The colder months can be pretty harsh on your skin because of a drop in temperature and, in some parts of South Africa, a lack of humidity in the air. Low humidity increases trans-epidermal water loss which, in turn, causes the skin barrier to degrade. This means that your skin becomes incredibly dry, which can make it feel tight, dull, and flaky.
On top of this, dry skin can also cause spots and blemishes as your skin tries to combat the lack of moisture by secreting more natural oils – this then sits on the skin and mixes with grime and dirt.In short, it’s incredibly easy to lose that lovely natural “glow” during the colder months. But with the proper winter skincare routine, this is avoidable. Here are five simple things you can do to help keep your skin glowing year-round.
Drink enough waterStaying hydrated is something we should all be doing throughout the year. But when it comes to the colder months, it can be easy to forget about this. Thanks to the dry air, water evaporates from our bodies quickly during this time – meaning there your skin and hair are left feeling dry. Aim to drink six to eight glasses of water a day. If you don’t enjoy the taste of water on its own, experiment with herbal tea powders, aloe concentrate or infused water. This is an exciting way to stay hydrated.
Use a good moisturiserWhen your skin starts producing excess oil, it can often cause more harm than good. You can avoid this by ensuring that your skin is properly moisturised to begin with. A good moisturiser containing potent ingredients such as vitamin E or shea butter will also combat the dryness and flakiness of winter. Just remember to choose the right moisturiser for your skin type. For oily to normal skin, opt for water-based moisturisers and avoid heavier products; for dry skin, try petroleum-based products; for sensitive skin, look for products that also contain soothing ingredients such as aloe vera or chamomile; and for ageing skin opt for an oil-based moisturiser.Another way to ensure your skin is properly hydrated is to use a humidifier. Humidifiers are great at introducing moisture into your home. More moisture in the air will mean happier skin.
Take care of your lipsA winter skincare routine would be incomplete without a focus on lip care. Lips lack oil-producing glands and the outer layer of skin responsible for holding in water is much thinner than it is in the rest of the body. This means that your lips are especially vulnerable during the colder seasons. Using a lip balm is a great way to keep your lips moisturised. You should also avoid licking your lips at all costs as saliva is alkaline, while our skin is naturally acidic. Licking your lips will act as an irritant to the skin and will remove the natural oil layer on the lips.
Eat rightTweaking your diet to include antioxidant-rich foods can greatly impact the state of your skin. As Dr Sivuyile Madikana, an expert in the field of healthcare and a member of the South African Herbalife Nutrition Advisory Board, explains, “the right kinds of nutrients can help alleviate some harmful effects from the environment when it comes to your skin”. Be sure to include lots of fruits and vegetables in your winter diet to pack your body full of vitamins and antioxidants that’ll keep your skin (and your body as a whole) glowing. Foods like soups, salads, and juices are great for this.Just because it’s cold outside, doesn’t mean you should let yourself become lazy when it comes to self-care. Be sure to keep your skin happy and healthy this winter.