Tips on keeping the skin hydrated during winter

The winter season is upon us and one problem we have to contend with during this season is a dry and flaky skin which requires a change in our skin care method. Our face and hands, which are exposed more to the elements the most are especially affected and it is important to hydrate them for a vibrant and youthful looking skin. According to Aesthetician and co-owner of the Lush Lifestyle cosmetics store, Gwen Isaacs, the skin can be hydrated in two ways;  internally by drinking an adequate amount of water and externally, by using products that hydrate and moisturise.

She explained; “Hydration, both internally and externally, is essential to our bodies throughout the year, more so during the winter season. The skin gets dry as the weather conditions become colder. In an effort to keep warm we tend to use electric and gas heaters and air contioners. These, however, contribute significantly to dehydration as they zap the moisture out of the air and when there is  lack of moisture in the air it starts to seek moisture in the next nearest source which is  our bodies.”

She further gave tips on how to combat the mechanically induced dehydration. “It is important to keep a bowl of water near the heater, have a humidifier on in the room being warmed and do  not keep the mechanical heater on while you are asleep. Instead warm the room with doors and windows closed before going to sleep,” she advised.

Isaacs explained further; “To keep hydrated internally one must consume no less than 7 glasses of water a day. Many people find it difficult to maintain that number in winter but there are several options that can make it easy. One option is making infused waters at room temperature. This can be done by adding water and nutrient rich fruits and vegetables such as strawberries, cucumber and watermelon and leaving them to infuse overnight. Another option is green tea, as it is said to be more hydrating than just water. Mixing one teabag into about 2 litres of water will do.”

“Moisturizers can work wonders in keeping the skin healthy and in countering the drying effects of the season. The goal is to lock in hydration that could be escaping under dry air therefore one should moisturize once in the morning and once before bed. “When sufficiently internally hydrated you want to hydrate externally with good water based moisturisers to keep the skin supple and soft. An often neglected step in keeping the skin hydrated is sealing the moisture in. To seal moisture in, one should apply a good plant based oil such as Shea Butter and Cocoa Butter. Another very popular sealant is the good old favourite Petroleum Jelly,” Isaacs added.