Article medically reviewed by Dr. Gavin Chan (MBBS, cosmetic physician, liposuctionist)
Templestowe Lower and Berwick Clinics
Dr. Gavin Chan has a background in intensive care, anaesthesia, and emergency medicine. Since 2004, Dr. Chan has provided cosmetic procedures, including anti-wrinkle injections, dermal fillers, liposuction, fat transfer, skin needling, and laser treatments. He is a doctor trainer for various dermal fillers and anti-wrinkle injections. Read More
Have you ever noticed that one moment your skin looks fresh, vibrant and free from breakouts in summer then the quality of your skin goes down hill like sliding down the slope of a mountain in winter?
It’s nearly that time of year when the temperature drops and cold winds, central heating and low humidity can dry skin out, leaving it vulnerable to itchiness and flaking. Dry skin typically experiences a breakdown of the skin barrier functions due to inflammation, as well as a build-up of dead skin cells. The number one solution is to keep skin well hydrated.
There are four steps to take to ensure your skin is hydrated and ready to perfect your complexion this winter. These four steps are to create a supportive environment internally, rid your regime of dehydrating ingredients, providing topical relief and removing that dead layer.
Creating a supportive internal environment
Eat plenty of essential fatty acids, particularly omega-3 (found in avocado and oily fish) and omega-6 (found in nuts, wholegrains and flaxseed oil), which keep skin hydrated and clarified. A deficiency in both of these may result in dry, inflamed skin, whiteheads and blackheads.
Fatty acids are important building blocks for the wall of every cell in our body, there is growing evidence that they assist in keeping skin moisturised, smooth and healthy. They also have anti-inflammatory effects and can relieve dry skin symptoms. Good sources include oily fish, raw seeds and nuts and avocados, plus supplements of pure fish oil, flaxseed oil and evening primrose oil.
“Your skin is also reliant on good hydration. Avoid dehydration by drinking eight to 10 glasses of water daily and minimising your intake of caffeinated drinks and alcohol.”
For professional dietary advice we recommend seeing your GP or a qualified nutrition. The above advice is general and does not take into variants such as health conditions and medications.
Ingredients to avoid
Check your skincare regimen. Avoid anything that contains stripping ingredients (sulphates), especially if your skin is itchy or stinging. Isopropyl alcohol, if you want to cover your face in petrol (Isopropyl alcohol is derived from petroleum) then be our guest, however do not say we haven’t warned you. Isopropyl alcohol not only dries and irritates skin, it’s vapours are toxic if excessively inhaled and can encourage penetration of undesired ingredients into your delicate skin.
When you are next with your products turn them over and read the label! Know what you are really putting on your skin each day.
Niacinamide (vitamin B3) and Panthanol (vitamin B5) will super charge the skin with much needed hydration along with Vitamin B barrier repair and anti-inflammatory properties is a must for winter skin blues.
Use a gentle cleanser that won’t strip the skin, followed by a quality moisturiser that will dose skin with lipids and reinforce its protective barrier. Choose fragrance-free formulas to help counteract potential irritation.
Removing the dead cells
The dead layer of skin cells make your complexion appear dull, lifeless and dirty. It also holds impurities in your skin which can create congestion and cause breakouts. Exfoliate weekly to counteract the build-up of dead skin cells. Whilst vitamin A products provide a chemical exfoliation of the skin by tricking cells to behave like they did when they were young, increasing cells turn over and exfoliating from the inside out, it is important to incorporate a slightly more intensified exfoliator.
“When skin is cold it doesn’t function as well, so the natural shedding slows down. Products become less effective, as the barrier of dead cells prevents absorption.” – Lisa Brown
Follow with a hydrating mask that will infuse the epidermis with moisture and help to soothe winter savaged skin.
Do you want your body to have the same smooth and glowing skin as your face? Try PCA Body Therapy. Combining Lactic acid with moisture locking ingredients will not only hydrate but assist with cell exfoliation. Use after dry body brushing your skin to ensure your are not treating your dead skin cells to this brilliant formulation.