Avoiding dry skin this winter
Looking after our skin in winter is just as important as it is in summer. Wind, heating and wearing certain fabrics can all affect our skin. Dry skin is the main skin problem I see in winter. Other skin conditions people have often stem from dry skin also. Dryness makes skin itchy so we scratch. Our fingernails carry a lot of germs which can often cause an infection in our skin which will need to be treated. Those with eczema and other skin conditions need to be extra careful to stay moisturised to minimise flareups and infections.
So let’s explore ways to stop our skin from being dry to prevent problems but most importantly to keep us looking good and slow down aging!
The most important thing to NOT do
Do NOT use soap. This is very important as soap strips the natural oils out of our skin and makes our skin dry. Squeaky clean is not good. Even though you don’t usually notice it our skin naturally has an oily layer and we want to keep it there! Soaps have something called a surfactant (technical name that you don’t need to remember) which is the thing that grabs on to oil and removes it from a surface. It is fine to have a surfactant in a dishwashing liquid so that greasy food can be removed from a dish but we don’t want this in a skin cleanser. Now just to avoid confusion, and hopefully not cause more, not all soaps come in bar form and not all bars are soaps. A lot of liquid body washes that market themselves as ‘natural’ contain soap and you can get cleaners in bar form that do not contain soap.
So look for cleansers that are soap free.
Things to avoid in a cleanser
- pH adjusters
- any ingredient that looks like a chemical name!
Basically there are way too many things to list. Have a look at the ingredients in whatever product you use. If it contains any of the things listed above or anything chemically sounding then it is not the best thing for your skin. Not only this, ingredients are absorbed through our skin in to our blood stream. Our blood stream is not a good place for toxic ingredients!!
Important things TO do
Limit time in the shower/bath. Use warm and not overly hot water. I’m guilty myself of spending too much time under the hot water, especially in winter. The benefit of shorter, cooler washing time is that less of that lovely natural oil is stripped from our skin.
For those needing to shave (if you can’t just wear long pants!) make sure you use a SOAP FREE shaving cream or lotion which will add a protective layer to your skin before you shave. Moisturise afterwards also.
Pat your skin dry after washing rather than rubbing. This also helps to keep your natural skin oil on your skin and not on your towel. This also gets your skin ready for the next important step.
Moisturise! This is so important especially after washing. Applying moisturiser to damp skin is the best idea as the moisturiser gets trapped in the surface layers to prevent dry skin.
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