WINTER VS. SENSITIVE SKIN
Brrrrr! Yep, it’s chilly out – and if you’ve got sensitive skin you’ll be more aware of that than most. Keeping your skin soft, smooth and clear when it’s taking a beating from the elements can feel like a relentless losing battle, but there are a few simple steps you can take to minimise dryness and redness.
Don’t turn your house into a sauna
It’s so tempting to crank the heating up to the max during winter but while your toes might be toasty, your skin will suffer. This is because blasting the central heating steals moisture from the air, resulting in increased water evaporation from your skin. The result? Dry, red, itchy skin. Investing in a humidifier can help… and you can justify the cost thanks to the reduction in your gas bill!
Streamline your morning routine
Long, hot, steamy showers feel like an indulgent treat at the time, but they’re a shock to the system for your skin, especially during winter. Take short, warm baths and showers instead, and use Neutral 0% Shower Gel (also available in our winter skin bundle)– you’ll still be able to work up a luxurious lather, but since it contains zero perfume, colourants or parabens, it won’t irritate sensitive skin. To keep your skin as moist as possible, you’re also best off simply patting yourself dry and applying a moisturiser like Neutral 0% Body Lotion while your skin is still damp.
Cut down on exfoliation
We’re taught that exfoliating is great for our skin – but in winter it can actually add to sensitivity issues, since the scratchy beads and grains can cause further irritation. Never exfoliate every day – once or twice a week is more than adequate. With the time you save, you could indulge in an intense hydration cream like Neutral 0% Intensive Repair Cream, containing multiple moisturising ingredients including Glycerin, but no perfume, colourants or parabens.
Look after your lips
Lips tends to be one of the most dramatically affected parts of the body during winter, since it’s impossible to keep your mouth covered up from the elements – how are you supposed to talk or, more importantly, eat?! Before applying lip balm, wet your lips with cool water, to help hold moisture in and repair broken skin. Chapped lips are particularly common among sporty types, so if you’re running, cycling or even skiing, slather on petroleum jelly before braving the elements.
Catching a winter cold can add to your skin woes, since you’ll find yourself with a red, crusty nose on top of your already problematic skin. To minimise your chances of falling victim to the lurgy, consider getting a flu jab (many companies routinely offer these to employees these days – make the most of it) and try to keep your stress levels as low as you can, since burnt out you = burnt out skin! You should also watch your caffeine intake – with the cold weather, you’re probably quaffing more hot drinks than usual, but caffeine is dehydrating which takes its toll on your skin. Try and drink a glass of water after every tea, coffee or alcoholic drink (your reduced hangover will thank you too!).
Get some sun!
No matter what your complexion, sensitive skin suffers in the winter months – pale skin is prone to raw, red cheeks, while those with darker tones can suffer from hyper-pigmentation spots. If it’s all too much, there’s only one thing to do – go on holiday! If you suffer from eczema or psoriasis, you’ll know that your skin is much happier when it gets a bit of sun (provided you use adequate protection, of course) but it benefits everyone – not least because it will cheer you up too…
Take a look at the full range of Neutral Sensitive Skin products at neutralsensitiveskin.com and share any of your winter skincare survival tips with us on Facebook @NeutralUK, Twitter @Neutral_Skin or Instagram @Neutral.Skin.