Stop winter from weathering your skin

Cold weather, with its low relative humidity, can leave your skin dry and flaky. During winter the air is drier and indoor heating further compounds the problem. There are a number of ways you can avoid ‘winter itch’ this year.

Moisturise
This is probably the single most important step you can take to keep your skin soft. Your skin dries out when it is deprived of moisture. Moisturisers replace what you lose during the day, ensuring your skin looks less crocodile-handbag and more suede couch. A petroleum or cream-based moisturiser is better than a lotion for those with normal to dry skin. If you have sensitive skin be sure to avoid fragrances and lanolin. It is also important to apply your moisturiser to wet skin directly after bathing, in order to trap surface moisture.

Cleanse less
That isn’t to say you shouldn’t wash. Nobody likes body odour. It isn’t necessary, however, to overdo the cleanser. During winter, when you are sweating less, it is enough to wash your face, hands, feet and between the folds of your skin once a day. Soap is also quite a harsh cleanser, so you may wish to consider a soap-free alternative.

Avoid really hot water
If you are experiencing extreme winter itch, avoid very hot showers. Take a lukewarm shower or bath and immediately afterwards apply your moisturiser. It is also better to pat your skin dry with a towel, rather than rubbing vigorously.

Humidify
If you use the heater a lot, it might be worth also investing in a humidifier. This can be beneficial not just to your skin – your lungs and eyes will be more comfortable too. Just be sure to clean the unit and change the water as per the instructions to avoid mould and fungi.

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