Skin can take a battering as temperatures drop and icy winds blow, so it is important to remember to take care of your sensitive skin especially now in the run up to Spring. During winter, extreme changes in temperature can have unwanted effects on all of us, and going from being outside on a cold winter’s day to inside with the heating on can make worsen conditions such as eczema.
“While many think fighting the urge to stay indoors and hibernate is the best solution, our warm cosy homes can also irritate the skin, with heating systems drying out the moisture in the air, causing further dryness and damage.” Says Harley Street dermatologist, Dr Friedmann.
Over the winter months dryness is the most common result of braving the elements as winter air lacks humidity which reduces the skin’s natural oils.
Dr Friedmann added: “Luckily we have working with Surcare to pull together some helpful advice on how to combat skin dryness and irritation.”
1. Moisturise regularly
Throughout the winter months, to help retain the skin’s moisture, it is important to avoid irritants such as soap, wipes and fragrances. Anti-bacterial hand wash can be especially harsh for sensitive skin. Keep your skin regularly topped-up with a rich moisturiser. Also consider using a laundry detergent that is geared towards sensitive skin to avoid further irritation.
2. Get plenty of sleep
Our immune system is under a lot of pressure, fighting off more winter bugs during the cold season. It is always recommend to make an extra effort to get plenty of sleep and have time to de-stress in order to keep your skin in tip top condition. It is a known fact that stress and exhaustion lower the immune system, resulting in skin breakouts.
3. Take care of your hands
As the skin on your hands is thinner than on most parts of the body, and has fewer oil glands, it is harder for them to retain moisture. This can lead to itchiness and cracking, so protect them with a moisturiser and wear gloves when you go outside. Should you have woollen gloves, it might be an idea to slip on a thin cotton glove first, to avoid any irritation the wool might cause.
4. Avoid Wet Gloves and Socks
If you have been out in the rain or even snow, make sure you remove your wet socks and gloves as soon as possible. The excess moisture can can irritate your skin and cause itching, cracking, sores, or even a flare-up of eczema.
5. Don’t take very hot baths
While soaking in a hot bath seems like a great idea after being out in the cold, the intense heat of a hot shower or bath actually breaks down barriers in the skin, which can lead to a loss of moisture. Instead, use warm water and stay in the water a shorter amount of time.
If you’re suffering from itchy skin, try a lukewarm bath with oatmeal or baking soda, to help relieve skin.
6. Use honey
To soften stubborn dry patches on rough elbows and knees, try a rich, hydrating scrub. You could even make your own, simpIy use a mix of honey and sugar. Studies have shown that honey reduces inflammation, and sugar (applied topically) increases circulation. This is especially helpful in winter when blood flow is typically diverted from the skin and sent to the core of the body to keep it warm.
7. Choose the right sleepwear
The softer your sheets and sleepwear, the better off your skin will feel. Natural fabrics like cotton or cotton flannel with a high thread count are best for those with sensitive skin or eczema. Take care to avoid blends of cotton and synthetics, which can be irritating to sensitive skin.
Surcare’s range of non-biological laundry and washing up products are specifically designed to be kinder to sensitive skin. Surcare contains no unnecessary ingredients which could irritate your skin – no enzymes, dyes, acids or perfumes. And while looking after your skin in the first instance is important, it is also important to make careful choices about the washing up and laundry products you choose, that can help to keep skin irritation at bay.