The temperatures have plummeted in the UK recently and guess what – your skin is bearing the brunt of it.
Surcare, makers of laundry detergent specifically designed to be kinder to sensitive skin, have teamed up with Harley Street dermatologist, Dr Friedmann, to create a guide to protecting your skin during the cold winter months.
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Here's what Dr Friedmann has to say about how winter affects your skin:
“During winter, extreme changes in temperature can have unwanted effects on your skin. Going from being outside on a cold winter’s day to inside with the heating on can make worsen conditions such as eczema.
“While many think fighting the urge to stay indoors and hibernate is the best solution, our warm cosy homes can also irritate the skin, with heating systems drying out the moisture in the air, causing further dryness and damage.”
Working with Surcare, Dr Friedmann has pulled together some helpful advice to combat skin dryness and irritation, check out their tips below:
1. Moisturise regularly
Surcare says: Throughout the winter months, to help retain the skin’s moisture, it is important to avoid irritants such as soap, wipes and fragrances. Anti-bacterial hand wash can be especially harsh for sensitive skin. Keep your skin regularly topped-up with a rich moisturiser. Also consider using a laundry detergent that is geared towards sensitive skin to avoid further irritation.
T3 says: We suggest using L'Occitane Shea Ultra Rich Comforting Face Cream (available from Amazon for £31), it's high concentration of shea butter means it's the moisturiser is perfect for dry of skin. It'll leave your cheeks feeling soft and subtle.
2. Get plenty of sleep
Surcare says: Our immune system is under a lot of pressure, fighting off more winter bugs during the cold season. It is always recommend to make an extra effort to get plenty of sleep and have time to de-stress in order to keep your skin in tip top condition. It is a known fact that stress and exhaustion lower the immune system, resulting in skin breakouts.
T3 says: Getting a good night's sleep can be difficult, especially if you're trying really hard to get a good night's sleep. Luckily, T3 is here to help you in your quest to the land of nod. You should read 7 ways to get a better night's sleep and wake up feeling refreshed as well as our rundown of the best mattresses to buy.
3. Take care of your hands
Surcare says: As the skin on your hands is thinner than on most parts of the body, and has fewer oil glands, it is harder for them to retain moisture. This can lead to itchiness and cracking, so protect them with a moisturiser and wear gloves when you go outside. Should you have woollen gloves, it might be an idea to slip on a thin cotton glove first, to avoid any irritation the wool might cause.
T3 says: We'd suggest you purchase a tube of Grown Alchemist's hand cream (available from Mr Porter for £14). It's designed to reduce chapping and hydrate dry hands. It's blended with Rosehip and Camellia Oils that nourish your skin without leaving behind any residue, and creates a fresh Vanilla and Orange scent that will perk you up during mid-afternoon slumps.
4. Avoid Wet Gloves and Socks
Surcare says: If you have been out in the rain or snow, make sure you remove your wet socks and gloves as soon as possible. The excess moisture can can irritate your skin and cause itching, cracking, sores, or even a flare-up of eczema.
T3 says: Avoid wet gloves by purchasing a water resistant pair of leather gloves. As for avoiding wet socks? We'd suggest you don't walk in deep puddles.
5. Don’t take very hot baths
Surcare says: While soaking in a hot bath seems like a great idea after being out in the cold, the intense heat of a hot shower or bath actually breaks down barriers in the skin, which can lead to a loss of moisture. Instead, use warm water and stay in the water a shorter amount of time.
If you’re suffering from itchy skin, try a lukewarm bath with oatmeal or baking soda, to help relieve skin.
T3 says: Make the most of your bath with Czech & Speake Neroli Hydrating Body Wash (available from Mr Porter for £38) which will also help hydrate your skin), and wash your hair with Pankhurst London Scalp Care Shampoo(available from Mr Porter for £18).
Once you're out of the bath, snuggle up inside one of the best men’s dressing gowns you can buy.
6. Use honey
Surcare says: To soften stubborn dry patches on rough elbows and knees, try a rich, hydrating scrub. You could even make your own, simpIy use a mix of honey and sugar. Studies have shown that honey reduces inflammation, and sugar (applied topically) increases circulation. This is especially helpful in winter when blood flow is typically diverted from the skin and sent to the core of the body to keep it warm.
T3 says: If you don't fancy rubbing honey all over your body, you should try L'Occitane's Hydrating Body Sorbet (available from Amazon for £9.99) with Verbena and Lemon.
7. Choose the right sleepwear
Surcare says: The softer your sheets and sleepwear, the better off your skin will feel. Natural fabrics like cotton or cotton flannel with a high thread count are best for those with sensitive skin or eczema. Take care to avoid blends of cotton and synthetics, which can be irritating to sensitive skin.
T3 says: For the most luxurious pajamas, you can't go wrong with Desmond & Dempsey (available from Mr Porter for £175). We love this set, which is finished with a tropical foliage print, and made from 100-percent cotton.