Company: Mentholatum SA
Project: Dr Mathobela OXY Column: Winter Skincare
Date: May 2021

How to manage your skin this Winter

As the Winter chill starts to set in, Dr Mathobela, a leading specialist dermatologist and OXY’s resident skincare expert offers some guidance and tips on how best to care for one’s skin during the colder months.

Winter, for the most part, comes with a decrease in temperatures that leads to an overall drop in humidity in the air. This is because cold air is known not to hold onto moisture as well as warm air does. Because of the drop in temperatures, we tend to spend more time indoors curled up in front of heaters or fireplaces all of which can lead to the dryness of the air indoors as well.

As a result of the drop in humidity of both indoors and outdoors, our skin can lose some of its moisture which can lead to it becoming dry. The exposed areas of our bodies tend to become more affected than those that are covered up, a case in point being our hands and lips that, in many cases, can tend to become drier than the rest of the body. Further, some people drink less water during the colder months than during warmer seasons, exacerbating the skin’s dryness. .

When the hydration level of the skin drops it becomes dry and irritated and can lose its suppleness and softness, becoming dull and rough.

It’s best to know and listen to your skin! Reflect on previous winters and how your skin has been affected? Try to prevent the same things from happening again, making changes now already as we head towards the chillier weather. People who suffer from eczema can often be more affected by drops in temperate than the average population.

Some recommendations for keeping your skin glowing and healthy this Winter:

Stick to your skin care regime (with a few adjustments)
Swap your usual soap for a gentler and non-foaming soap or moisturising soap or bath oil. Alkaline soaps tend to disrupt the skin’s lipids and proteins and can lead to dryness, irritation and increased water loss.

Short lukewarm baths.
Hot water can be damaging to the very superficial layer of the skin that helps to retain our skin’s moisture. Damaging this layer can lead to trans epidermal water loss, with resulting dryness of the skin. If possible, bath or shower only once a day.

Moisturise. Moisturise. Moisturise.
Moisturise immediately after bathing or showering, preferably making use of thick creams and balms rather than thin lotions. Moisturisers with urea, hyaluronic acids, ceramides, shea butter, glycerine and Vitamin E are usually very effective for dry skins. Using moisturising oils such as jojoba, coconut and olive oil will also help for dry skin. Moisturise at least twice daily. For those with very dry skin, try applying some petroleum jelly on top of your thick moisturiser to seal it in and form a barrier.

Avoid the sun, as important in Winter as it is in Summer.
Avoid spending prolonged hours in the sun, even though it may be tempting to do so to try and warm oneself. And don’t forget to continue using a broad-spectrum sunscreen to protect your skin from the harmful effects of UV rays.

Lip Care.
Moisturise your lips with thick lip balms and ointments to help prevent dryness and chapping. Good old petroleum jelly will work just as well.

Gentle Exfoliation.
Even if your skin may look dry, dull and flaky ‐ remember to continue to exfoliate (gently) making use of either a mechanical exfoliant or chemical exfoliant such as Salicylic acid.

Cover Up.
Try to cover up, leaving as little skin exposed as possible. Wear cotton gloves and scarves and avoid wearing wool directly on the skin to avoid unnecessary irritation.

Increase one’s fluid intake but avoid intake of too many of the types of beverages that can lead to dehydration.

Skincare Products we recommend this Winter:

  • SkinCeutical Metacell Renewal B3

Used for all skin types, this moisturizer will keep your skin feeling hydrated for long period of time.

  • Avene Hydrance UV Light

Excellent for all skin types, including sensitive skin. It is a light weight hydrating moisturiser, perfect for those who do not like something to heavy on their skin.

  • Heliocare 360 Mineral Tolerance Fluid SPF50

Fantastic light weight SPF, remember to always use your spf every 2 hours, whether it is warm or cold outside – Yes, your cell phone & laptop can cause UV damage as well!

  • La Roche Toleriane Cleanser

Great daily face wash for those who become sensitized in the winter

  • Daily Hydro Drops Face Serum

A serum designed to treat dehydration, anti ageing as well as an antioxidant, to help your skin fight off environmental damage

  • Bioderma Biphase Lipo Alcoolique

Let’s not forget about our hands! A great new santiser targeted at keeping your hands clean, hydrated and irritation free.

  • Avene Les Essentiels Gentle Exfoliating Gel

Perfect for gentle removal dead skin cells causing a dull look. Designed for all skin types

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