The harsh summer season is finally over in the UAE and our favourite time of the year is just around the corner. While we get our boots, jackets and woolens out, it is absolutely important to prep your skin for the winter months ahead! Winters bring along uncomfortable dryness to the skin, especially of the face, hands, and feet. For some people, the problem is worse than just a general tight, dry feeling. With the cold weather and falling temperatures, the skin can become very dry that it might start flaking, cracking and even sometimes may end up in having eczema, where the skin becomes inflamed. Dry skin is usually a long term recurring issue, especially in winter, and it is important to avoid it.
What exactly happens to the skin in cold weather? When the superficial skin layers (known as the stratum corneum) lose their moisture and water content, the cells shrink.
When the volume of the cells decrease significantly, it can then adversely affect and impact the skin’s elasticity, thereby creating fissures. Fissures cause rupture of capillaries, causing clinical bleeding. The disruption of skin integrity will thereby result in inflammation, with a risk of infection. The absorption of allergens and irritants also rises, since the skin is damaged. This thereby increases its susceptibility to allergic and irritant eczema. This eczema may cause persistent complications, and it only gets harder in winters, where the natural oils are leeched from the skin.
Here are some useful winter skincare tips brought to you by Kaya Skin Clinic, to ensure that your skin remains hydrated and healthy.
1. Facial Care
o Moisturize More! The use of a moisturizer that works just fine in spring and summer may not be adequate. An “ointment” moisturizer that’s oil-based is preferred, rather than water-based. The oil will create a protective layer on the skin that retains more moisture than a cream or lotion. Lotions containing “humectants” are advisable because they include glycerine and hydroxyl acids which attract moisture to the skin. Applying a soothing lotion right after the bath or shower will help the skin’s protective layer stay intact.
o Yes, sunscreens in winter! Sunscreen isn’t just for summertime. Winter sun can still damage the skin. Apply a generous amount of sunscreen to your face and neck, about 20-30 minutes before going outside. Reapply frequently if you’re out for a long time. Combination sunscreens which contain both sunscreens and moisturisers are convenient.
o Drop the harsh products: As weather conditions change, so, too, should the skin care routine. If the facial skin is even mildly dry, avoid of harsh scrubs and alcohol-based toners, these will remove vital oils from the skin. Instead, use a cleansing milk or mild foaming cleansers. They will gently cleanse without stripping natural skin moisture. Masks that are “deeply hydrating,” rather than clay-based (which draw moisture out) are also helpful.