… and with it comes that dreadful time when our skin is dry, itchy and flaky.

 Here’s some info on why it happens and what you can do to protect your skin and keep it healthy even during the “long night”…

We all know that your wardrobe changes along with the seasons, but your choice in clothing is not the only thing that needs some rearranging as the seasons change. Adjusting your skincare routine and starting a few healthy habits to improve the health of your skin, is just as important.

What happens to your skin?

As the temperature drops, the air humidity lowers too. Lower humidity strips moisture from your skin, causing dryness, flakiness, tightness and sometimes itchiness.

The sudden temperature changes caused when you walk into a warm building and out of cold weather can also cause redness and inflammation due to the strain on your capillaries.

A new British Journal of Dermatology study found that the level of breakdown products of filaggrin (a protein that helps to maintain the skin’s barrier function) changed with the season, changing the complexion of hands and cheeks. The study also found that the change in weather caused skin cells to suffer from shrinkage, and therefore changing their surface.

All these changes within your skin in order to adjust to the environment could lead to permanent damage and aggravate skin problems like eczema or winter’s hands.

What happens to your hair?

Yes, you read that right. Even your hair suffers under the cold temperatures of winter.

The cold and dry air causes the cuticle of the hair strand to lift slightly, making it impossible for moisture to stay locked in the hair shaft. As a result, you get more split ends and frizzy hair.

If you live in a windy area, the wind also causes tangles and knots in your hair. Brushing these out can not only be painful, but cause severe breakage.

What can you do about it?

We know all too well how inviting a long, hot bath can be after a day of shivering. But although it may feel heavenly, is it actually good for you? Here we list some tips on how to survive winter with your skin glowing and intact:

  • Most dermatologists recommend that you avoid long, hot baths, keeping your baths or showers warm and swift. The hot water also strips moisture from your skin, causing even more dryness and inflammation.
  • Use a gentle and nourishing body wash that is anti-inflammatory and moisturizing.
  • After your bath or shower apply a heavier moisturizer, preferably one with anti-inflammatory and anti-irritant ingredients. The same goes for your face – opt for a more moisturizing product, or add a serum suited for your skin type.
  • Remember to apply sunscreen just as diligently as you do in summer. The sun is still shining, and its UV rays are still as damaging.
  • Continue to drink a lot of water during the day.
  • Use a moisturizing shampoo and conditioner.
  • Trim your hair every 6 weeks.
  • Use a hair serum or oil to protect your strands from the cold air.

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