beauty

How to help your skin cope with crazy spring weather.

Image: iStock.

Winter and skin have not always been the greatest of friends.

If you’re anything like me, cold air, harsh winds and jacked-up indoor heating throughout the winter months probably leave your skin feeling and looking tight, dry and flaky.

But now spring is FINALLY here, so it’s time to use every weapon in your arsenal to help your poor, damaged, post-winter skin recover. The battle for healthy skin begins now.

1. Exfoliate.

I don’t know about you, but winter leaves my limbs looking like a cracked riverbed and taking off a tight pair of jeans can make it snow.

Putting on moisturiser OVER this flaky skin will only temporarily mask the problem and clog your pores full of that dead skin. Proper exfoliation removes these dead skin cells and leaves fresh new cells ready to accept moisture.

Over exfoliation can strip your skin of its natural oils, though. To get it just right, limit exfoliation to two to three times per week.

There are plenty of exfoliation options out there mostly divided into two camps: scrubs and chemical exfoliates. Each is suited to different skin types so find the one that works best for you.

"Putting on moisturiser OVER this flaky skin will only temporarily mask the problem and clog your pores full of that dead skin." Image via iStock.

2. Keep showers short.

With cooler temperatures during the winter months comes the tendency to hang out in a steaming hot shower for a little longer. But as soothing as it feels, it doesn’t do your skin any favours.

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Long exposure to hot water can strip your skin of its natural oils and moisture, so now the weather is nicer, try to keep showers under five minutes (and of the non-scalding variety).

3. Moisturise.

Moisturising should be an essential part of everyone’s skin care regime. But what you may not have known is that your moisturising repertoire could need some adjustment to help your skin recover from wintertime, and cope with unpredictable spring weather (think freezing winds one day, balmy temperatures the next).

Now is the time to introduce a serum into your skin care routine. Using a product like Avène’s Hydrance Serum underneath your moisturiser can give your skin an extra boost of hydration.

Related: How can you tell the difference between dry and dehydrated skin.

One that note, did you know there is a difference between dry skin and dehydrated skin? Some of us have skin that is naturally drier than others while all of us can suffer the effects of skin dehydration, exacerbated by our environment. Again, though, the right product will get you sorted.

"Now is the time to introduce a serum into your skin care routine. Using a product like Avène’s Hydrance Serum underneath your moisturiser can give your skin an extra boost of hydration." Image: Supplied.

4. Don’t skip the sunscreen.

Of course, you shouldn’t have dropped your sunscreen habits over winter. But if you did skip the SPF over the past few months, now is the time to make up for it. Look for a broad-spectrum product that guards against UVA and UVB rays, with a SPF rating of least 15+.

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5. Hydrate from the inside.

As the temperature starts to rise, we all need to drink up. But even if you’re not feeling parched, it’s essential you keep hydrated. The recommended amount of daily water intake is two litres; but if that seems unattainable, don’t sweat it. Tea and other hot beverages count towards that amount. Phew.

To help dull winter skin recuperate, it’s also important to keep up your intake of essential fatty acids and omega 3’s. Filling your diet with oily fish, avocado and nuts will help maintain overall skin health and hydration.

"Filling your diet with oily fish, avocado and nuts will help maintain overall skin health and hydration." Image via iStock.

6. Don’t forget your lips.

Painful, chapped lips are a common post-winter and early-spring complaint. Combat them with a good lip balm on hand, at all times.

Related: 5 tips for making your lipstick go the distance.

7. Give yourself a hand.

Your hands have fewer oil glands than the rest of your body, which means they get drier, faster, especially over winter and during windy spring days.

Keep a specific hand moisturiser handy (wink) and limit the use of harsh soaps and hand sanitisers to get them spring ready.

With these battle strategies, you and your skin are sure to come out on top this spring.

How do you take care of your skin come spring?