How To Keep Dry Skin Moisturised Throughout Winter
As the seasons change, so does our skin. As the weather gets colder and we move into winter, our skin can become drier, more sensitive, tight and dull. If you're wondering how to keep the moisture in your skin where it belongs, read on to find out how.
Reasons why your skin feels dry
There’s usually a combination of factors that accumulate in dry skin, although it can be caused by age, genetics, hormones, water intake, nutrient deficiencies, environmental damage (UV, humidity or pollution) or simply using the wrong skincare for your skin type. One of the biggest culprits for dry skin in winter is central heating, which dries the air and increases transepidermal water loss (TEWL)—the scientific term for when water is lost through the skin barrier.
Identifying whether your skin is dry or dehydrated
If you gently pinch a little skin on your cheek, back of your hand or under your collar bone and it bounces straight back, you’re more likely to be dry, whereas slower-moving skin is more likely to be dehydrated. This is called the “pinch test” or “turgor test”, with turgor being the measure of your skin’s elasticity.
Are hydrators and moisturisers the same thing?
Hydrators and moisturisers can easily be confused, although they serve different purposes: hydrators relate to water and moisturisers relate to oil. Hydrators help to bind water to skin cells, while moisturisers seal in water by strengthening the skin barrier. Dry skin is also technically a skin type, which produces less sebum (natural oil), whereas dehydrated skin is a condition. Dry skin is commonly associated with menopause when hormone levels drop, although you might have already experienced it—40% of adolescents report dry skin to dermatologists. When we consider that the skin contains about 30% water, ensuring that it’s adequately quenched is important to its function as well as its aesthetic.
The Best Products For Dry Skin
- Firstly, avoid abrasive exfoliating scrubs which can irritate the skin and make dryness and sensitivity worse. Instead, use a gentle chemical exfoliator once or twice a week with AHAs like lactic or glycolic acid which work by dissolving the top layer of skin to reveal new healthy skin cells underneath.
- Use a suitable, pH balanced, fragrance-free cleanser like Medik8 Calmwise Soothing Cleanser which is designed specifically for sensitive skin to improve the skin’s barrier function and soothe discomfort with its foaming formulation. Alternatively, Sk:’n’s Vitamin Rich Cleanser offers a creamy texture with Evening Primrose Oil to soothe and hydrate.
- Follow with humectant (water-attracting) ingredients—one of the best is hyaluronic acid for its ability to hold up to 1,000x its own weight in water. Medik8 Hydr8 B5 is an award-winning and bestselling liquid hydration serum with hyaluronic acid Vitamin B5 which boosts the skin’s ability to retain water and regenerate for noticeably plump, soft and smooth skin. Medik8 Liquid Peptides offers powerful hydration to more mature skin by stimulating collagen synthesis, boosting elasticity and minimising the appearance of wrinkles.
- Another dry skin hero is Avène A-Oxitive Antioxidant Defence Serum, which combines the brand’s signature Thermal Spring Water with potent antioxidants (Vitamin E and Vitamin C) to fight off pollution and hyaluronic acid, leaving skin healthy and glowing.
- Finally, lock in moisture with a heavier serum, lotion or cream to prolong your skin’s comfort, and of course, don’t forget your SPF.
Parting advice to help you avoid dry skin
As the cost of energy rises, one very thin silver lining is that being more mindful of turning up the heat in our homes is more beneficial to our skin. Avoid using central heating at night if you can, and use timers to be more efficient with heating your home. You may also benefit from a humidifier if your skin is particularly thirsty, which will replenish moisture in the air. Resist raising the temperature for baths and showers when coming in from the cold as hot water can also leave skin feeling dry, tight and itchy.
Say goodbye to dry
Discover the full range of recommended products for dry skin here.