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As the weather turns colder, your usual skin-care habits may need some adjustments. At this time of year, there is naturally less moisture in the air due to the environment and abrasive conditions, like the wind. Indoor factors like central heating can also decrease the moisture level of the air. These things combined can lead to some havoc for your skin. Below are some simple tips to help you keep your skin happy during the colder months.

1. Don’t go too warm when having a shower or washing your face. Long, steamy showers may sound like a great idea when it’s cold and blustery, but very hot water can dry out the skin as it strips it of its natural oils. Opt for a 5- to 10-minute warm shower (or bath) over a hot one, and the same goes for when washing your face. Hot water can also be a trigger for pigmentation if you’re prone to it, so choosing lukewarm water will also help with keeping your skin tone more even.

2. Moisturise when your skin is still damp After your not-too-hot shower (or face washing) apply your body lotion or face creams before your skin has totally dried. This helps lock in additional moisture, will keep the moisture barrier intact, and prevent dryness.

3. Modify your skincare regimen for the season What kept your skin happy during summers may not do the same during the winter. And that’s why you need to change your skin care products accordingly. Choose cleansers that are labelled ‘for sensitive skin’ or ‘dye free’ and ‘fragrance free.’ Oftentimes they contain fewer drying ingredients and more moisturising ones like hyaluronic acid, ceramides, oils, shea butter, and oats. If you have acne or breakouts, seek products with moisturising humectants, such as hyaluronic acid and glycerin. These help repair the moisture barrier of your skin and are great ingredients for the face, as they allow the skin to breathe and are unlikely to contribute to acne. If you find your skin is feeling very dry, scale back on the use of skin-care products containing alpha-hydroxy acids (AHAs) and retinoids, as these can cause the issue to worsen. Once the skin is healed, you can restart these slowly.

4. Continue to apply sunscreen daily – even on winter days Don’t be fooled by darker, dreary days in winter, either. Up to 80 percent of the sun’s harmful UV rays can permeate clouds and windows and still cause damage, such as skin cancer, sunburn, and premature skin aging (such as wrinkles, leathery skin, and liver spots). Have a sunscreen as your last step in your morning skincare regime, and don’t just rely on the SPF that is in your moisturiser or your makeup.

5. Drink lots of water While we all know how important it is to stay hydrated, many of us forget to drink water when it's cold out. In the winter, skin can't retain moisture as well, and drinking water helps replenish some of that hydration.

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