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Winter: the enemy of dermatology

Written by Beauty

My personal way of judging the changing seasons, is to look into my hands. No, I am not a palm reader or psychic, and I could just as easily take a step outside my front door and I would know that winter is coming, just from the rapid drop in temperature. I look at my hands, because when it gets colder, my eczema flares up on them, and then I know that it is time for me to stock up on hand lotion, because this is only the beginning of many months of dry, flaky and sensitive skin.

Cold weather can be an absolute killer to the skin, especially if you, like me, suffer from eczema or sensitive skin. Of course, the cold weather affects everybody in some degree, as it strips moisture from any exposed skin, which is why you must take particular care of the skin on your hands and face, as they are the areas most frequently exposed. However, if you know from past experience that you are a particular sufferer
from dry skin in the colder seasons, you must allow extra time for yourself in the upcoming months.

The key to good skincare in the autumn and winter is to use simple, unscented lotions, with minimal chemicals

 

Instagram: @vaselineuk

Dry skin may not seem like a very big deal to begin with, but as time passes by and it remains untreated, it can become unbearably itchy and uncomfortable, and it may begin to crack and even bleed. Trust me, you don’t want that to happen. When it comes to taking care of your skin in the autumn and winter, it is best to act fast. As soon as you can feel your skin getting dryer, you should immediately apply moisturiser, and continue to apply it frequently, throughout the colder months.

The key to good skincare in the autumn and winter is to use simple, unscented lotions, with minimal chemicals. The bitter cold air is doing a good enough job of irritating your skin without you helping it along, by rubbing perfumes into your dry and sensitive skin. You may need to purchase a heavier lotion in the autumn and winter, as the lighter lotions popular during the summer may not be fully affective on cold-weather damaged skin. My personal go-to brands are E45 and Vaseline Intensive Care: Advanced Repair. You should look out for anything fragrance free, for sensitive skin or dermatologist recommended.

Too much washing can strip the protective oils from your skin, putting you more at risk of dryness

@nagels_pharmacy

It is also important that you fight off the urge to take long, hot showers. No doubt this is the very thing you long for on those freezing cold mornings before Uni, when you forgot to set the heating on a timer, or else when you come home after a long walk from campus in the rain; but this is only going to make your skin worse. Too much washing can strip the protective oils from your skin, putting you more at risk of dryness, and piping hot water can be too intense on your already weather-damaged skin. You should try to keep your showers to a maximum of ten minutes and use warm water instead of hot.

I would advise you to moisturise your full body once every day,  your face every morning and night, and use hand lotion frequently throughout the day. You should carry a bottle of hand lotion with you at all times and reapply whenever you can feel your hands getting dry and after every time you wash your hands.

Last modified: 8th November 2019

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