HOW TO: CARING FOR YOUR SKIN IN WINTER

The winter season can be extremely stressful for our skin. When you're outside, the cold temperatures result in poorer blood circulation in your face. As a consequence your skin gets less oxygen and nutrients. Regenerative process in your skin also slows down. Skin can lose its healthy colour and appear pale or dull.

When you're indoors, your skin is losing its moisture due to the heating elements. When you shift between the harsh cold and dry indoors, the difference is so big and stressful to the skin that it cannot balance itself quickly enough, resulting in dehydration, irritation, dilated capillaries and redness.

Here are a few tips to keep your face, body, hands and feet moisturised and hydrated through the winter months.

Dry Skin
Got dry scaly skin on your legs and arms?  Try using oatmeal in your bath. Oats are effective in fighting dull, flaky dry skin as it contains polysaccharides, which become gelatinous in water. They form a fine protective film when applied on skin. The cereal is effective in addressing dry skin symptoms like itching, rashes, scales, peeling etc.


It moisturises by removing the dead skin cells, enhances wound healing and improves collagen deposition and activation of immune cells within the skin. It relieves itchiness and is suitable for all skin types.

Alternatively, if your not into using food to bathe in there are plenty of products on the market that contain oats, goats milk and other ingredients to give you the same results.

Dry Face
It’s unfortunate that the body’s most sensitive skin is always exposed to the elements. During winter, avoid any face products with alcohol, and switch to a milder face wash and a thicker moisturiser. 

Instead of using a mud mask to draw out impurities, try a moisture mask instead to inject moisture back into the skin.

Image taken from www.health.com

Dry Red Nose
You don't want to be the mascot for Red Nose day do you?  When outdoors in cold weather, the blood vessels cut off circulation to the nose. After coming indoors the blood vessels dilate quickly, causing a rush of blood.


To bring the nose back to a normal hue, apply a warm compress to the skin for several minutes after coming indoors. Sometimes a winter cold and the endless use of tissues can make the nose raw and chapped, too. Using extra-soft tissues and bloting the nose instead of wiping helps to. Apply a thin layer of moisturising ointment or lotion to the sensitive area throughout the day.


Rough and Cracked Feet
Can you scrub a pot with your gnarly, callused feet with cracked heels?  To have soft, callus free feet shouldn't cost you the earth. 

Scrub calluses with a pumice stone in the shower on a regular basis to slough off rough dead skin. Every other day I use textured hand gloves to wash my feet every other day to prevent skin build up.  

Image taken from pixgood.com

Before hopping into bed, apply foot cream or any ol' moisturiser will do and pop some cotton socks to bed. As you snooze the cream will absorb and do magic to your feet.  Your feet will be softer, making it easier to exfoliate and be crack free.


Itchy Dry Scalp & Static-y Hair
Dandruff can be a problem in winter. Hot showers contribute to drying out your scalp. So maybe turn down the heat and take shorter showers, yeah right you say! I'm guilty of having longer warmer showers in the winter. 

Image taken from speedyremedies.com

Alternatively you can massage the scalp with Vitamin E, olive, or coconut oil. These oils replenish natural scalp oils and can moisturise dry hair, too.

To prevent breakage or other damage, avoid blow-drying and brushing hair when wet because those locks are most delicate when waterlogged. Brushes with natural bristles help redistribute oils from the scalp to the rest of the hair and also conduct less static than plastic brushes and combs. 


Chapped Lips
Don't wait till you feel that hot stinging feeling, regularly lubricate your lips, this will prevent them from drying out and cracking which can lead to bleeding and scarring.  By keeping a tube of lip balm in several places is a good first step, so there is no excuse not to moisturiser your smacker.


Exfoliating your lips will prevent them from flaking.  You can use a clean toothbrush and very gently exfoliate the lips to remove excess skin.  Slather on beeswax or a lip balm with lanolin and keep reapplying throughout the day. For seriously dry lips, apply honey or Vaseline to the lips for 15 minutes and then remove with a cotton swab dipped in hot water.


Dry Hands & Brittle Nails
The winter and warm air saps the moisture right out of nails, leaving them delicate and susceptible to brittle nails. The best way to treat your digits is to cover up with gloves when outside.  Lather up with hand cream several times a day.  

For intense therapy, before bedtime, apply thick layer of hand cream, then put on a pair of gloves and allow the moisture seep into your skin.  

Image taken from www.handresearch.com

By adding biotin-rich foods (also called Vitamin B7) to your diet, this will assist in preventing your skin and nails to become dry.  Biotin is also very effective when taken in supplement form.


Irritated, Dry Eyes
Wind and dry air are not a good combination for sensitive eyes. 


Sporting sunnies on a sub-zero day might look weird, but the lenses can protect eyes from glare and wind.   Keep some disposable one use eye drops on hand and use it to refresh eye moisture when needed. 


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