January and February are traditionally the harshest of the winter months, and the colder air outdoors can make your skin drier, while central heating at home and air conditioning in the office might also cause eczema. In those circumstances, the easiest thing to do is turn the thermostat down to between 16C-18C and, if you can, invest in a humidifier, which puts moisture back into the air.
You might be surprised but one of the most important and commonly overlooked steps in the dry skin game is swapping to a seriously hydrating moisturiser. A cream rather than a lotion, especially one containing ceramides and hyaluronic acid, is ideal.
Now, if you’re (still) committed to your New Year’s health kick, be mindful to avoid exposure to things that remove your skin’s natural oils. Hot water dries the skin. So, while the heat of a shower may feel AMAZING on a really nippy day, turn the temperature down a touch and don’t linger for longer than five minutes, as this only adds to surface dehydration. Also, ditch soap bars or harsh body washes in favour of something rich, creamy and gentle. Make sure that stepping out of the shower, you apply a good quality body moisturiser.
Sweating also dries and irritates the skin. So, after a major workout in the gym, smashing your parkrun PB or tough bike ride, change into something clean and dry as soon ASAP.
Tweaking what you eat will also help. By this, I don’t mean extending Veganuary – but you can if you want – rather, adding the good fats contained in foods like walnuts, olive oil and avocados into your diet will definitely help. Similarly, coming out of Dry January with a vengeance won’t help matters either. Go steady on the booze and caffeine – found in regular tea, coffee and many ‘energy’ products. Water, and plenty of it, is key.
Another rule of thumb to bear in mind, is that dry skin will stay dry without some light exfoliation. After all, once your skin is buffed and prepared, your choice of moisturiser can penetrate and begin to work its magic. An alcohol-free, antioxidant serum is great for year-round usage if you don’t want the faff of buying new winter moisturiser.
Finally, don’t neglect your evening routine before bed. This will ensure healthy skin in the morning. In addition to putting on a little moisturiser or face serum, apply a gentle eye cream under your eyes and on the lids. Et voila, you won’t wake up looking like an Egyptian mummy!