are also a great source of Omega 3.
Get a good moisturiser
Ironically, when it's cold, creams and lotions can dry out the skin even further. Oil-based moisturisers are best when it's cold as they help protect your skin against moisture loss. When you're choosing a moisturiser it's best to get one with an oil percentage of 80% or above, preferably using a non-clogging oil, such as almond or avocado.
Keep your hands warm
Your hands have a thinner layer of skin and don't have oil glands. This means that they will be harder to keep moisturised and become dry much more quickly in the cold. Make sure you moisturise your hands with a high oil percentage moisturiser and wear gloves when you go outside.
You can either exfoliate your skin physically, through facial scrubbing, or chemically, by dissolving the “glue" between cells. Exfoliating your face on a regular basis can help to rejuvenate your skin, removing dead skin and blockages from pores. This encourages the skin renewal process and allows moisturisers to be better absorbed.
Don't lick your lips
Licking dry lips, especially in cold weather, will chap your lips even further. Rather than licking them, applying a lip balm containing petroleum or beeswax will provide a barrier and help seal in moisture.
By sticking to a few simple things, even when it's freezing outside, your skin won't have to suffer.