It is getting cooler now. OK, it’s getting cold! When the weather cools down, did you know there’s usually some sort of change or reaction in our skin that needs attention?
Winter might mean roasting marshmallows in your fireplace and snuggling under thick doonas, but did you know it’s also when you need to spend extra time attending to your skin?
Based on the Gold Coast, Bubbles Organic ‘skinologist’ Kate Willmann says the most common side effect of the decrease in temperature is a parallel decrease in skin oil or sebum, which means our skin is dryer and tighter potentially resulting in sensitivity, flakiness and irritation. Not fun, right?
“As winter brings on the need for hot drinks, layers of clothes and creature comforts, we need to recognise and respond to how our bodies deal with that changing environment, both internally and externally,” Kate says.
“Our skin is made up of trillions of skin cells all moving and grooving through different layers right up to our epidermis – the layer of skin you can see,” she explains. “Great skin begins within so every condition you are experiencing on the outside relates to something happening on the inside. We must protect and nourish our skin topically while we get to the bottom of any other internal issues.”
Among Kate’s suggestions, we should keep a tab on:
Dehydration. This is worse in cool/cold weather. We tend to go for the red wine and coffee but caffeine actually removes fluid from the tissues. It’s also a stimulant that has a weakening effect on your capillaries so if you have red itchy skin, abstain until it’s healed.
Alcohol. This does the same thing. It literally draws water out of your body and leaves a toxic by-product in the tissues.
Heating/air conditioning. This can encourage blood to rush to your face to cool it down, and as a result dries out the skin.
Hot showers. While a wonderful delight in winter, a hot shower can strip your skin of its natural oils and reduce the protection of the acid mantle, which protects us from pathogens.
This winter, Kate suggests leaning on essentials oils to feed your body, with the ability to heal and reconnect.
“Especially those extracts from the roots of plants, to help feed the sub-cutis layer of skin – the root level. Funnily enough, winter is also a time to eat earthy, root vegetables in our soups and juices – think garlic, ginger and carrots.”
Face mists will also support your skin if you are stuck in office air conditioning or simply lounging in the heat of that comforting fireplace. They replace hydration externally to tell your face everything will be OK. Vegetable oils like jojoba are also perfect in winter as they protect the skin and don’t block pores, mimicking our skin’s sebum.