Facing up against gale force winds, blistering cold, fist fulls of blizzard like snow battering against our poor exposed skin this winter would be enough to make even the most hardened Inuit want to seek shelter. This year in the UK we have had the absolute worst winter storms for two decades, and it the bad weather doesn’t look like it is about to abate.
What is the composition of our skin?
As mentioned above, the skin is our largest organ and it probably is the most under appreciated organ as well. If our skin were stretched out it would cover an area of roughly 22 square meters (for an average adult). Our skin itself is made up of three layers that all support one another. The first layer is; the epidermis, the second layer; the dermis and the final layer; the hypodermis. All of our toenails, finger nails, the follicles of our hair and the glands that produce natural oils which keep our skin moisturised, healthy and also free of bacteria are all attached to our skin. So it really is a vital organ.
The Epidermis – This is the thinnest layer of our skin but an extremely important one because it is our first line of defence against infections and diseases. Think of it as a layer of armor on a knight.
The Dermis – This layer of skin is full of collagen and inside this layer of skin we find all of our sweat glands and the follicles SkinCell PRO for our hair.
The Hypodermis – This layer of skin is what attaches our skin to our bones and muscles.
There are small pores all throughout our skin and these pores secret an extremely important natural oil called Sebum. There is a thin layer of Sebum that covers nearly all of our body and it is a protective layer that not only regulates or body heat but it also makes it harder for bacteria to settle on the body’s surface.
What happens to our skin during the winter months?
During the winter months when we are exposed to a lot of harsh weather conditions, such as; harsh cold winds, freezing cold temperatures, drying effects of heating in homes and offices, snow and such. This has an extremely negative effect on our skin layers and the ability for the skin to produce natural oils and also for it to keep natural oils on the skin. We need to be extremely mindful of how our skin functions in the winter months and change our life styles accordingly.
What can we do to help our skin through the winter?
1. Stop Super Hot Baths
One of the nicest things in the cold winter months is to soak in a super hot bath, but did you know that an extremely hot bath or shower actually breaks down the lipid barriers in the skin? Breaking down these barriers can actually have a very drying effect on skin.
2. Moisturise More and Smarter
During the winter months when your skin is exposed to a lot of drying winds and cold dry temperatures it is important that you switch to an oil based moisturiser rather than a water based one. This will help to maintain the layer of natural oils which your skin produces which is protecting you.
3. Stop Exposure to Drying Chemicals
Winter is not the time to be doing face peels, masks or exposing our skin to make up or products which contain any alcohol. These products and procedures will literally suck the oils and moisture from the layers of our skin leaving skin with nothing to protect itself. We should also ensure to shower in water that has been filtered (try installing a shower filter – which is a shower head that has a water filter in it), tap water has a lot of chemicals such as chlorine in it which is added to kill bacteria. But this chlorine – much like alcohol – is a solvent and also will also suck all of the natural oils out of your skin.
4. Hydrate Internally As Well As Externally
When you’re putting on moisturiser to hydrate your skin, don’t forget to drink plenty of water during the winter months. Your skin layers are composed of a lot of water, so keeping the body hydrated means that your body has the necessary building blocks to maintain that healthy layer of Sebum.