If you’ve noticed your skin has become dry and flaky since winter hit, it could be due to some very common mistakes.
The cold weather alone can have an impact on your skin, and when you add factors like heaters and hot showers, it can be a recipe for disaster.
Dry air, changing temperatures inside and outside, plus not altering your skincare routine to suit the weather are probably contributing to your skincare woes.
So how do you save your dry skin in winter, or prevent it from getting flaky and cracked in the first place?
We’ve tracked down the three most common dry skin mistakes people make in winter, and we’re almost positive you’ve done a few.
Read on to find out what they are and how you can counteract them.
Sitting in front of a heater all day
It’s so tempting to crank up the heater and snuggle up next to it during winter, especially while so many of us are working from home.
But are you really willing to ruin your skin for it?
Cranking up your indoor heating reduces the moisture in the air and can quickly dry out the outermost layer of your skin, called the epidermis.
Going from a toasty warm indoor setting to the cold outdoor temperatures only puts more strain on your skin, as cold weather and rain can strip away your natural oils.
The best way to deal with this particular problem is to dial down the heating and invest in a humidifier to keep your home warm without drying out your skin.
You can also use hydrating mists and light moisturisers throughout the day to rehydrate your skin without having to slather on any heavy products.
As for the fan heater you’ve been blasting next to you all day – maybe turn that off and opt for a few extra layers of jumpers instead.
Having extra hot showers
Everyone knows how good it feels to step into a hot, steamy shower at the end of a chilly winter day, but that’s damaging your skin too.
Studies from the Baylor College of Medicine show that hot water strips away your skins natural oils way faster than lukewarm water.
It can even damage the outer layer of your skin if you’re really abusing your hot water tank.
As tempting as boiling hot showers can be, scaling back on the hot water can really help with any dryness you’re experiencing.
It’s also a good idea to avoid scrubbing your face dry when you hop out of the shower; instead try patting it dry gently.
Using a hydrating essence or moisturiser right after you step out can also help lock in moisture and treat dry, irritated skin.
Not adjusting your skincare routine for the cooler months
Just like you change your wardrobe in the winter, it’s important to switch up your skincare routine in the cooler months too.
Many people make the mistake of keeping their routine the same year-round, but different products are necessary in different seasons.
It’s important to swap out some of your products for more hydrating versions if you really want to protect your skin from dryness and keep it looking radiant in winter.
Swapping a gel or foam cleanser for a cream or oil version will be gentler and more hydrating, while adding a good facial oil will really help seal in moisture.
Overnight hydrating masks can also be life-savers in the winter months, but try not to overdo them as too much use can overwhelm your skin.
You do still need an SPF in winter though, even though the temperatures have dropped – UV rays are just as damaging in the cold.
If you’re stuck on what products you need or how to address your dry skin, you can always book in a facial or consult with a dermatologist for some expert advice. Just wait until lockdown is over first!