What effect does colder weather have on my skin?
The Summer has gone, Winter is approaching: Does this affect my skin?
As the seasons change, those relaxing and comfortable summer days become a fading memory. The nights draw in, trees lose their leaves and we feel a chill in the air. So does this affect our skin? The answer is that it certainly does! How does this happen and what can we do about it?
As the temperature outside goes down, so do the humidity levels. Although it can seem strange to talk about the air being dry when it is often raining, what matters is the invisible water held as vapour within the air itself. This reduces in cold weather, meaning that our skin tends to dehydrate too. Healthy skin should be well hydrated. In this state it looks good and is a more effective barrier to the challenges of the environment. It can resist infection and toxins while remaining flexible and resilient. As the skin dries out, it loses these abilities to some degree and becomes more prone to flaking and a whole host of other issues. Dry skin never looks as good as well hydrated skin. It cannot function so well either.
Sometimes the way we respond to the colder weather adds to the challenge for our skin. We switch on the central heating and we crank up the heater in our cars. We walk into shops and feel the blast of hot air as we enter. Heated air is even drier than the cold air. Then what do we do when we have been out in the cold? We sit by the fire, or worse still, we have a hot bath or shower. This all feels great, but it does give our skin a hard time. A slightly different problem results from the sudden, dramatic change in temperature our skin can go through. Blasted by the cold wind outside, then blasted by the heat inside. These sudden and repeated temperature changes affect the circulation of blood within the skin. Spider veins and redness can be the result - no one wants that!
So what should we do about all this. Live somewhere with a nicer climate might be the glib answer, but that is hardly a practical solution for most of us. By far the simplest and most effective remedy is to use good quality topical products. Ideally these should not be too oily, and they should contain vitamin A, anti-oxidants and UVA sunscreen. It might seem odd that sunscreen is needed when we hardly see the sun for days, but this really does help. The UVA rays will not cause sunburn but they can still gradually damage the skin. The effect builds up over years and only becomes apparent long after it happened. Please come in and talk to us about the most suitable treatments for you at this time.
What else can we do to help? Well some sort of humidifier in our home would help. This is not the answer for most people, though growing plenty of houseplants does help to some extent. Wrap up well when outside, then warm up gently when you get inside. Don't bake by the fire and don't make that bath or shower too hot! And never forget that healthy skin starts from the inside. A good diet with plenty of fruit and veg and less of the junk food never goes amiss. We also supply a great range of top quality supplements which can target particular skin conditions.
Most of all, treat your skin to good quality topical treatments, preferably with sunscreen and added nutrients. Apply more than once during the day if you can. After all that and if you are not sure, just come in and talk to us. There are many creams and lotions available and they are definitely not all the same. We are here to help, just ask!