A guide to caring for dry winter skin – Aotea Store

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A guide to caring for dry winter skin

Our skin gets dry in winter. The drop in climatic temperature means that the air is drier leading to parched, dehydrated skin. Cold air also usually has lower water content than warm air, because warm air is moving faster, allowing water to exist as a vapour. Contact with cold air thus leads to evaporation because water wants to travel down the gradient from its higher concentration in our cells to the atmosphere. Strong winds which are more common in winter also dry out our skin, as the rapid movement of air molecules over the skin causes evaporation. 

The harsh winter conditions leave skin exposed to chilling temperatures with virtually no moisture available to replenish the lost moisture. To make matters worse, pollution is worse during winter, increasing the chance of free radical damage causing premature ageing. The lips are particularly vulnerable to dryness and can become badly cracked and chapped during the cooler seasons.

We recommend  implementing a winter skin care routine to replenish and boost hydration. Here are a few of our suggestions:

  • Keeping hydrated is the first way to keep skin refreshed. Drinking lots of water replenishes our skin cells with water. Our skin cells need water to perform their routine functions as protective barriers permeable to water and certain minerals.
  • Preventing skin surface water loss with a balm helps keep skin refreshed. A layer of balm applied to chapped skin can hold in moisture, so that it doesn’t evaporate upon contact with air. Since antiquity, people have recognized that waxy fats and oils can be used to hold in moisture, because water is not disposed to mix in an oil medium. The separation of oils and water is a property of the discrepancy in their densities. To effectively reduce water loss in this way usually necessitates a waxy quality. Smearing balm on the skin and lips can effectively shield the skin and act as a barrier to hold in moisture. 
  •  Maintaining a healthy diet keeps the skin refreshed, as the skin requires nutrients such as vitamins and minerals found in fruits and vegetables and proteins for robust cell reproduction. 
  • Avoiding any products that can dry the skin out helps keep the skin refreshed. These include anything applied to the face that does not have natural ingredients. Many products which claim to reduce dryness contain preservatives, glosses, colours, alcohol or other unnecessary ingredients. These products can dehydrate and irritate the skin.
  •  Why harakeke seed oil is good for the skin: Harakeke seed oil contains high levels of phytosterols, which are plant fats. Phytosterols are nutrients for the skin to repair its own cell structures. Harakeke seed oil also hydrates the skin. As an oil, it has hydrophilic (water-loving) properties.

Why kawakawa is good for keeping the skin refreshed

Kawakawa contains antimicrobial and analgesic properties, due to the presence of a chemical called myristicin in the plant. Its antimicrobial and analgesic properties are useful once dryness has appeared. Dry skin is often accompanied by infection, as the skin’s barrier breaks down. This happens because skin cells die from dehydration. Fighting infection is an important part of healing dry skin.

What products should you use to combat winter dryness

Using a natural skin product is the best way to combat winter dryness. Our kawakawa balm can help rehydrate the skin where it has become dry, and give the lips a protective barrier against the winter elements.

Harakeke Night Cream is particularly useful during the winter months. Primarily composed of Harakeke seed oil, with added Kawakawa infused sweet almond oil providing anti-inflammatory properties, it is designed to soak into the skin overnight and effectively  nourish parched winter skin.

Cleansing should not be neglected during winter, including by those experiencing dryness. Using a gentle cleanser that won’t strip skin of its natural oils or intensify irritation is recommended particularly during winter. Our Kumarahou and Manuka Honey cleanser is a gentle cream cleanser that naturally cleans and removes make-up, whilst adding moisture back into the skin.

All of our creams are made of natural ingredients which our skin loves for their nutrients and hydration.

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