6 Ways To Stop Dry Skin In Winter
When the mercury drops and the sky goes grey, many of us find that suddenly, our skin looks a little less soft and supple than it usually does!
And unfortunately, as we reach for warm socks, hot fireplaces and even hotter showers, dry air takes away the thin layer of oil that usually leaves moisture in our skin; leaving the skin feeling dry, itchy, cracked and painful.
Why does our skin become dry in winter?
First of all, it’s important to note that dry skin isn’t genetic or inherited, as many people believe, and is largely caused by incorrect product use, seasonal changes, hormonal changes and environmental factors.
Dry air plays a big role in our skin drying out and although switching on the reverse-cycle heating may feel nice and cozy, it can be incredibly dehydrating for our skin - especially when you consider that many of us spend 8+ hours a day in an office environment with recycled heated air circulating.
For this reason, you may wish to spritz a hydrating mist on your skin during the day, or even to keep a humidifier in the rooms that you usually use heating in to counteract the effects of the dry air.
What happens if my skin stays dry for too long?
Although uncomfortable and sometimes unsightly, dry skin is usually harmless. But if left unattended, neglected or left to stay dry and flaky for too long, dry skin can take on a life of its own and lead to atopic dermatitis, otherwise known as eczema.
Traumatic skin responses such as cracking can also cause an inflammatory response in the body, making skin even more susceptible to flare-ups of skin conditions such as psoriasis.
Dry, cracked skin is more susceptible to infections, as bacteria is easily able to enter the skin through the cracks. These complications are more likely to occur when your skin’s moisture barrier and normal protective mechanisms have been disrupted.
For example, if you’ve had long periods of excessively dry skin or have damaged the skin’s uppermost layer with incorrectly used or too-strong skincare products.
How do you keep your skin healthy and soft during winter?
Keeping your skin moisturised is about so much more than simply applying a good topical moisturiser (although that does help, too). As with anything health related, keeping your skin in top condition is a holistic effort - and when your skin looks healthy and radiant, it’s a sign that it’s in good health, too.
Try these top tips to keep your skin supple year-round:
Nourish from within
Beautiful skin starts from within, so make sure your diet contains plenty of healthy, monounsaturated fats and omega-3 fatty acids, including nuts, olive oil, avocado, fish and flax seeds.
Limit the use of hot water
Keep usage of boiling hot water in showers and baths to a minimum, as this is a recipe for irritated skin (and hair, too). Instead, opt for lukewarm water and moisture-filled soaps for sensitive skin. Make sure to pat down your skin to dry with a towel, keeping excessive rubbing to a minimum. This advice applies to face and body.
Tailor your treatments
Choose the right skin care for your face. If you’re suffering from specific skin concerns, it makes sense that a generic moisturiser from the supermarket may not be enough to get those issues under control! For those wishing to rapidly increase the hydration of the facial skin, a cosmetic peel is a great in-salon treatment to supercharge the skin with hydration.
For those wanting similar results from the comfort of home, a microneedling session with a great Hyaluronic Acid will push hydration deep into the skin and stimulate the skin’s own natural healing response, triggering it to produce more collagen and elastin to give you younger, healthier looking skin.
After bathing, apply a moisturising lotion to your body, ideally within 3 minutes of bathing, to help maximise your skin’s potential to absorb the necessary moisture to protect itself. The skin on your face also responds well to hydrating serums, creams and oils being applied promptly after bathing.
Reduce the build up of dead skin
According to the American Academy of Dermatology, exfoliation can leave your skin looking brighter and improve the effectiveness of topical skin care products by enhancing absorption.
Microdermabrasion is a gentle approach to exfoliating the skin. Using a fine stream of crystals, this treatment exfoliates the upper layers of the skin promoting collagen growth. As everyone has different skin types, the intensity of the treatment can be varied so even the most sensitive of skin types can benefit from this effective treatment.
In the long term, exfoliating can increase collagen production. Collagen is one of the keys to glowing, vibrant skin, minimising the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles and sagging.
The elasticity and collagen production created by microdermabrasion enhances the tone and resilience of the skin. On top of this scarring caused by acne and enlarged pores will be reduced.
Consider your clothing options
If you suffer from itchy skin on your hands, arms and legs, we recommend opting for breathable cotton clothing, rather than polyester and itchy wool blends. Less fitted clothing will also help to keep your skin from becoming irritated by perspiration, which makes skin more prone to chapping.
Drink plenty of water. This is essential at all times of year but especially during winter – the more hydrated your body stays, the more hydrated your skin stays, too!
How does microneedling help my skin stay soft and hydrated?
Microneedling helps increase product penetration by up to 500%. This is due to what we call “micro-channels” being created with your Dr. Pen Australia device. Applying creams and serums on your face may succeed to moisturise the outer layer of dead skin, but won’t penetrate deeper within as the active molecules are simply too big to pass through the ultra-protective epidermis layer.
Dr. Pen Australia devices create "micro-channels" which allow for deeper penetration of serums and ingredients resulting in higher efficacy, meaning you get more out of your serums than usual. This means softer, healthier skin.
What serums should I use?
For hydration, Hyaluronic Acid is a winner! An extremely popular skincare ingredient which features in many moisturisers and serums, hyaluronic acid is also an amazing serum for microneedling.
Hyaluronic acid is a hydrating ingredient which replenishes skin, and the micro-channels created during the microneedling process will optimise product absorption to maximise the benefits of any hyaluronic acid-based serum applied post-needling.
Especially when using a serum with microneedling, it's best to ensure hyaluronic acid is the main player in your serum of choice, and your formula is fragrance-free to minimise the risk of irritation.