6 Ways To Protect Your Skin Against The Cold Weather

As winter settles in, your skin battles through a number of different environmental pressures that affect the skin.

  • In reduced humidity, keratinocytes (superficial skin cells) lose their water content leaving skin feeling dry, flaky and only using a moisturiser will not be enough to address the problem.
  • Some moisturisers (especially hyaluronic acid based) tend to withdraw the water content from deeper layers of the skin where it’s most needed.
  • some other moisturisers (paraffin-based), shields the skin worsening dehydration.

The skin is a highly adaptive organ which adjusts to seasonal, as well as internal changes that occur within our bodies. Observing the natural ways your skin changes can help you to understand the best ways to encourage the skin to perform at its best. Below are some tips to prevent unnecessary skin irritation and dryness:

Cool Body Temperature

Maintaining an average room temperature so the skin does not react to temperature variations and use a humidifier while using central heating or air-conditioning.

Drink Water

Drinking plenty of water! It may seem a very generic advice however the skin during winter needs water most to compensate and keep its resilience. The best way to absorb water in winter is to have room temperature or slightly warm water with a drop of lemon or pink Himalayan salts, so the body can utilise the consumption and be able to reach the skin’s layers. It is important to remember that is not how much water we drink but how much our bodies absorb and use.

Gentle Cleaners

Do not over cleanse the skin during winter and use gentle cleansers or micellar water to cleanse so you do not over-strip any natural occurring oils present on the skin. Avoid hot showers and baths as they will dehydrate the skin.

Omega 3 and 6 Oils

Supplementing with Omega 3 and 6 oils would help with any inflammatory skin condition and may prevent breakouts. Omega 3 fish oils contain DHA and EPA, essential fatty acids that our body takes from our food. These help to remodel the skin’s upper layers ‘cell epidermal membranes’  protecting from hydration loss and maintaining skin’s healthy appearance.

Vitamin D Supplements

The seasonal loss of epidermal cells from our skin’s surface must be offset naturally by an ongoing vitamin D supplement to regenerate the skin’s surface. Without this vitamin to regulate cell activity, the skin becomes thinner and its fragility leads to wrinkling and accelerating dehydration. The lack of sun exposure and the over-protection during the summer months makes vitamin D supplementation an essential addition during winter time.

 Avoid Sugar

Avoid sugar as much as possible as it dehydrates the body causing osmotic diuresis, eliminating excess sugar from the kidneys and removing a lot of water. Sugar also damages collagen integrity and production, leading to long-term damage and glycation that increases the rate of premature ageing. Substitutes of sugar could be considered such as agave syrup, coconut palm sugar, or date syrup as they are considered lower glycaemic sweeteners.