My tricks to keep winter skin under control + WIN with Cetaphil

WIN a Cetaphil Restoraderm Skin Restoring Body Wash and Body Moisturizer set worth R580! Scroll down for details

If you suffer from atopic skin you’ll know that the struggle is real, especially during winter. I have been struggling with atopic dermatitis (commonly referred to as eczema) since I was a teenager and whenever winter approaches I know I can expect a few flair-ups, with red, itchy patches on my face, neck, back and arms. I know, totally gross. It is also insanely annoying and I have adapted my skincare routine quite a bit, avoiding harsh, drying body washes and introducing good moisturizers that will keep things under control.

Whether you struggle with some form of eczema or not, you might still experience intensely dry skin during the winter, which can be equally uncomfortable. I am particularly sympathetic to all of you in Jozi. I feel like I need to apply lip balm all over my body the minute I get off the plane. Dry air, chilly temperatures, indoor heaters and hot showers are all culprits this time of the year but if you make a few adjustments to your routine you can come out on the other side without looking like a crocodile.

Dry air, chilly temperatures, indoor heaters and hot showers are all culprits this time of the year but if you make a few adjustments to your routine you can come out on the other side without looking like a crocodile

The first thing is finding skin loving products. This winter I have been trying out the Cetaphil Restoraderm Skin Restoring Body Wash and Skin Restoring Body Moisturiser (R290 each, select pharmacies*) which has really carried me through the season.

Using a nourishing body wash makes a massive difference. Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLS), the foaming agent in many body washes, tends to strip moisture from the skin, leaving it dry and exposed. The Restoraderm Body Wash still creates a light foam when you use it but doesn’t contain SLS. It is made up of mostly nourishing ingredients, with Shea Butter coming in right at the top of the list, alongside glycerin, sunflower seed oil, Vitamin E and Allantoin – all helping to sooth, soften and protect your skin.

The Restoraderm Moisturiser is equally lovely. I think what I enjoy most is the light texture. Often brands will formulate intense moisturising creams to be very thick, which makes you feel like they are really nourishing but often it is more bark than bite; more thickeners than actual skin food. Often these feel really sticky and heavy on my skin. This one spreads easily and absorbs quickly, and it still works brilliantly to keep my skin moisturized all day. It contains a good blend of ingredients including caprylic/ capric triglyceride – a great emollient derived from coconut oil and glycerin – as well as sunflower seed oil, shea butter, Vitamin E, Allantoin and Vitamin B.

Both the body wash and lotion have been formulated without any fragrances, which is crucial for people with atopic skin that tends to react easily. Yay!

This combo has been working wonders for me so if you struggle with dry or atopic skin you should really try it out. Apart from choosing the right products, though, there are a few other ways you can protect your skin through winter.

My top tips for keeping winter skin under control

Exfoliate

You need to get rid of dead skin layers every now and then. I will exfoliate about once a week by dry brushing before I shower.

Don’t over-exfoliate!

I use to think that I could scrub away the scaly, itchy skin but if you exfoliate too much you will actually worsen the problem. Your skin needs a healthy barrier to protect itself and if you exfoliate too much you wear away at this barrier, leaving your skin exposed and prone to moisture-loss. I wouldn’t exfoliate more than three times a week, and if your skin is very dry I think once a week is enough. It is also important to exfoliate with a light touch – no scrubbing your skin pink and raw, please!

Be careful of warm showers and baths

Look, I hear you. Getting into a super hot shower or bath is heaven when it is freezing outside, but the heat from the water can actually dry your skin out. Turn the heat down a little. When taking a bath, I also recommend adding bath oils that will help to nourish your skin while you soak. Avoid bubble baths, they contain foaming ingredients that dry your skin out.

Use the right tools

Wash cloths, loofas and sponges all exfoliate your skin very slightly so use a light touch when lathering.

Take care when you towel-dry

Be gentle when drying off after a bath or shower. Gently pat yourself dry instead of rubbing. The friction from the towel can also exfoliate your skin and dry it out over time.

Moisturize directly after your shower

You want to restore any moisture you might have lost during the shower as quickly as possible.

WIN! Three 9Lives readers will win a Cetaphil Restoraderm Skin Restoring Body Wash and Body Moisturizer set worth R580. To enter, comment below why you would like to win these products. Shares on social media earn you extra points: Tag @9LivesZA and @Cetaphil_SA on Twitter and Instagram.

This post has been sponsored by Cetaphil

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