Winter skincare SOS
There’s a lot to love about this time of year; the twinkling lights, the festive food and the promise of quality time with family. I love watching the change in season all around me, and planning for the fun ahead. One change I am less keen on come the colder months is the impact it can have on my skin.
Your skin is a living, breathing organ and it is affected by the environment – potentially more so when it is sensitive or you have an underlying skin condition. As we go through the seasons, our skin adapts and can be impacted by the weather and changes to routine. Pollution and sun exposure are a given, and we know that these can be harmful to our skin, but come winter, so too are the drop in temperatures and the sudden introduction of overheated buildings.
This artificial heat can really wreak havoc on your skin, and going from cold to hot can leave your skin tired and thirsty.
I have had psoriasis now for eight and a half years, and the past couple of years have seen a wider surface spread of the red patches and white scales across my body. So having a dry skin condition anyway can mean that these colder months aren’t something my skin looks forward to.
However, different areas of my body are affected in different ways. I have to say that generally, I find my psoriasis tends to clear up in some areas. It doesn’t feel as red and sore and angry right now, compared to summer where my legs would often feel as if they were on fire and so very hard to ignore. Touch wood, there has been a real improvement in the past couple of weeks to the psoriasis patches on my arms and chest, behind and inside my ears, and even my legs don’t seem to be as aggressively affected as they have been.
My face, though, always feels and shows the impact that winter can have. Dryness around my nose and on my forehead, are generally in need of some real nourishment.
So, what do I do? Well, winter is a great time to overhaul your skincare and beauty regimes. I know my skin needs different things at different times of year, so you need to try and adapt and find something that will work with the new season.
Here are a few tips for when your skin is in winter SOS…
- Drink plenty of water! We all know that we should drink at least 2 litres of water every day, but how many of us do it? We might make drinking water a priority in warmer months but it should be a habit through winter too to stay hydrated, as your skin will really thank you (as well as the rest of your body). If you’re at home or work, you could fill a 2 litre bottle and keep an eye on your intake, or keep a record of when you do drink in your diary or on an app – even setting reminders – so you top up your fluids regularly.
- Take off your make up, in full, every night. A great beauty tip all year round, but important for sensitive and dry skin at this time of year too. Cleansing your skin and repeating this again is essential for removing dead skin cells and letting your pores breathe. I find a cream or oil based cleanser is an effective first step in removing make up, and feels gentle and nourishing too on weather-beaten skin.
- Exfoliate to radiate. You need to buff off dead skin cells to let newer, fresher looking skin come through, but you need to be gentle about it, as everyone has more sensitive skin when the colder weather comes in.
- Bi-weekly masks. A moisturising face mask can make a real difference to your skin and shouldn’t be a rare treat but a regular part of your routine in winter. Sometimes, after cleansing, I will put on a nice, thick layer of moisturiser, and relax whilst it sinks in. This year, I have had patches of psoriasis form on my forehead, and others come and go on my nose and hairline. For this, a night time saviour has been Epaderm Cream; it’s so gentle but gets to work on my sore and dry skin quickly, so in the evening, this has been a great way for me to manage my condition (avoiding my nose and mouth).
A treatment oil or sleep-in mask is also worth investing in to boost your skin’s hydration all winter long.
- Avoid over-hot baths and soak your skin when you get out. Hot water will only make dried out skin drier and tighter, so keep the temperature a bit more tepid, pat skin dry rather than rub, and slather on some moisturiser to give your skin what it needs. I use Epaderm Ointment on my tougher psoriasis patches and the Cream is fab for a quick absorbing treat – and I’m sure it’s behind the big improvement I have seen recently.
What are your winter skincare survival tips? How do you make sure your skin is looking and feeling its best despite the elements? I’d love to hear your advice!
* I am the Epaderm Ambassador 2019. All content remains my own.