Getting cosy by a crackling fire, hearty soups and stews, boots and sweater weather… there’s plenty to love about winter. Unfortunately, the common occurrence of dry winter skin isn’t one of them.
Also known as winter xerosis, winter dryness is caused by a combination of factors. Extreme weather conditions such as biting winds and heavy rain can damage the skin’s protective barrier, and the lack of humidity in the air due to heat pumps, fires and other internal heating systems means our skin is less capable of retaining moisture. Many of us also take hotter-than-usual showers over the colder months, which can further weaken the skin’s barrier.
Winter skin can present in a number of ways – from non-visible symptoms such as itchiness, tightness and sensitivity to visible symptoms like flaking, scaling, texture changes and even cracking. Dryness becomes more common with age – at least 75% of people over 64 have dry skin, due to a combination of hormonal changes and the cumulative effects of a lifetime of sun exposure. Over winter, this skin dryness can be even more pronounced.
One way to combat extra dryness is to apply your moisturiser directly after showering, while your skin is still damp – it will lock any excess moisture into the skin, and allow active ingredients to absorb more effectively. If you typically use a moisturiser with a thin, lotion texture, you may find you need to switch to a heavier, cream-textured moisturiser during the winter months.
Turning down the temperature when you shower can also be beneficial when trying to reduce skin dryness, and dermatologists recommend lukewarm to warm water to reduce the impact on the skin’s barrier function.
Even changes in diet can help to remedy dryness – increasing your consumption of healthy fats like avocado, walnuts, and olive oil will work to restore levels of essential fatty acids within the body, and minimising how often you drink caffeine or alcohol will prevent your skin from dehydrating further.
There are also a variety of professional treatments available to address dry skin. One of our more popular facial add-ons, sonophoresis, utilises sound waves to create tiny channels between the skin cells, allowing hydrating serums to be infused into the deep skin layers where it is most needed.
Topical products containing ingredients like hyaluronic acid, panthenol, ceramides and glycerine are all fantastic for increasing hydration within the skin and restoring the protective barrier, preventing trans-epidermal water loss. These ingredients are typically found in hydrating moisturisers and serums, like our Meder Beauty Science Derma-Fill Prebiotic Moisturising Cream or our La Biosthetique Serum Hydratant.
If you have any concerns about your skin, we recommend booking in to see one of our skin specialists for advice on services and products that could help.