How to treat: dryness and rough patches
Excessively hot showers and baths, plus intense temperature fluctuations, can reduce the skin’s lipids (these help protect its moisture levels). Those prone to dryness might find their skin even more uncomfortably dehydrated, particularly on the shoulders, arms, elbows and legs.
The fix: try not to over-cleanse, and increase moisture with nourishing oils or glycerine-based creams. Avoid alcohol-based products or anything targeted specifically to oiliness, which may strip the skin.
How to treat: dullness and flakiness
Flakiness usually appears on body parts consistently exposed to the weather, like the face. But limbs that are constantly rubbing against protective clothing can also become scaly, and dry-prone areas like elbows and knees may be exacerbated.
The fix: “Exfoliating is essential in winter to get rid of dead cells and allow skin to effectively soak up moisture,” says Nivea skincare expert Robyn Hutch. Just don’t overdo it: once or twice a week, using a mild or moisturising scrub in gentle, circular motions, should do the trick. And always follow exfoliation with a moisturiser.
Try: The Body Shop Almond Milk & Honey Gently Exfoliating Cream Scrub, $29.95, or Trilogy Exfoliating Body Balm, $35.95.
How to treat: sensitivity and irritation
Dry and flaky skin courtesy of the harsh weather conditions can cause other issues, explains Hutch – namely redness, irritation, soreness and blemishes. And it’s not just those with sensitive skin who are at risk: “Improper care can see skin that is otherwise characterised as normal or combination switch to more dry and sensitive during winter.”
The fix: Avoid anything fragranced, active, or laden with preservatives, and be diligent about moisturising to keep skin balanced. Switch to products that are both gentle and specifically designed for sensitive skin to avoid further inflammation.