Cold winter mornings mean frosty windscreens, sore noses, chapped lips and dry hands; and, if you’re like me, at times like these the first thing you’ll want to do is amp up your central heating – full blast. But, what you might not realise is by getting cosy, you’re amplifying the drying effects winter already has on the skin; increased redness, dryness, itching and flaking are just some of the unexpected side effects of a warm home during winter…
How does central heating affect the skin?
To put it plainly, central heating dries out your skin. When you turn the central heating on, you’re reducing the humidity of the air in your house, which is one of the main reasons why your skin may be feeling dryer than normal.
The heat draws moisture from your skin causing your capillaries to swell triggering dry skin conditions like eczema, rosacea or even concerns such as acne, itching and skin sensitivity.
Ok – so central heating isn’t great for your skin, but don’t worry we’re not going to suggest you sit in a cold house. There are three key ways to protect your skin and they are so simple…
1. Switch To A Cream Cleanser
Cream cleansers are the hydrating choice for skin in the winter and are especially good at balancing the drying effects of central heating. Whereas, gel and foaming cleansers tend to be aimed towards oily and acne-prone skin, so they aren’t as well suited to use when your skin is dry and sensitive. But cream cleansers tend to be richer and more moisturising using ingredients that will only nourish and hydrate the skin – that’s why they are normally recommended for sensitive and dry skin types.
Top tip: water dries out your skin! So, if you’re suffering from a dehydrated complexion, it’s best for you to minimise the use of water on your skin; an alternative could be using flannel or not washing your face in the shower.
2. Drink Water Regularly
You hear it time and time again: drink water. It’s essential to healthy and bouncy skin, but even more so during the cold winter when the air outside is dryer and the temperature indoors is hotter. Not to mention, hot caffeinated drinks are even nicer in the winter, but, of course, notoriously dehydrating; these things are a recipe for dry skin. An easy way to combat this is by drinking the recommended amount of water a day:
• 11.5 cups (2.7 litres) for women.
• 15.5 cups (3.7 litres) for men.
3. Strengthen Your Skin Barrier
From unpredictable winter weather conditions to warm, toasty spaces, your skin goes through a lot of extreme conditions during winter. These temperature changes can cause barrier defects, which can cause skin inflammation like itching, hypersensitivity and dryness. A way you can prevent the harsh effects of this is by using a hydrating cream formula that is designed to strengthen and rebuild your skin barrier.
Here are three products I would recommend to strengthen your skin barrier…