Our recent changes in weather coupled with our return to central heating over the last few weeks can play havoc with hydration levels in our skins. Feelings of tightness, dehydration or irritation are common place at this time of year and are down to a few subtle changes in the surface layers of our skin.
Here are the reasons it affects us. Our skin draws in water from the environment daily and the surface layers have the amazing ability to hold about three times their weight in water. The problem with this time of year is most of us are spending our time in very dry environments due to central heating. This doesn’t leave much water for your skin. Heating on top of creating a dry environment can also leech moisture out of the top layers so we are losing on absorption and evaporation. This will automatically leave a feeling of tightness but will also affect your skins renewal cycle which is dependent on water leading to a build-up of dead cells. You can often see this on the surface as tightness or flaking.
Our diet and lifestyle over the winter months will also play a part here. Water we drink plays a vital role in cell regeneration and hydration so consciously drinking the recommended amount every day will support the skins natural functions.
Tips to treat:
• Increase water intake particularly if spending more time in dry environments
• Make sure you are eating healthy fats as part of your diet – walnuts, salmon & avocados are skin saviours and really help keep hydration levels up. The other option is to supplement with a good quality fish oil or flax seed oil
• Add a mild exfoliator into your routine. A gentle enzyme exfoliant is perfect to help lift any dead cells due to renewal slowing down.
• Add some extra hydration into your routine – hyaluronic acid is a great ingredient to bind and hold moisture in your skin or look at a treatment mask that can be left on over night.