Dry, flaky, tight, uncomfortable skin is something that many of us will identify with this season. Along with a dull complexion, dry skin can also make fine lines more pronounced and cause microscopic cracks that can let bacteria into your body.
While the usual suspects of cold, dry air and central heating are typically to blame, our diet and our daily routines could also be contributing factors. Luckily, there is plenty you can do beyond a bucket load of moisturiser to bring back the glow.
Turn down the heat
As tempting as it is to creating your very own steam room when you take a bath or shower, it could be causing havoc with your skin. Hot water can strip both the moisture and oils out of your skin, with a parched and scaly end result. Keep the temperature at a warm, not hot, temperature to protect your precious skin.
It doesn't matter how high your thread count is, rubbing your towel over your skin can be too abrasive for dry skin and can cause a loss of elasticity as well as tears in an already compromised skin barrier. Instead, pat your skin dry with a soft towel or better yet, apply your skincare and body moisturiser while skin is still damp, to lock in more moisture.
Increase the moisture
Getting cosy by the fire (or radiator) is one of the many joys of a colder season. But cranking up the thermostat will do your skin no favours. It doesn't matter how much moisturiser you slather on if excessively dry air is going to pull that moisture back out again. So put some humidity back into the air (and into your visage) with a humidifier. Not only will you have a dewy complexion but it can also help relieve congestion from cold, flu and sinus infections – perfect for this time of year.
Up the healthy fats
It stands to reason that how we treat the inside is going to show on the outside, so changing your diet to beat dry skin is as important as the right skincare regime. Upping your intake of oily fish such as salmon, mackerel and sardines will provide your skin with protein and omega-3 fatty acids, which can increase your skin’s capacity to retain moisture. This also goes for coconut oil, avocado, flaxseeds and sweet potatoes.
Switch your skincare
While we may have got away with minimum skincare during the warmer months, our skin needs some serious TLC until spring. Swapping moisture-stripping foaming cleansers for balms and creams will be gentler on the skin's barrier, while introducing a face oil such as the Willowberry Nutrient Boost Face Oil at night will give your complexion an extra boost of antioxidants and hydration.
Avoid the bubbles
A nice relaxing bubble bath may be what Pinterest boards are made of, but they may also be part of your dry skin problems. Foaming bath formulas are typically created from a chemical called sodium laureth sulfate (SLS) which is renowned for it's moisture-zapping properties. Look for bubble bath that doesn't contain SLS, or swap traditional bubbles for a hydrating bath oil and you'll be amazed at the difference in your skin.
Go easy on the scrub
Although every beauty instinct may be telling you to keep scrubbing that dryness away to reveal baby soft skin underneath, resist. Using an exfoliator too often will strip away more of the skin's fragile outer layer, compromising its barrier function. Instead, use a flannel with a hydrating cleanser like the Willowberry Nutrient Boost Cleansing Balm, to gently buff away dry skin whilst nourishing your complexion. Unlike a muslin cloth, the textured finish of a flannel is great for giving your skin gentle daily exfoliation as you cleanse.
Article by Jessica Harris
Willowberry is 'Nutritious Natural' skincare for grown-ups for your best skin. Launched in 2017, Willowberry is an award-winning independent British brand that has gained a cult following. Loved by top make-up artists, the streamlined, highly effective range protects skin’s natural barrier function to nourish and transform grown-up skin, with indulgent formulas that feed the skin and soul.