Healthspan October 29, 2018

We often get asked whether skincare should be approached differently in winter. The mixture of harsh cold conditions outside, combined with central heating inside can play havoc, causing all kinds of unwelcome skin problems. Here, experts have answered a few common questions.

Q. Can I repair my summer damaged skin in winter?

A. The summer can be equally, if not more damaging to your skin than the winter, especially if you haven’t worn a face cream with an SPF of at least 15. To minimise damage from UV exposure, use a face product that helps to lighten age spots and combat the appearance of wrinkles which are caused when your skin has been over exposed to the sun’s harmful UV rays.

You may also wish to add more moisture and hydration into your routine. Opt for a heavier cream or lotion than you would in summer and apply it as soon as you get out of the shower to really lock in that moisture.

Q. Why does my skin dry out in the winter?

A. In the winter you may notice your skin has become a lot drier than it was during summer. There are multiple contributing factors. Make sure to drink the recommended eight glasses of water a day to keep your skin hydrated, starting from the inside. Your skin feeling drier than usual can also be caused by central heating or the harsh, cold weather, which can suck moisture out of the skin. To overcome this, moisturise your skin at least twice a day.

Q. How can I help my chapped lips?

A. Having dry, chapped and sore lips is a very common problem in winter, which is why it’s important to apply a lip balm throughout the day. Have a lip balm that contains UV filters as even though the sun is not shining in the sky, its harmful rays can still cause damage. Whatever you do – don’t lick them! Saliva dries out lips quicker than anything else, stick to the balm instead.

Q. Does my diet affect my skin?

Diet definitely affects the health and aging of your skin, so if you’re looking to change your diet, start by intaking lots of nutrients and healthy meals; you skin will thank you! These are some of the best dietary changes you can make for your skin:

Omega 3
Fatty fish, like salmon, mackerel and herring are full of omega-3 fatty acids, which are so important for maintaining healthy skin. If you’re not getting enough omega-3 it can even cause your skin to feel drier.1

Healthy fats
Avocados are also great for skin due being a healthy fat and being rich in vitamin E and C – both of which are essential for healthy skin and your body needs vitamin C to create collagen.2

Beta-carotene
You may also want to add more sweet potato, carrots and spinach to your diet! All of which contain beta-carotene, a nutrient found in plants that can be converted into vitamin A, this antioxidant can help protect your skin cells from sun exposure; this doesn’t mean you should stop wearing SPF though.


References
1 Pilkington, S. and Rhodes, L. (2010). Omega-3 Fatty Acids and Skin. Nutrition for Healthy Skin, pp.91-107.
2 Telang, P. (2013). Vitamin C in dermatology. Indian Dermatology Online Journal, 4(2), p.143.

Nothing beats a healthy, balanced diet to provide all the nutrients we need. But when this isn’t possible supplements can help. This article isn’t intended to replace medical advice. Please consult your healthcare professional before trying supplements or herbal medicines.

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