Dear Derm: How Do I Save My Skin This Winter?

For all of winter’s sweeping seasonal highs, there are a few less pleasant side effects to note. Enter the onslaught of dry, itchy skin that’s currently settling in for the long haul.

Have you found that your skin is a little flakey, rough and dull recently?

If you have you are not alone.

Irish Tatler asked Dublin-based skincare expert Ciara Darcy how we can navigate winter skin aggressors and decipher what our skin needs in the harshest of seasons. 

"The main thing I'm hearing from people at the moment is how dry their skin is over the last few weeks," Darcy tells us.

"All of a sudden, it's winter and our central heating is on full blast! We are in and out of hot and cold throughout the day, which can really take its toll on our skin. The first thing to look at is how often you exfoliate, by not exfoliating regularly the absorption of your products is hindered.

"Over exfoliation leads to redness, sensitivity and irritation. Grainy abrasive scrubs are not your friend instead go for a liquid exfoliator. Introduce one gradually, once/twice a week depending on the brand.

"My favourite at-home liquid exfoliators are:

  • Alumier Bright and clear - a gentle exfoliator containing lactic acid, to remove dead skin cells and stimulate cell renewal.
  • Alpha H liquid gold - 5% glycolic acid. 

"Glycolic acid will effectively remove dead skin cells but it's important not to mix it with vitamin C or retinol. Ask a skin specialist for advice before including it in your routine."

Ciara also recommends working on your skin from the inside.

"Increasing your water intake along with essential fatty acids; oily fish, nuts etc will also make a big improvement," she says.

"Herbal teas are great if you find it tougher in the winter months to keep your water intake high. It's advised to drink two litres per day on average.

"For rapid results go for a peel. Peels will loosen connections between dead skin cells encouraging exfoliation.

READ: Dear Derm: Micro-Needling And Chemical Peels, Are They For Me?

"From the age of 25, we lose 1-2% of collagen & elastin a year. Products and treatments are so advanced now that we have a lot of control over our skin health. To book a skin consultation with me please email [email protected]."

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