Now that cold winter days are consistently here, many of us might be experiencing changes in our skin. Because humidity levels tend to drop at cooler temperatures, moisture is lost from the skin at an increased rate. Often leaving it feeling dry, tight and sometimes flaky and rough when we cannot replenish the lost moisture quick enough, causing dehydration.
Water-loss from the layers of the skin can also occur as a result of decreased sweat and oil gland activity. This impairs the function of the skin barrier, further contributing to an increased rate of trans-epidermal water loss.
The texture and appearance of our skin can also noticeably change with the seasons, often due to the exposure to frequent changes in temperature. As we move from the warm indoors to a chilly outside environment and back again, we may experience increased redness, sensitivity and general skin irritation as our skin tries to adapt.
So, how can you help to protect your skin during winter to help keep it hydrated, healthy and free from irritation?
Cycle your skincare routine.
Our skincare routines and the products we use should be cycled to match the seasons, just like we swap summer t-shirts for jumpers in the winter. In the colder months, it is important to change to products that help to retain moisture in the skin and deeply nourish our protective outer skin layer.
Switching to richer oils, butters and balms can help provide much needed deep moisturization to the face and body, especially if flakiness is already present. It is also important to prioritize organic and natural skincare products during winter due to the increased occurrence of sensitivities and irritation.
Seek products like our Neem Face Oil, Neem Body Oil or even Neem Cream to a 100% natural, plant-based oil formulation that is free from chemical preservatives and synthetic fragrance.
We like adding a using a few pumps of the Neem Face Oil at night on a freshly cleansed face, so it is able to fully absorb and protect the skin from overnight dehydration. It’s a suitable for all skin types and particularly helpful for those with dry, sensitive skin as the Organic Neem Oil in this formulation helps to soothe and calm.
Did you know that our skin holds 25% of our body’s total water volume? This tells us that maintaining and replenishing this reservoir is important to not only the health of our skin but our system as a whole.
Ensure that throughout the day you are consuming enough fluids to replace what is lost. A good baseline for an adult is anywhere from 1.5L-2L water per day, but take into account your activity level throughout the day. Also consider the quantity of food and beverages you consume that increase your fluid output, like coffee and caffeinated drinks. Add an extra glass of water for every coffee, energy drink etc.
Vegetable and meat-based broths are an excellent way to stay hydrated because they are a rich in essential minerals for electrolyte balance and help to support the absorption of fluid from the digestive tract. Just make sure to choose a low-sodium option if pre-made or prepare your own at home.
Dry skin brushing.
Dry skin brushing is a daily body massage technique that can help to gently exfoliate the skin and stimulate circulation. It involves taking a firm bristled brush, swiping it over the skin in long upward motions that begin from the feet and ankles and slowly move up towards the heart.
The physical action of brushing the skin can help exfoliate dry skin cells and support skin detoxification by simultaneously promoting blood circulation and lymphatic flow and drainage. By exfoliating the skin and unblocking pores, the elimination of toxins via sweat etc is unimpaired.
By regularly brushing and removing dead skin cells from the skin, many report skin that is softer, smoother and healthier.
The best time of day to dry skin brush is before showering.
Watch water temperature.
As tempting as a long hot shower is on a cold winter day, it could be contributing to your dry, irritated and flaky skin. This is because hot water can strip away important oils and moisture from the surface and deeper layers of the skin. Leaving it less hydrated and easier to dry out.
Hot water further impairs all important skin barrier function by causing damage to keratin cells (located on the outer most layer). The disruption impairs their ability to effectively lock in moisture and ultimately drying out the skin.
Individuals with dermatitis/eczema should be particularly aware of the water temperature they use to bathe, as hot showers can further perpetuate skin dryness and irritation by increasing dryness and barrier dysfunction.
Your best bet for protecting your skin is to take shorter, lukewarm showers.
Additionally, use mild natural soaps or bodywashes that help to replenish moisture loss and moisturize the skin with natural oils. Native Neem’s Hair and Body Wash is a 100% natural, soap-free and gentle body cleanser that moisturizes the skin with organic coconut oil and helps to soothe any redness or irritation with Organic Neem Oil.
Click here to shop our Organic Neem based body care range.