Beauty | 01.07.2016

10 best tips for dry skin

If winter has left you looking like a lizard, we’ve got some excellent tips for dry skin that are simple, natural and avoid the use of any heavy duty chemical-laden products.

But first – why do we get dry skin in winter? It’s the combination of cold, dry air, low humidity and strong winds that suck moisture from the skin and deplete it of its natural lipid layer.

Here are our top ten tips for keeping your skin looking smooth and sexy right through the winter months. 

tips for dry skin #1: Smart moisturising 

Here’s one of the best tips for dry skin to burn into your brain: the best way to ward off dry skin is with prevention, rather than cure. Winter is the worst time to neglect your skin because you’ll be playing catch-up to try and get it looking and feeling okay again. It’s best to keep it hydrated and moisturised BEFORE the cold, dry air begins sucking the living daylights out of it. To do that, you have to be smart about the products you use and WHEN you use them.

The best time to use moisturisers, serums, oils and body lotions is just after you’ve showered, bathed or cleansed, and when your skin is still a little damp. Briefly pat yourself dry with a soft towel (don’t rub) and apply your body lotion that contains nourishing oils while your skin is still moist, which helps your epidermis retain the extra water.  For your face, spritz a beautiful toner onto your skin and add your serum and/or moisturiser before the toner fully dries. If you suffer from horribly dry hands in winter, carry a small moisturiser in your handbag and apply it each time you wash your hands throughout the day. (Keep an eye out for our 15ml Mukti minis coming soon.)

TIP: when you’re moisturising, don’t forget to give your eyes, neck and décolletage special treatment. The skin there is thinner and more sensitive, with fewer sebaceous glands, which makes them more prone to becoming dry. These areas need to be moisturised as much – if not more – than your face, arms and hands. I would also advise everyone to use an anti-ageing eye serum year-round, not just in winter, as the eyes are one of the first areas to age. 

tips for dry skin #2: Choose the right products 

Your winter skincare arsenal should contain a hydrating cleansing lotion, a hydrating body wash, rich moisturisers matched to your skin type, and antioxidant facial oils and serums. Choose a moisturising cleanser and a hydrating toner. Avoid highly astringent toners, which will dry your skin out. 

Winter is the perfect time to give your skin a little TLC with a luxurious face oil and a hydrating mask. These give your skin the extra moisturising and hydrating boost it needs during the chilly months. 

tips for dry skin #3: Hands off the hot tap 

How good is a steaming hot shower on a freezing cold morning? You just want to stand there like a zombie and let the hot water wash over your skin till it turns pink. Your soul might like it, but your skin doesn’t. Really hot water, whether it’s in a shower or bath, strips your skin of its natural oil barrier, which is crucial for trapping in moisture and keeping your skin smooth and hydrated. If you pay attention to only one of our tips for dry skin, make it this one, because it’s soooo tempting. Turn the heat down to warm and don’t linger too long – five or ten minutes max should do the trick.

tips for dry skin #4: Let’s talk about soap

I’m very surprised when people tell me they wash their face in soap and water, then wonder why they have dry skin. Soap has a very high pH level, which means it’s very alkaline and SUPER drying. In addition, soap completely deteriorates and destroys the acid mantle (a fine, slightly acidic film on the surface of the skin acting as a barrier to bacteria, viruses and other potential contaminants that might penetrate the skin). So more alkaline skin means more bacterial growth.

Using soap can also exacerbate acne, because your sebaceous glands pump out more oil in response to the drying effect of the soap. If you must use soap and feel somehow dirty without it, use a natural, gentle soap and only on the critical areas (the smelly bits). For the rest of your body, use a gentle body wash and of course, reserve your cleanser for your face, neck and décolletage.

tips for dry skin #5: SPF is your best friend

Just because the sun feels milder on your skin in winter, doesn’t mean the UV rays are any less damaging. Sun damage is one of the primary causes of dry skin, no matter what the season. You’ll help prevent that damage – and hence the dryness – by wearing an SPF year-round.

Your body is more covered up in winter, so you’re less likely to get sun damage on your arms and legs, but keep applying your SPF to your hands and face every day, and wear good protective sunglasses and a broad-brimmed hat if you’re out in the sun.

tips for dry skin #6: Recreate Bali in your bedroom

You know how great you feel when you’re in the tropics? Your skin glows in the humidity and greedily drinks in all the moisture in the humid air, while you’re drinking your second piña colada. It’s a match made in heaven.

An easy way to replenish moisture lost from your skin during winter is by using a humidifier in your bedroom at night. It’s way cheaper than flying to Bali and when you wake up in the morning, your face will look supple and fresh, and your hands and lips won’t feel as dehydrated.

Aim for about 30-50% humidity in your bedroom – you can buy an inexpensive humidity meter from the hardware store to measure the levels if you’re really serious.

It’s also a good idea not to sit too close to fireplaces and heaters during winter, as the heat leeches your skin of moisture, leaving it dry and cracked.

tips for dry skin #7: Lip service 

There’s nothing worse than having sore, dry, cracked, chapped lips, reaching for your lip balm and finding it’s not in your handbag. Always carry a soothing (non-petroleum based) lip balm in your handbag, in the car and at work during winter. That way you’ll never be caught out and your lips will remain kissable throughout winter.

Beware of those cheap chemist and supermarket lip balms with flavours, colours and scents. They’re full of toxins, which you ingest when you lick your lips. Our Cacao Vanilla Lip Butter tastes good enough to eat – and it's in a handy little tin you can throw into your bag or desk drawer.

tips for dry skin #8: Avoid the nasty stuff

While we’re on the subject of nasty toxins, it’s a good idea to steer clear of any skincare product that contains alcohol, synthetic fragrances or preservatives. These products tend to strip your skin of its natural oils, exacerbating dryness (not to mention all the other health effects they could be having).

tips for dry skin #9: Glove up

The hands and feet are always the first to go. Our extremities cop a beating during winter and not surprisingly, can end up looking scaly and dry and making us look older than our years. Protect your hands by wearing gloves on really cold or windy days, and always wear rubber gloves when you’re doing the dishes or handling cleaning chemicals.

tips for dry skin #10: Make a date to exfoliate

The final one of our tips for dry skin is to exfoliate. Not only does exfoliation remove the dead skin cells from your stratum corneum (outer layer of skin), making your skin look brighter and smoother, but it prepares the surface of your skin to receive moisturising and hydrating products.

It aids penetration of your skincare products, so they have direct access to living skin, making them more effective. Don’t over-exfoliate though, as this can leave your skin a little too raw and defenceless against the elements. Once or twice a week with a gentle exfoliant is fine. And make sure you use a gentle exfoliant that won't tear at your skin.

Do you suffer from dry skin in winter? Share your own tips for dry skin with us in the comments section below, and go into our bi-monthly draw to win free Mukti Organics products!


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