Managing dry winter skin is a hot topic at this time of year. Why does our skin dry out in winter? How can we best avoid it and how do products differ when it comes to ingredients and efficacy? We’ve compiled some info to help you better understand what is going on with your skin during the winter months.
Trans-epidermal water loss (TEWL)
TEWL is a common winter problem. Due to a decrease in humidity we are left with air which is very dry. This dry winter air draws moisture out of the skin through a process called osmosis.
In addition to the dry air, we tend to heat our homes in winter, resulting in a hot, dry indoor environment which further accelerates moisture loss from the skin. Taking hot showers and baths, coupled with the use of strong soaps and washes, strips the natural oil content from the surface of the skin and further aggravates our confused skin.
Avoid stressing your skin! Here are four easy-to-remember pointers:
- Wash using gentle body washes with ultra-mild surfactants that do not strip the skin of natural oils or raise the pH of the skin. Harsh surfactants such as Sodium Lauryl Sulphate (SLS) dry out the skin and are proven skin irritants. Most conventional soaps are exceptionally drying and should be avoided if you suffer from dry skin.
- We all love a long relaxing bubble bath, but we suggest you avoid prolonged exposure to extremely hot water (in both the bath and the shower). Rather take a shorter bath in warm water than a long soak in hot. If the chill outside is just too much and you cannot help yourself, add a tablespoon of a natural plant oil or natural baby oil to your bathwater.
- Moisturise Keep skin hydrated and use creams and lotions that do not contain petrochemicals or mineral oils. Always read the ingredient lists and try to use products with natural plant oil bases.
- In heated rooms where you or your children spend prolonged periods of time, use a humidifier.
Good to know
Pure Beginnings has a lovely range of lotions, creams and oils for infants and children that are great for winter – and any time.
For more info on the range, go to the Pure Beginnings website.