Did you know the largest organ in the human body is also the most vulnerable? Especially when it comes to facing up to the damaging effects of chillier and windier weather and artificial heat. Despite our skin being instrumental in protecting our bodies from the external environment, enjoying a long Sunday drive in your convertible may cause it to become dry and flaky.
The water content of skin can vary from person to person, depending on factors such as gender and age, however, despite how much water your body carries, the harsher conditions of winter, including humidity and windy environments, dramatically accelerate water loss through the skin. This can be exacerbated by heaters, in the car and home, using alkaline heavy beauty products and failing to exfoliate regularly all putting excess stress on the skin, leaving is especially susceptible to dryness or irritation.
What happens next?
For the lucky ones the worst that can happen is that we end up with winter skin that is dry, itchy and prone to cracking, but for some this could lead to a worse fate, such as dilated blood vessels, dehydrated pores and skin conditions such as psoriasis or eczema. It’s not just exposed skin we need to worry about, dry scalps can also be an issue – particularly during winter when the drying effects of the environment can take a nasty toll on our hair. This often results in the same symptoms as dandruff, caused when the hair’s naturals oils are compromised, and normal moisture levels reduced.
Leading Pharmacist and Managing Director of Pharmacy 4 Less Feras Karem has these tips to help you combat the dreaded dryness and maintain a soft moist complexion during the cooler seasons.
What we eat can play an important part in helping to keep our skin moisturised and healthy whatever the season, as feeding it from the inside out will provide it with the best chances to be vibrant and youthful all year round. Consuming a nutrient -rich diet will ensure it stays strong and full of moisture. Foods rich in omega- 3 fats, such as sardines, anchovies, herrings and salmon can help reduce inflammation and provide essential nourishment to the skin, while eating an assortment of essential fatty acids such as those found in avocado, oily fish, nuts, wholegrains and flaxseed oil can help in your efforts to keep skin hydrated and relieve eczema symptoms. If you need a little boost, why not add alongside your diet a cod-liver oil supplement, such as Blackmores Cod Liver Oil, which contains vitamins A, D and omega 3 fatty acids which support a healthy immune system and calcium absorption.
Drinking at least one litre of water but preferably two each day will also help the skin retain moisture whilst a good quality sunscreen will help ensure the skin in these areas doesn’t age prematurely during winter.
Importance of a daily skincare routine
As soon as you stop taking care of your face and hands you will know instantly, so it’s important to keep up with a regular skin care routine every day: cleansing, toning and moisturising to keep the surface of the skin looking healthy. Why not try a natural cleanser as Sukin Oil Balancing + Charcoal Gel Cleanser, paired with an easy to apply Sukin Hydrating Mist Toner and a Sukin Balancing Mattifying Facial Moisturiser.
Exfoliating your skin once or twice a week is the best thing you can do to keep it looking super plump and in tip top condition. Our cells rejuvenate monthly, but they also need a little help with getting rid of the skin cells that have died, so exfoliating should have an important place within your skincare routine. Exfoliating removes dirt, excess oil and dulling skin cells that can make your skin appear old and wrinkled. It can also help your anti-ageing products penetrate your skin more easily. Perhaps try something like a Swisse Bamboo Facial Exfoliant to scrub away the old skin!
How to treat psoriasis or eczema if you end up with it?
If you’re one of the unlucky ones that does end up with a more serious skin condition, such as eczema or psoriasis, then don’t despair. Consult your local pharmacist who will be able to offer you the best solution, but something like NS-21 Skin Repair Treatment could help you back on your way to restored and healthy skin.
Don’t forget to try and avoid wet gloves and socks as this can cause the skin on your hands and feet to get itchy, to crack, produce sores or even flare up into eczema! This tip would obviously apply to those in England where convertibles are much loved, but where the English weather does not always play ball. I hope you enjoy your top down drive this weekend!