As we head into winter and the air gets colder and drier, skin almost inevitably ends up drier too, especially if you’re prone to eczema or psoriasis. It can be difficult to work out what will help, but we’ve got some great suggestions.
Here are our eight top ways to help your skin in cold weather:
Even if it seems odd, the hotter you keep your house, the drier your skin will get. This is exacerbated by dramatic changes of temperature, so if you come in from outdoors where it’s cold to a centrally heated environment, your skin can really suffer! Dial down the heat a bit, and see if you can manage better at a slightly cooler temperature. Radiators are best turned off at night.
It’s not just the temperature of your home, but the humidity that makes a difference to your skin: the drier the air indoors, the more moisture your skin will lose. Try to keep the humidity in your house to around 45% (not under 30, not over 50), so that your skin won’t dry out. You may need to invest in a humidifier, or place bowls of warm water around the room you’re in to keep the atmosphere moist enough.
Switch to an oil-based balm
Instead of using usual water-based creams on your hands or face, try switching to an oil-based balm or ointment instead. Creams containing water are less effective for dry skin, and usually contain preservatives (as well as perfumes and other unnecessary additives) which can further irritate or dry out sensitive skin. The higher the oil content, the more effective the moisturiser!
Don’t just apply moisturiser in the morning or at night: remember to top up during the day too. Keep a pot of balm at your desk or workstation.
Steer clear of irritants
You may find switching to a non-irritant winter regime helpful, if your skin gets drier and more sensitive in cold weather. Try using soap-substitutes instead of bar soaps, 100% natural oils instead of perfumed ones, gentle SLS-free shampoos and body washes (like Balmonds Natural Shampoo & Body Wash), mineral-based makeup, and hypoallergenic laundry detergents.
Dry skin doesn’t usually cope very well with long, hot bubble baths, unfortunately. Prolonged contact with water (especially hot water) actually dehydrates the skin, and scented bubbles can irritate it further.
Make baths shorter, cooler, use scented candles instead of scented bath oils, and add oats or mineral salts or natural oils (like Balmonds Bath & Body Oil) to the bath to help against moisture loss. Pat dry with a soft clean towel, and then moisturise all-over immediately, to lock moisture into your skin.
Dress for success
Take care over what you wear, too! Loose, comfortable, light layers are better than tight, hot, itchy or woollen clothes for dry skin. Try not to overheat yourself, and wear layers that can be easily adjusted to stop yourself from sweating. Natural fabrics such as cotton or bamboo are good for temperature regulation.
If you have to go out into dry, cold or windy weather, protect your skin from moisture-loss with soft, light scarves or balaclavas: they will provide a physical barrier against the dehydrating weather. You can also apply a layer of an ointment like Skin Salvation to your face (especially your lips) to prevent water loss.
Balmonds Natural Shampoo & Body Wash
with calendula & chamomile
Balmonds Skin Salvation
with hemp and beeswax
Bath & Body Oil
with lavender, hemp and olive
If you require medical advice we recommend you always contact your healthcare professional.
If you or someone you are caring for seems very unwell, is getting worse or you think there's something seriously wrong, call for emergency services straight away. For general medical advice, please contact your healthcare professional, this article does not contain or replace medical advice.
Do not delay getting help if you're worried. Trust your instincts.