How to get rid of dry skin in winter
Dry skin is never fun, but with winter closing in, those with this skin type are often filled with extra dread. Why? Well, winter weather often exacerbates the problem, leaving you with patchy, flaky-looking limbs (and don’t even get us started on your elbows and knees).
The good news is that you still have time to learn how to get rid of dry skin, before it sneaks up on you this winter.
We spoke to specialist dermatologist Dr Jacqueline Matulich of Platinum Dermatology about what causes dry skin in winter, and got her best tips and advice for combatting the signs and symptoms.
Why is my skin so dry in winter?
Dry skin (along with skin irritations such as eczema and psoriasis) can occur year-round, but as Dr Matulich explains, “The cold, dry, harsh temperatures of winter tend to exacerbate the effects of dry skin.” According to the expert, it all comes down to the skin’s barrier function.
“In healthy skin, the epidermis (top layer) has a seal around the cells to trap the moisture, known as a barrier function,” Dr Matulich explains. “However, dryness and cold can wreak havoc on this barrier, so our skin loses its capacity to retain water,” she says.
In addition to environmental factors such as the cold and the wind, Dr Matulich warns that indoor heating and warm, thick clothing can also have an impact, “affecting the barrier function of our skin” and leaving it even more vulnerable to becoming dry. *Turns down heater*
To make matters worse, “a buildup of dead skin on the skin’s surface” occurs, resulting in vital moisture sitting on the outside, unable to penetrate the deeper layers of the skin.
Colder temperatures in winter can also prevent our skin from being adequately nourished from the inside. As Dr Matulich explains, “blood and lymph fluid naturally nourish your skin in the warmer months, but in winter, blood circulation flows less freely due to the cold.”
How to get rid of dry skin
As Dr Matulich explains, your skin has “different needs season to season, and as such your skin care regimen needs to be adapted to suit”.
This means that if you’re prone to dry skin in winter, your summertime body care regimen isn’t going to cut it. In order to give your skin the extra protection and nourishment it needs, you will need to establish a more nourishing step-by-step body care routine and use therapeutic body care products to nurture your skin daily.
Dr Matulich recommends upping the hydration factor in winter by adding a richer emollient to your body care routine. A hydrating body wash combined with a nourishing body lotion will help to “protect your skin and lock in the moisture,” she says.
beautyheaven recommends DermaVeen® Extra Gentle Soap-Free Wash and DermaVeen® Daily Nourish Revive & Protect Body Moisturiser SPF 50+, which are formulated with natural colloidal oatmeal – which has been proven to help soothe, restore and protect dry skin.
If your skin is also a bit on the sensitive side, Dr Matulich recommends body care products “without synthetic perfumes,” as these can irritate the skin further. beautyheaven recommends DermaVeen® Extra Gentle Soap-Free Wash and DermaVeen® Daily Nourish Revive & Protect Body Moisturiser SPF 50+, as they are not only fragrance-free, but also free of other common irritants and are pH-balanced, to encourage optimal skin function.
In addition to a gentle body wash and hydrating body moisturiser, Dr Matulich also advises regular gentle body exfoliation in winter, to help “slough away the dead skin cells and aid in the absorption of a body moisturiser.”
Don’t forget SPF
As Dr Matulich explains, one of the biggest myths around skin care in winter is that you don’t need to use SPF. “It’s essential to incorporate sunscreen into daily skin care all year round, as exposure to UV rays is not season-dependent,” she says.
In order to protect your skin against sun damage from Australia’s particularly harsh sun, beautyheaven recommends layering sunscreen under your moisturiser every morning. Alternatively, we suggest opting for a moisturiser that contains a broad spectrum SPF, such as DermaVeen® Daily Nourish Revive & Protect Body Moisturiser SPF 50+, which provides very high sunscreen protection, in addition to moisturising benefits.
*Always read the label. Use only as directed. If symptoms persist see your healthcare professional.
Do you struggle with dry skin in winter? Did you find this article helpful?