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A guide to managing winter skin woes

Winter skin is characteristically drier, more likely to become red, irritated and parched from the harsh cold and dry conditions. During the colder months, it's essential to adjust our skincare routines according to environmental changes.

To help keep your skin optimally hydrated during the harsh winter months, we're sharing tips from QV Consultant and Dermatologist, Platinum Dermatology, Dr Jacqueline Matulich.

Avoid Extreme Temperature Changes:

Extreme changes in the environmental conditions can take a toll on our skin. Going from a warm home or office to the cold outdoors can cause the blood vessels in our skin to widen or dilate causing the skin to appear flushed and red.

Exposing skin to extreme heat in hot showers and baths can dry out the skin further, causing rapid moisture loss and resulting in dry, flakey and red skin - despite warm rituals like these feeling essential during cold, wet weather!

During winter it's important to try to reduce the impact of these sudden temperature changes by making slow transitions to the different environmental temperatures. Consider wearing a scarf when going outdoors to warm up, moderate indoor temperatures to prevent sudden flushing and inflammation when entering from the cold outdoors and try having shorter showers or baths that are limited to 5 minutes.

Avoid Harsh Ingredients:

As a rule of thumb, our winter products should be gentler, nourishing and help to protect the skin from harsh weather when it is at its most sensitive. During winter, we are more prone to being irritated by products which we normally tolerate well in the summer. Make a conscious effort to avoid harsh soaps and fragranced cleansers in the shower which can contribute to drying out and irritating sensitive skin during winter.

As an alternative, use soap-free moisturising cleansers that help to prevent further moisture loss from your skin. Consider a cleanser which contains ceramides; ceramides are naturally occurring lipids that make up 40% - 50% of the skins outer lipid layer1 and are essential in retaining moisture and supporting the skin barrier. Including a light cream moisturiser and a body wash, the QV Intensive with Ceramides range contains dual-action formulations and Ceramide 1 and 3 (EOP and NP) to help reinforce the skin's natural barrier maintaining hydration and supporting the skin to promote ceramide synthesis.

The QV Intensive with Ceramides Hydrating Body Wash and QV Intensive with Ceramides Light Moisturising Cream are a great duo to keep on hand in the bathroom cupboard when your skin starts to feel dry, tight and look dull or irritated during the winter months.

Winter Skin Care A Guide To Managing Winter Skin Woes 02

As a rule of thumb, our winter products should be gentler, nourishing and help to protect the skin from harsh weather when it is at its most sensitive.

Moisturise Daily:

During cooler months, try using a thicker moisturiser that is creamier or ointment-based to help counteract dryness. QV Intensive Body Moisturiser is an ointment-based moisturiser that not only helps to rehydrate your skin, but also helps to seal in moisture to your skin. Moisturise your skin once or twice a day, especially within five minutes of finishing your shower as this is the best time to lock in moisture and help replenish the skin barrier.

Moisturisers with calming ingredients like Vitamin E or Niacinamide can also help to soothe stressed winter skin. Products which contain antioxidants (Vitamins E and C) are gentle and can help dry skin. The QV Face Ultra Calming Moisturiser provides sensitive skin with extra care with its rich combination of ingredients that moisturise and provide 24hr hydration.

Don't Hesitate to Exfoliate:

Exfoliating the skin once a week during winter can help to clear oil, dirt, residue and unclog pores which will remove dead skin cells and improve skin renewal, revealing smoother, glowing skin. As our skin is more sensitive during winter, a gentle cleanser such as the QV Face Exfoliating Polish can help to gently remove impurities and dead skin cells from the outer skin layers. Consider incorporating ingredients like Vitamin E to increase hydration of the skin, Glycerin to help maintain the skin's epidermal barrier and Niacinamide (Vitamin B3) to help replenish the skin's natural barrier function.

By understanding our skin needs and adjusting our skincare routines to meet environmental changes we can help to maintain a radiant, hydrated glow.

1 Zeichner JA and Del Rosso D, J Clin Aesthet Dermatol 2016; 9(12):26-32