Why is my skin so dry? The six ways to beat dull, dehydrated winter skin

How To Make A Dry Skin Treatment – Just In Time For Winter

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October is in full swing and you may have already noticed small changes in your skin as the temperature drops and the air gets drier. Most of us will find that our skin becomes dehydrated, dry, itchy or irritated in the autumn and winter months. Luckily, just a few changes to what you’re putting on your face and the rest of your body can make a big difference. Express.co.uk chatted to a range of skincare experts to find out how to beat the inevitable dull and dehydrated winter skin we’re all prone to experiencing.

It would be reasonable to imagine that our skin would be driest in summer when the sun is burning hot, but this isn’t the case.

In the summer we’re well versed in applying sun cream and serums, but we get lazy in autumn.

Aesthetic specialist Natasha Clancy, founder of Kichi beauty brand and skin studio in Mayfair said: “The temperature gauge may fall in autumn, but winds tend to be stronger and central heating is no friend to skin.

“If we don’t adjust our skincare routine accordingly, the result is dry skin, often with acne breakouts.”

Dr Lukasz Adamek, Medical Director at Galderma UK, the makers of Cetaphil Skincare, said: “The drier air, harsher weather conditions and central heating can add further complexity for our complexions, so skincare routines may need to be updated and it’s likely the focus will be on the prevention of dehydration.”

In autumn and winter, transepidermal water loss increases.

TEWL is a natural and normal process that happens to everyone and your skin does it to regulate its water content.

Natasha said: “Transepidermal water loss refers to the loss of water that passes through the epidermis and evaporates into the air.

“TEWL can be exacerbated by things like low-humidity weather, damage to the skin, and skincare products that are drying.

“If your skin is losing too much water, you may notice dryness, flakiness, dullness, itchiness, rough texture and visible fine lines.

“It’s also thought that TEWL plays a big role in inflammatory skin conditions like acne and eczema.”

So what changes do we have to make to prevent this? Here are the six tips from the experts.

Gentle cleanser

The best way to combat all skincare concerns associated with TEWL and winter skin problems is to keep the epidermis clean.

This is the thin outer layer of your skin that is visible to the eye.

Cetaphil’s Dr Lukasz Adamek said: “People often find they get acne around the jawline and neck during the winter months, which is often due to dirty scarves and jacket collars that constantly touch our face.

“It’s key to wash these items regularly and cleanse your face day and night with a gentle cleanser to remove impurities from the face.”

Exfoliate more

According to Boots, your skin can become duller during the colder months so it’s time to start paying close attention to exfoliating.

However, you shouldn’t exfoliate too harshly as broken veins can appear on your face and using a harsh scrub can cause more problems.

Natasha said: “When you use a harsh scrub, more sebum is produced to combat the dryness, so there is a need for more gentle exfoliation.

“Try using a gentle AHA lactic acid cleanser twice per week.

“Blocked pores are not always from the skin producing more sebum, it could be a mixture of heavy creams, a change in hormones and dried skin cells and keratin being mixed together and stuck in the pores.”

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Beat winter skin by frequently layering a hydrating moisturiser on your skin after cleansing and throughout the day (underneath makeup)

Dr Adamek said: “A good moisturiser will help to lock in hydration, as it acts as a barrier to protect skin from environmental stressors and SPF is important as there are UV rays even on gloomy winter days.

“We recently launched a brand new four-product range designed to give even the most sensitive skin a radiant look.

“The Cetaphil Healthy Radiance collection includes a day and night cream, a creamy cleanser and toner, all to help counteract the dull look winter can bring upon the skin.”

Natasha added: “I would also recommend introducing a moisturiser with ceramides to repair the TWL barrier.

“You can’t completely stop TEWL, but you can minimize it and promote a healthy balance of water in your skin.”

Nighttime moisturiser

It’s also key not to forget to moisturise at night as this is the time your skin cells are most active in their renewal and repair cycles, so well-hydrated skin supports this process.

Dr Adamek said: “A lipid-rich, heavier, nourishing face cream moisturiser may be more acceptable for night-time use than in the day, and again look for non-comedogenic (non-pore blocking) options.”

You should try to establish a good moisturizing routine and ensure that it includes humectant and occlusive ingredients, Natasha said.

The expert pointed out: “Humectants draw water to the epidermis while occlusives seal that moisture in and protect it from evaporating.

“I wouldn’t recommend dropping oil from skincare but make sure oils and creams are non-comedogenic.

“The skin needs essential fatty acids to support the acid mantle, along with ceramides for repair.”

Don’t neglect your lips

Boots pointed out that your lips also need help during the colder months, as exposure to the cold air will be a shock for them.

The site reads: “There are some fab lip scrubs out there to help remove any dry and flaky skin and help you get the most out of your lip balm.

“It’s best to find a lip balm that’s nourishing and handy to carry around in your bag.

“If you find lipsticks are too drying in the colder months, just avoid them and switch to a tinted lip balm instead – the power of colour and moisture in one!”

Eye cream

Eye cream isn’t only for tired eyes and anti-ageing, it’s essential for the colder months.

Body Shop said: “The skin around your eyes is thinner than the rest of the face, making it vulnerable to the whipping winds of winter.

“Incorporate an eye cream to your winter skincare routine in the morning and evening to give your eye area an extra bit of TLC.”

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