I’VE never really been one of those people who follow a strict skin care regime. But I’ve been good at sticking to one product that works.
Growing up, I would wash my face with good, old “green bar” and apply Camphor cream. Once I’d come of age, I felt the need to use something that would help minimise the shine on my face. I generally have oily skin and over-moisturising can be problematic for me.
Due to the lockdown however, I haven’t been able to access my trusted facial cream and soap. I’ve instead been using some body lotion and regular bath soap. I didn’t realise this was working even better than the other product until my aunt and a friend went to town about how beautiful my skin looked in a space of two days.
They couldn’t have been lying. My aunt couldn’t hold back the fact that my skin was visibly smooth and I was glowing. She even threw in a jibe insinuating that Khaya would be a big brother soon. Well, no, he’s not! Anyway, what this essentially means is that my lotion is doing a great job at moisturising my skin. The temperatures keep dropping by the day. Now is the time we all should be doing a better job at protecting our skin from the damage the cold can cause.
It’s not just the face that needs a little extra care in the winter. Watch out for cracked heels and dry, chapped knees, elbows and knuckles. A little extra moisturiser can go a long way in keeping your skin happy.
To reduce dry, chapping skin which feels a little tight, bath with warm water as opposed to hot water to avoid stripping too many oils from the skin. Your skin not only needs more moisture during cold days, but moisture right after you bath. Applying moisture to damp skin helps seal that dampness into the skin.
Keep a bottle of moisturiser near the bath tub, shower stall, and at every sink and use liberally every time you wash. Some over the counter moisturisers have petroleum-based ingredients that can actually further dry your skin in the winter months. Be sure to choose a smart formula that has natural, nourishing ingredients. Go for an oil-based rather than a water-based solution, as it’s more likely to help your skin retain moisture during winter. Try products with natural, hydrating ingredients like lavender, chamomile and jojoba which help soothe dry skin.
Get used to wearing gloves and scarves to protect the skin from cold winds. I know it’s not that cold yet, but when the time comes, do remember this. Also, don’t forget the sunscreen. Winter sun can be just as damaging as summer sun, so apply a safe option like zinc oxide or titanium dioxide to any exposed areas.
We tend to drink less water during winter because we turn to hot drinks like cocoa and tea, but don’t forget that your skin needs hydration from the inside out. A little warm water with lemon can be very refreshing and hydrating at the same time. Dryer areas like hands, feet, elbows, and knees have thin skin and tend to lose moisture faster than other areas on the body. Consider slathering on a deep moisturising balm at night, then wear cotton gloves and socks to seal in the moisture until morning.
We often forget to help the skin slough off dead cells during winter, particularly on our hands. Yet moisture can’t get in if the dead cells are too plentiful. Find an exfoliating mask and use it on your face and hands, as well as gently on your lips, then follow immediately with moisture to truly see a smoother difference. Exfoliating body washes are also helpful during winter months.
Experts say if you have eczema, dermatitis, or psoriasis, you have to avoid allergens and irritants that may trigger a flare up. Winter skin is more fragile, so avoid irritating fabrics like wool and chemical-laden detergents, and use mild cleansers and moisturisers designed for sensitive skin. Eating foods high in water content can help hydrate your skin from the inside out. Try watermelon, apples, oranges and watery veggies like tomatoes, cucumbers and carrots.
Make sure you’re getting enough vitamin C and zinc to support the healthy production of collagen and elastin. Also consume more fatty fish to give your skin the building blocks it needs to appear supple and smooth.
Cleansers can be extremely drying to the skin. If you’re used to using options that contain glycolic or salicylic acid, rotate with a more hydrating version that contains moisturising ingredients. After cleansing, don’t leave the skin naked for more than 30 seconds, as this can dehydrate it, leading to increased dryness. Apply a hydrating toner and moisturiser to seal in moisture.
Until next week, flaunt your pattern and style and don’t forget to catch up with me on Twitter handle @PatternStyleZw or WhatsApp +263774492700.