12 Skin Care Tips to manage ‘Winters Itch’
It’s difficult for people not living in Noosa to picture us who do live here shivering by the fire in winter. I can assure you us ‘SunnyCoasters‘ feel the cold when the seasons turn!
With Winter on our doorstep, shorter days mean less sun and longer nights with temperatures sometimes plummeting to a chilly 0 degrees celsius…cold enough for us Sunnycoasters to break out the bedsocks.
Daytime peaks of 15 degrees celsius at 2pm, together with a formidable Westlerly wind has us beach babes layering up, replacing the cotton throw for a feather doona and cranking up the open fire…. pity worthy…maybe not!
I’m no ‘Winter Virgin’…I’ve served a ‘chilly apprenticeship’ living through Melbourne’s extreme weather patterns.
Melbourne see’s Mother Nature in her foulest of moods… I’ve served my time and have enjoyed the seasonal changes!
Winter also marks opportunities for skin care companies to spruik their ‘winter range’, anticipating perceived changes in skincare needs by consumers during the colder months but is skin care really seasonal or a clever marketing tool in order to sell more product ?
The answer is not necessarily! Not everyone needs to adapt his or her skin care routine because the colours of the leaves have changed.Certainly skin’s demands may vary slightly, or for some lucky ones not at all.
When it comes to skin care, you will know from my other posts, I like to take a KISS (keeping it simple stupid) approach.
ASkinSolutions’ 1. 2. 3 steps of skin care –
How do weather patterns influence the way our skin functions ?
Background…a tiny bit of A and P…
Skin functions as a Thermo Regulator and houses it’s very own climate control panel called the Hypothalamus situated in base of the brain. It’s job is to respond to the environment, cooling us in summer whilst retaining heat in winter.
In hot conditions the skin responds by initiating it’s cooling processes, stimulating the sweat glands to secrete fluid on the surface of the skin, cooling the skin when air passes over. Similarly when it’s cold, ‘goosebumps’ appear trapping warm air, keeping us warm – revision over!
Predictably, lets reason, less sweat and oil secretions occur in winter meaning less lubrication for your skin. With this in mind your skin appears drier, flakier or might even be predisposed to dry skin conditions such as eczema or psoriasis commonly triggered by seasonal changes.
Winter skin 101 out of the way….
Artificial heating/cooling have little or no humidity further contributing to a drying effect on the skin.
Tip; A good idea is to place a bowl of water in a corner of the room to try and combat the drying effect when using artificial heating/cooling.
The moisturising process sometimes gets overlooked as we hastily scramble into our clothes post shower in an effort to keep warm.
Tip; Why not take warm oil baths to help lubricate the skin
Excess and restrictive clothing worn in winter can also irritate the skin. Synthetic fibres may contribute to irritation by not allowing airflow and providing a moist environment for bacteria to flourish.
Tip; Why not try under garments made of natural fibres such as merino wool.
Should we change our skin care according to the seasons?
Whilst it’s not necessary to change your whole routine, a few minor adjustments or tweaking is all that might be needed. Maintain your routine and make adjustments to your cleanser and treat/manage for a drier skin type if needed.
TIP : If it’s Wet Dry it, If it’s Dry Wet it !
12 Skin Care Tips to Manage ‘Winter’s Itch’
1. Foaming cleansers can dry the skin with their foaming properties, substitute with an oil based cleanser. They cleanse the skin without stripping it of it’s protective acid mantle.
2. When I refer to Treating/Managing, I mean to address any concerns or changes you may have noticed due to the change in seasons. Layering serums containing antioxidants underneath your moisturizer are a great way to treat specific skin concerns.
3. An emollient-based moisturizer; a formulation or ‘oil in water’ will keep the skin feeling lubricated. For some it may be a period of adjustment to an heavier cream.
4. When purchasing products include the ‘skin vitamins ADCEK ’ in the list of ingredients.. The B group vitamins are also great in helping to reduce an irritated skin.
5. Avoid super hot baths and showers. In an effort to keep warm we tend to lengthen the time of showers and increase the temp -don’t!
6. Exfoliate 2-3 times a week allowing for better penetration of moisturises and products whilst removing flakiness.
7. To get the maximum benefit from your product apply to damp skin enabling better penetration.
8. Up your intake of oily fish containing essential fatty acids omega 3s and 6’s such as nuts and whole grains flaxseed oil –these are a great resource help reduce the symptoms of a stressed skin.
9. If you suffer from winter triggered Eczema, try a topical occlusive (heavier oil in water ) cream with antin flammatory properties. If the symptoms persist ,over the counter hydrocortisone cream .05% is available off prescription and may be of benefit until the symptoms are relieved.
10. Psoriasis can be particularly troublesome in the winter months and treatment should be carried out in consultation with your Dr.
11. Allergy face (dry puffy eyes, blotchy skin),the fault of the seasonal winds blowing irritants such as pollens around. An anti -histamine is the best way combat allergens, or cool compresses to reduce allergy symptoms.
http://www.eyehealthweb.com/puffy-eyes/ Dr William Goldstein discusses ways in which you can reduce puffy eyes safely.
12. Maintaing hydration in the winter months is often overlooked in favour of warm drinks. Consider drinking herbal teas alternating with water at room temperature.
Visit the Hydration Calculator to assess if you are drinking enough water based on your activity levels .
Further reading Associate Professor Greg Goodman says “Vitamin A is still the most important repair mechanism to use at night”!Don’t forget ASkinSolution’s most valuable foundation of skin care – PROTECT !