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Top 5 Winter Skin Care Tips

At our skin clinic, we often get asked, 'why does my skin get so dry in the winter?'.

It's actually very common to suddenly suffer from dry, flaky, maybe even irritated skin as soon as the temperature gauge starts to drop.

However, all is not lost. Whilst some of the cause is simply the weather, a large part of it is down to some lifestyle factors that we can change to better care for our skin. Keep reading to find our top 5 winter skincare tips.

Why does my skin get drier as I get older?

In our more youthful years, our skin is more able to cope with the changes in the environment, particular windy and cold temperatures. However, as we age, the skin's natural barrier that retains moisture and protects us from the elements can become compromised. Our natural lipid layer becomes less effective meaning moisture is more easily lost from the skin. This is known as Trans-Epidermal Water Loss.

Here are 5 ways to help reduce the moisture lost from your skin during the winter and keep it soft and healthy:

1. Resist the temptation for a long, hot shower or bath. The heat and long soaking impairs your skin barrier and water is quickly lost from beneath the skin. You may want to try to turn down the temperature a little and not spend as long in the water to maintain your skin health.

2. Keep well hydrated. Don't underestimate the power of good old H20 for skin health. If you're finding your mouth dry throughout the day, then your skin is suffering too. Try to drink at least 1.5 litres a day of water slowly through the day to keep yourself topped up.

3. Avoid exfoliating scrubs. Whilst it might seem the most appropriate thing to do when you have dry skin, it's actually detrimental to your skin when it's already suffering. Dry skin needs repairing, soothing and moisturising, not scrubbing.

4. Avoid face wipes and flannels. Face wipes can be very bad for the skin. As they are not absorbent in nature, they just move the dirt and make up around whilst you keep rubbing to try to get your face clean. In the meantime, your scrubbing away your skin, potentially causing more irritation and dryness. They also tend to contain lots of chemicals which can be very irritant for sensitive skin types. It's also a good idea to steer clear of cotton flannels due to their exfoliating nature. Just use warm water, your hands and your cleansing product.

5. Don't rub your face with a towel, gently pat dry to avoid damaging the skin barrier.

What are the best products for dry skin?

There are thousands of skincare ranges out there, all claiming to do wonders for our skin.

However, be wary of cheap products and those that offer instant results - this is usually simply masking the problem and treating the dead skin on the surface. Our skin takes at least 4 weeks to fully regenerate from the lower layers upwards. Therefore it will take at least this amount of time for your skincare concerns to improve.

Here are some hero ingredients to soothe, protect and add deep moisture to the skin and restore the natural barrier to prevent water loss from the epidermis:

MATRIXYL® Synthe'6®: Strengthens skin and improves elasticity.

Tocopherol Acetate: An effective form of vitamin E for the skin, this highly moisturising and fat soluble vitamin protects cell membranes and acts as an antioxidant, which strengthens the effect of vitamin C

Sodium Hyaluronate: A form of hyaluronic acid that hydrates by attracting water into the outer layers from deep within the skin. It holds up to 1000 times it's weight in water, making skin plumper, softer and smoother.

Niacinamide: Increases ceramides and free fatty acids in the skin, which are key components of its protective lipid barrier. Along with keeping in moisture and boosting hydration, it also brightens skin, calms redness and increases tolerance to topical retinoids.

Sea Whip: Has powerful anti-irritant and soothing properties. An excellent ingredient for redness-prone, blemish prone and sensitive skin.

When looking for a new skincare product, we recommend using a medical grade or cosmeceutical range. These are formulated with higher strength active ingredients to make improvements to the skin on a deeper level. There are lots out there, so have a chat with a skincare professional for some guidance.

At Skin Redefined, we love AlumierMD, due to the fantastic results it provides, but also due to it's clean science philosophy and very gentle yet effective formulations. Our patients love it too! Our favourites for dry, irritated skin are:

Sensicalm- a creamy, non-foaming, soothing gentle cleanser.

Hydracalm - a soothing and rich moisturising cream loaded with anti-oxidants and calming ingredients.

Calm R - a lightweight hydrating and calming serum.

Ultimate Boost- A lightweight, hydrating serum that combines moisturising and anti-ageing ingredients, suitable for all skin types.

Sheer Hydration SPF 40 - a highly moisturising SPF containing Tocopherol Acetate (Vitamin E). We recommend that our patients wear this all year round under make up to protect from photo ageing which can occur even on cold winter days and from blue light exposure from our phones, TV's and laptops for example.

If your dry skin is particularly severe, it's always worth a trip to the GP to rule out any underlying conditions.

If you would like to have a chat about your skin concerns, please get in touch for a consultation in our Cheltenham town centre clinic by clicking the button below:


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