Just wake up and feel uncomfortable because of the chipped skin and the cracked lips? Check the temperature. Yes, it's winter!
Winter is a dry month, which may cause problems with the skin. Dr Robyn Gmyrek, a dermatologist at New York's Columbia University, explained that moisture goes out of our skin during winter due to less humidity in the air. This dries out the skin.
Some skincare routine tweaks are essential for both sexes to combat skin problems. It is important to note that it does not mean wholesale change. Understanding one's own skin and figuring out what kind of products will suit it is necessary.
This also entails drinking plenty of fluid and using the appropriate skincare products. For coffee lovers, Dr Hextall advised replacing caffeine with green tea.
Cleansers, moisturisers, and sunscreen - are all part of our skincare. So how does winter affect these products? For cleansers, New York Dermatologist Joyce Davis suggested using something creamy and gentle, which will cleanse effectively without stripping the skin of its natural oils.
Dr Benjamin Barankin, a board-certified dermatologist from Toronto, advises looking for products which are 'fragrance-free.'
How do we know the cleanser we use is suitable for our skin? Well, if the skin feels tight after using it, the product may not be a good fit. But if it feels hydrated and calm, this is probably our cleanser.
To moisturise, we can use different products for the face and the body. Facial moisturisers for winter should be in creams, oils or balms. Regarding ingredients, hyaluronic acid and/or jojoba oil are known as good hydrating agents.
For the body, a cream is better than a lotion. It should be massaged for 30 seconds into the skin for maximum efficacy. Ingredients to look for include hyaluronic acid, lanolin, mineral oil, petrolatum, shea butter, glycerin etc.
Products containing glycolic acid, retinol or other anti-ageing agents may not be a good choice for winter. According to Dr Barankin, they can be used less often than in summer and in a lower amount instead of completely stopping their use.
Sunscreens during winter may seem weird to many, but they should actually be used year-round because UV rays are there even when the sunlight is less, or the sky is cloudy. Dr Hextall advocates using something with high UVA protection.
We can adopt other changes during winter, e.g., using facial oil at night, which US board-certified dermatologist Dr Whitney Bowe recommended.
Some slight tweaks in the bathing habit may be good too. A long hot shower, while feels great, may cause more harm to our skin during winter months, explained Dr Rina Allawh of Schweiger Dermatology Group in Pennsylvania. So shower times should be limited.
The main focus in winter is to prevent skin dehydration, stressed consultant dermatologist of Guy's and St Thomas' Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Dr Justine Kluk. This can be achieved by using the right products for our skin, namely a gentle cleanser, hydrating moisturiser and UVA protecting high SPF sunscreen.