Winter is almost over but if you live in Gauteng or dryer parts of the earth, the dryness of the air will give you dry flakey skin and scalp and you may be wondering what you can do to get rid of that dryness effectively. Here are 10 ways to more moisturised, supple looking skin even in the dryer months.
1. Hydrate from inside.
Drinking enough water is important and not only in dryer weather or climates but all the time. When your body is well hydrated, it also shows on your skin. As much as herbal teas and foods rich in water content contribute to your fluid intake, they are not water. So make sure to include real water every day to hydrate your body from inside.
2. Moisturise, moisturise and moisturise.
I will never be able to say that enough times. It is important to moisturise your body thoroughly especially so during dryer months. Switch your light weight summer moisturiser with a more heavy duty, more emollient one. I like to use something rich in butters like Shea butter, Cocoa butter or mango butter. These butters have both oleic and linoleic acid which are very beneficial for the skin. Linoleic acid helps to build ceramides on the skin to help it retain its moisture level. Oleic acid helps to restore oil levels on the skin without forming any bacteria mesh with dead skin cells. You can add Shea butter to your existing lotion as well to upgrade it or make your own body butter using natural oils and butters. Here is how.
3. Use the Right Products
Choose a lotion that has moisturising, hydrating or for dry skin or very dry skin label because those lotions will be formulated specifically for dry skin conditions and will assist you better when it comes to your condition even if it is temporary.
4. Moisturise immediately after showering.
Apply your ceramides rich lotion soon after showering or washing your hands or face so that you can lock in as much moisture as possible. Remember, water is the best moisturiser and you want to lock that in with the help of your lotion.
5. Use a humidifier
Indoor heating systems have a tendency to dry out indoor air, worsening our dry skin conditions. Using a humidifier to help add moisture back into the air, will prevent your skin from drying out.
6. Avoid hot showers
I know it is quite tempting to increase the water temperature when taking a shower in winter. This however only leads to your skin being stripped of its natural oils, leading to dryness. Opt for lukewarm water instead and limit your shower time to less than 15 minutes.
7. Exfoliate Gently
Exfoliation helps to remove dead skin cells that can make your skin look dryer if left on. We naturally shed skin daily and it may need an extra nudge to completely shed off. That is where exfoliation comes in. Also be mindful not to overdo it. Opt for gentler exfoliants, and aim to exfoliate twice a week at most.
8. Protect your skin by wearing protective clothing
When you go outside, you can use scarves, gloves or hats to cover your skin even more. Also don’t skip the sunscreen even in winter months because harmful UV rays can still affect your skin making it look dryer and older.
9. Choose gentler cleansers.
Use gentler cleansers which also hydrate your skin than harsh chemical cleansers that may damage your skin. Look for products with moisturising or hydrating labels on them as these will help alleviate your condition better.
10. Use Overnight masks
These are specially beneficial for your face and hands as these are often exposed and hardest hit during winter. Use an overnight mask once or twice a week to rip the benefits of these intensive treatments that can penetrate deeply and leave your skin feeling incredibly soft and supple by morning.
Winter or the dryer than usual air may be the reason you are experiencing dryer skin. Don’t stress about it. With the right skin care routine and products, you can experience softer, hydrated skin through out the year. Just remember to moisturise with the right products, at the right time, drink enough water and moisture proof your skin.