Start from the inside
The best way to hydrate your skin from the inside is to make sure you drink enough water and to cut back on drinks containing caffeine (that will dehydrate you). Up your intake of essential fatty acids and good fats. Omega 3 fatty acids help regulate cellular function and help the skin maintain its suppleness and elasticity. You’ll find them in flax and sesame seed oils, olives, nuts, fish and avocados. You could also take a supplement like The Real Thing Mega Omega Supreme Capsules, (R130 for 60).
Don’t end up in hot water
When it’s cold and blustery outside, it’s tempting to linger in the shower for ages. But after about 15 minutes, the lipid layer, which keeps moisture in your skin, starts to dissolve, drying-out your epidermis. So, make the water as cool as you can, or spend less time under it.
Only use soap free products to wash yourself. Soap is made to get rid of oil, so using it will get rid of that all-important lipid layer. Try using a glycerine soap or hydrating body wash instead. We love Woolworths Olive and Argan Glycerine Soap (R22.50).
Up the moisture
The moisturiser you use on your body in summer probably won’t cut it in cold weather. Switch to a richer cream rather than a lotion, as it will create a protective layer that will retain more moisture. Apply while your skin is still damp (just blot your skin with a towel), so that the humectants (water retainers) in the cream can draw water into the lower layers of the skin. If your skin is really dry, apply a body oil, like Clarins Tonic Treatment Oil, (R460) before your moisturiser.
Exfoliate your whole body once or twice a week. It will stimulate circulation, and help your moisturiser absorb better. Apply the scrub to dry skin, using upward sweeping motions. And don’t use a loofah – they are a bacterial breeding ground.
Give your hands extra attention in winter, as the skin on your hands is thinner than most parts of the body, and has fewer oil glands. Apply a thick layer of hand cream, or a hand mask before your go to bed, as well as a cuticle oil, then cover with cotton gloves. Our favourite at the moment is Essie Apricot Cuticle Oil (R105,95). Reapply a rich cream like Crabtree & Evelyn Evelyn Rose Hand Therapy (R330) throughout the day, especially after washing.
Emmy is the daughter of a sailor, animal loving, coffee addicted, beauty product junkie editor of rouge.co.za