Consultant Dermatologist Dr Catherine Borysiewicz was featured in an article in the Independent about looking after your skin throughout a cold snap.
The article shares advice on caring for your skin with cleansing, moisturising and toning the skin as well as protecting it with SPF and SPF to help maintain healthy throughout the cold.
As we wrap up in warm layers of the winter months, skin health can often fall down the list of priorities. However, temperature changes and reduced humidity with central heating create specific challenges for the skin which may include symptoms such as dry, scaly or itchy skin.
Below Dr Borysiewicz shares her winter skin health tips to protect the skin against the elements:
Cleansing skin: All soap based products strip the skin of natural oils and can be extremely drying. She advises swapping your soap or shower gel for a soap free cleanser. You will notice the difference and may find you do not need to use as many moisturisers. Many over the counter products are soap free including brands such as Dove, Sanex and Cetaphil to name a few. If you have skin problems such as acne or eczema, there are soothing multi-tasking products that cleanse and calm skin.
Moisturising: For dry sensitive skin apply a moisturiser at least twice a day. You will soothe and improve skin texture. There are a variety of different products available. Focus on consistency of the product: for very dry skin during winter use a thicker cream or ointment and when using these products always apply them in the direction of hair growth as rubbing them the other way will plug hair follicles and lead to spots. For normal skin types a light cream, lotion or gel is usually sufficient. CeraVe lotion contains ceramides which really help improve the epidermal barrier. Hyaluronic acid is also a great ingredient that draws moisture into the skin. Keratosis pilaris is a condition that often flares in winter months- this consists of small bumps on your upper arms and thighs. Try using moisturising products containing salicylic acid such as Frezyderm Volpaderm AHA-BHA Body Milk.
Sunblock: continue to apply high factor sunblock on exposed sites of the skin throughout the colder months. You might find you need to change your sunblock to a more creamy product for winter. Sports enthusiasts hitting the ski slopes need to be especially vigilant in applying high factor sunblock due to the particularly high UV exposure. Sunsense, La Roche Posay Anthelios Comfort Cream or Frezyderm Sun Screen Velvet Face Cream are good products. My advice to patients is to always apply an SPF 50+. You can also look for multi-tasking products e.g. tinted suncream to save time. During winter continue checking your skin for worrying lesions- if you don’t look, you won’t see them as they are often asymptomatic.
Super sensitive skin: it is estimated that around 50% of us have ‘sensitive skin’ and 10% have ‘super sensitive skin’ With the large number of beauty products (not just makeup but also shower gels and toothpastes!) used on a daily basis, we are exposed to large numbers of chemical constituents and preservatives. If you are one of these sufferers it can make applying any product very nerve wracking. Try to avoid common allergens such as fragrances and use products suitable for sensitive skin types. Remember that ‘natural’ or ‘organic’ products still contain chemicals and commonly use aromatic fragrances. Avène and La Roche Posay produce super sensitive skin ranges which have eliminated many chemical preservatives by using clever packaging technology that prevents air entry. It is also advisable to self-patch test any new products on your skin. This can be done by rubbing a small amount of product on your inner forearm skin twice a day for two weeks. If there is no reaction in this time it is unlikely you will have reactions.