Dry legs? Chapped lips? Tight skin? It’s certainly that time of year again – you can practically hear your hands screaming out for some moisturising love!
Our skin is more than just a layer – it’s our body’s largest organ, and we need to do our best to look after.
Julia Simmonds, pharmacist and founder of the natural skincare range Itchy Baby Co, knows better than anyone how important it is to take good care of ourselves in winter, and she’s shared her top five tips for saving your skin throughout the colder months.
“Maintaining healthy skin means we are better protected from losing essential fluids, including water, and are also better equipped to stop irritants from the environment making their way inside our bodies and causing potential inflammation and infection,” says Julia. “In winter, our skin cries out for some extra help and attention, so that it doesn’t let us down.”
One of the main ways it tells us that we need to give it some loving is when it becomes itchy, dry and flaky. By the time this has happened, our bodies have already lost a lot of our water through the skin and its protective function is already weakened. The best way to keep our skin healthy and functioning well is to find the time to love it before it gets too dry!
1. Apply your moisturiser immediately after your shower.
And by immediately after I mean within the first two minutes of turning the tap off. This is when our skin can soak up the most hydration from a moisturiser, and the extra layer the moisturiser adds to our skin will stop extra water loss at the surface.
2. Stop using soap.
Soap has ingredients which dry the skin and strip the skin of it’s natural protective oils. Pharmacies and health food stores carry many options for soap alternatives which often have moisturising and nourishing natural ingredients to work with your skin and keep it healthy.
3. Choose to use a thicker or heavier moisturiser at night.
Especially on your legs and hands, which can really suffer through winter. A heavier moisturiser or ointment stays on the skin for longer, preventing water loss and strengthening the skin’s natural barrier. One way to know if your moisturiser will be thick enough is to check that the first ingredient listed isn’t water – water evaporates quickly from the skin, taking some of the body’s hydration with it.
4. Drink two glasses of water for every hot tea or coffee you drink to warm up.
Tea and coffee can have a dehydrating effect on the body, so we need to overcompensate for this during winter.
5. Layer up.
Cocoon your skin in layers of breathable cotton clothing, rather than cranking up the indoor heating, which saps heaps of moisture from the air.
To learn more about Julia or the Itchy Baby Co range, head to www.itchybabyco.com.au.