The UK's Cold Weather Snap Is Messing Up Your Skin – Here's What Experts Advise

March usually signals the arrival of spring. The cherry blossom trees finally start to slowly begin the process of blooming, the days start getting longer, daylight saving comes to an end in just a few weeks. 

But you would be forgiven if you thought we were still in the middle of January because the cold weather just doesn’t seem to be going away.

It was recently announced that the UK will be experiencing a cold snap throughout March, with there even being a chance of snow in some parts.

Hooray... time for more dry, cracked skin as a result.

But how do we ensure that our skin remains hydrated through this weather? 

EPIMAX experts and dermatology nurse consultant Paula Oliver have revealed some tips on how we can do just that as we wait for the weather to warm up.

Avoid rapid temperature changes

Big changes in temperature particularly during winter when you go from outdoors to indoors can lead to increased dryness and sometimes broken skin, says Oliver.

Covering sensitive areas of skin when going outside and wrapping up warm can help prevent flare-ups. The expert also suggests avoiding hot water when you feel cold as the extreme change in temperature could make skin feel very uncomfortable. Use warm water instead.

Wear layers

Layering up in the winter months is a good option for those with eczema as it allows them to easily respond to changing temperatures. It helps keep the skin warm and lets it breathe when needed.

Don’t let the air at home become dry

People who live in dry, heated homes are more at risk of developing asteatotic eczema — a common type of eczema that results from dry skin. 

“This is more common in older people and can leave the skin feeling very dry, rough, and scaly. Central heating strips moisture from the air, so placing a bowl of water near radiators can also help to add moisture back into the air,” says Oliver.

Keep your house clean

This is a no brainer but it is very important to keep your house clean in order to avoid any dust that could irritate your skin. Dust mites can be a big trigger to those with eczema, says the expert. 

Make sure to vacuum regularly and dust surfaces with a damp cloth. Also regularly open windows to allow your room to breathe and not become a home for dust mites to wreak havoc on. 

Moisturise your skin

No one likes dry skin. So to avoid that, moisturising should be an essential part of any skincare regime. It is also useful to carry a cream with you when you leave the house so you can top up as required, says Oliver.

Be mindful of the materials when you layer up

When you’re layering up to leave the house, be mindful about what your scarves, gloves, shawls, etc. are made of. Harsh materials like wool, which is typically found in winter clothes, can irritate the skin.

Try to stick to soft fabrics which also allow the skin to breathe such as bamboo, cotton, and silk. Making sure they are smooth and seam-free can also help reduce skin irritation.