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A 6 step guide to preventing dry & irritated skin

Picture: Unsplash
Picture: Unsplash

Winter is on its way out, so here is a guide to get your skin to spring looking and feeling fresh.

Dr Alek Nikolic is a renowned medical doctor in aesthetic medicine and owner of an online skincare store, SkinMiles.Below he shares his guide to help prevent dry and irritated skin.

“The cold weather tends to be dryer with less humidity, often exacerbated by indoor heating. This naturally strips our skin from essential moisture through trans epidermal loss. The compromise to the skin barrier will aggravate this water loss.”

Change up your moisturiser

It is time to re-look at your skincare regime starting with your moisturiser, and a heavy-duty moisturiser is going to be your best friend. Even those with oily complexions should consider this because they aren’t immune to the effects of cold weather. If you are worried about grease build-up, then try a light oil-free moisturiser, but never skip it altogether. Be sure to look at the ingredients and go for something that is free of harsh ingredients, like alcohol and artificial fragrance.

Exfoliate properly and safely

It is always tricky when it comes to exfoliation, as it could either work wonders for your skin or, in some cases, damage your skin barrier. I strongly advise my patients to exfoliate during the winter months. Dead skin cells can prevent your skin from soaking up your skincare products which will mean that your skin will continue to stay dry no matter how many products you use.

Chemical exfoliators might sound scary, but they’re actually the safest method of exfoliation, as physical exfoliators, like scrubs, can be too abrasive for some skin types. Chemical ones use gentle acids to dissolve the glue that binds your skin cells together.

They come in two types: AHAs and BHAs. Both draw in moisture to keep your face hydrated, so you can decide which is best for you depending on your skin type. AHAs like lactic and glycolic acids are beneficial if you have normal, dry, sensitive, or sun-damaged skin, whereas BHAs like salicylic acid are beneficial if you have oily or acne-prone skin.

Switch to oil cleansers

Harsh cleansers can strip your skin of essential oils, which are necessary, especially in winter, for protecting the skin barrier. Oil-based cleansers are rich in nourishing and skin-conditioning ingredients, and they remove make-up, dirt, and other impurities while leaving the integrity of your skin intact.

Antioxidant Serums

Very simply, when our skin loses its ability to retain water, dry skin develops. Antioxidants will help repair and prevent this moisture loss and help repair the skin barrier. Vitamin C, Vitamin E and Ferulic acid are all potent antioxidants.

Incorporate multitasking micellar water into your regime

The reason micellar water is so popular is because it removes makeup while hydrating the skin at the same time. You can simply incorporate it into your regime by using it as a toner.

Don’t forget the sunscreen

I know we sound like a stuck record but trust us on this one: Don’t ease up on sunscreen during winter. It sounds crazy, but SPF is necessary even in colder, cloudier weather. Lastly, look at your diet. What you put in your body will have an effect on your skin. Try and drink at least two litres of water per day and eat healthy fats such as olive oil and avocados.

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