Are you suffering from dry, chapped lips? Does your body feel itchier than usual? We thought so. Everyone’s skin gets a little dry during the winter season. The cold weather and central heating play a huge part in making our skin feel dry, tight and just plain uncomfortable.
For some, this is a small problem that only happens seasonally. For others, it’s a huge annoyance they have to live with throughout the whole year. Whichever one you are, we feel your pain, so we’ve come up with some tips and tricks to help solve your dry skin problems, and get your skin confidence back.
Moisturise, moisturise, moisturise
Healthy skin releases oils naturally, to keep skin soft and supple. However, if your skin is not producing the natural oils it should be, you have to take the wheel. Moisturise daily, or as often as you can, especially after showers and baths. There’s no need to buy fancy moisturises, as industrial sized tubs of E45 work just as well. Superdrug’s own cream for very dry skin (a budget moisturiser I’ve just discovered recently) is also effective.
Clinical dermatologist Dr Emma Wedgeworth, who is working with E45 suggests: “Apply moisturiser in the same direction as hair growth. This will help to prevent bumps appearing on the skin that sometimes develop when product is rubbed into hair follicles.”
Moisturising regularly will add moisture to your skin, but to keep in moisture, it’s wise to also use body oil. Baby oil will do the trick. Many people actually prefer using oils, as opposed to using moisturisers. Using oils will definitely get rid of dry, itchy skin and it’s not sticky, like lotion tends to be. For the best effect, apply this while your skin is wet, as this will help your skin lock in more moisture. You can also use oils on your face to achieve a nice, dewy glow.
Exfoliate (a lot)
Exfoliating is paramount when it comes to keeping your skin healthy. This is because moisturiser is much more effective on exfoliated skin. Try to exfoliate on a weekly basis. You can use home-made scrubs, using oil, salt or sugar, and you can easily exfoliate your lips with Vaseline and a dry toothbrush.
As an alternative to exfoliating, you can also dry-brush your skin, which is exactly what it sounds like. Dry-brushing is a great way to get your skin in good condition. It exfoliates, tightens, encourages blood flow and is even supposed to reduce cellulite.
Avoid hot baths and drying soaps
On those wintery evenings, sometimes it’s lovely to soak in a hot bath, or create your own steam room in the shower. Unfortunately, hot water robs you of your skins moisture. You’ve probably noticed that when you get out of the shower, your skin feels tight. To combat this, try taking short showers instead of long showers, or reducing the temperature of the water. It’s advised to stay away from baths altogether, especially if you’re also using drying soaps and harsh chemicals, as this is a nightmare for your skin. Stick with a creamy, moisturising cleanser that contains glycerin or petrolatum.
Take care of your insides
This seems obvious, but drink more water. Water is the key ingredient in all things beauty related. It keeps everything working how it should, helps to renew damaged skin cells, and creates the oils that keep skin and hair healthy. In addition to drinking more water, technically you should avoid caffeine, alcohol and sugar. But let's be realistic, this is unlikely to happen. Just keep in mind that to keep things moisturised on the outside, you need to take care of the inside.
Use the right make-up
To minimise the look of dry skin on your face – get exfoliated, get moisturised and follow these make-up tips.
BB creams and Primers
When it comes to make-up, foundation can look a bit cakey on dry skin, so BB creams are often recommended. However, some of us need a bit of extra coverage, and this is where Primers come in. Primers are great for acting as a smooth layer and barrier on top of your skin, allowing foundations to be worn without any noticeable flakiness. Primers also help make-up to stay put all day.
When buying foundation, try to find products that use natural oils. Cream foundations and concealers are usually better than powders. In fact try to stay away from powders altogether. When applying these, always press with a sponge instead of rubbing, as this can irritate dry skin, and make flakiness more noticeable. A great budget foundation for dry skin is 'L'Oreal Paris Lumi Magique.' In fact, the whole Lumi Magique range is pretty fantastic.
Lip balms and Glosses
Lips tend to get extremely dry in the winter, and that’s partly due to the difference in skin on the lips, combined with the frequent licking they get. To help with this, avoid wearing matt or long-wearing lipsticks, as these can be drying. Instead, stick to balms and glosses. You should always keep a spare lip balm in your bag, no matter what.
Another useful product to keep in your bag is an instant skin refresher spray, available at most drug stores. If your face starts to feel dry during the day, just spray it over your make-up for an instant midday moisture boost.
E45 have teamed up with clinical dermatologist, Dr Emma Wedgeworth to share some tips for looking after your skin this winter, and when it comes to hands Dr Wedgeworth recommends we all need to pay extra attention to them.
“Hands are very susceptible to becoming dry and chapped during the winter months as they are often exposed to the harsh wind and the cold. Combine this with frequent hand washing with soaps or harsh detergents and it can easily result in impairment of the skin barrier, causing dryness and irritation. Use an emollient wash instead of your normal soap and a good dermatological hand cream, as often as possible, with cotton gloves at night if necessary. Keep a tube of hand cream in your bag to keep hands hydrated on the go.”