Is Your Skin More Reactive in Winter?
If you have sensitive skin you may find the combination of cold outdoor temperatures and indoor heating leaves your skin feeling dry and your cheeks looking rosier. The reason this happens is because the extremes of temperature reduce the levels of precious moisture in the skin leaving it feeling tight and dry. The combination of heat and cold also cause the fine capillaries in the skin’s upper layers to repeatedly alternate between dilation and contraction. This constant fluctuation weakens the capillary walls leaving them looking dilated and more visible. When this happens, it can be hard to know how to help your skin cope.
One way you can combat this is to help reduce the reaction your skin has to the temperature extremes. Research carried out many years ago showed that a liberal application of moisturiser helps hugely. Especially if you give the upper layers of your skin a drink by soaking it with warm water before applying your moisturiser.
Moisturiser prevents your skin from reacting to temperature change. This is something I have seen with my own skin and my clients skin too. By helping your skin cope better with the temperature extremes, moisturiser helps reduce the reaction of your fine capillaries significantly, preventing them from becoming permanently damaged.
The more protective your moisturiser, the better it helps the skin cope. So step it up a level by choosing a slightly heavier cream at this time of year. Then combine this with your all-important skin soaking to ensure your skin is strong and hydrated. Don’t forget to soak and apply your moisturiser twice a day.
Your skin cannot hold on to moisture for more than twelve hours, so a morning and evening routine is vital.
– Janine Tait
You can also help your skin by protecting it from things that expose us to the more extreme temperatures. If you have sensitive skin, avoid sitting right in front of heaters or open fires, direct car heating vents away from your face and don’t sit in the line of airflow coming from an air conditioning unit. All of these things can very quickly dry your skin and damage your capillaries.
Your skin also needs to be protected from wind and cold outdoor temperatures. A scarf is perfect for wrapping around the lower half of your face when you need that extra layer of protection. Or even better, I find a snood is perfect for those winter weekends. They are usually made from fine, light fabric and can easily be worn around your neck when you are out and about. If you find yourself exposed to the cold, you can easily pull it up to just under your eyes helping protect your skin without feeling like you are being suffocated with a heavy layer of fabric.
If you do find your skin looking red and more inflamed, increase the time you spend soaking your skin (using warm water not hot) and don’t forget to lock in that precious moisture by applying your moisturiser or night cream immediately, before the water evaporates away. Also avoid foods and drinks that fuel skin irritation like alcohol, coffee, oranges, strawberries and hot spices until your skin feels hydrated and calm again.
Helping your skin survive the winter is easy if you make these things a habit.