The cold snap has well and truly hit and, while the change in seasons has provided a welcome relief from the heat for some, it has also brought with it the unfortunate side effect of dry and itchy skin. Much like our wardrobe, a change in the weather requires a change in our skincare routine – so why is it that the winter chill leaves so many of us with a dull complexion, dry skin and an itching sensation, and how can you treat dry and itchy skin in winter?
Causes Of Dry And Itchy Skin In Winter
If you’ve found that your skin’s texture and sensitivity have changed concurrently with the weather, there’s every chance that environmental factors are the cause of your dry and itchy skin. Both the cold, dry winter air and artificial indoor heating are known causes of dryness and heightened sensitivity, making the colder months prime time for dry, itchy skin. Warm air holds more moisture than cold air, so the cold winter air tries to “suck” the moisture from our skin, leaving it feeling dry and tight. Our natural response to the cold weather is to crank up the heat. However, while artificial heating adds warmth to the air, it doesn’t add any humidity, meaning we’re just adding even more dry air into the mix.
If you suffer from dry and itchy skin, whatever the weather, the cause could have more to do with your vitamin levels. A vitamin imbalance, particularly low Vitamin C and Zinc levels, is a common cause of dry skin. Vitamin C is essential in boosting the body’s natural production of collagen, with collagen playing a vital role in keeping our skin looking and feeling soft, hydrated and supple. Zinc is known to stimulate our skin’s cell repair, so if you’re not getting enough of it your cell turnover will slow down- this leads to inflamed, dry, itchy cells lingering on the surface of the skin. Brown rice and grains are a great source of zinc.
How To Treat Dry Skin In Winter
To seriously and effectively treat dry skin, whatever the case may be, we need to restore the skin’s moisture levels with naturally vitamin-rich products.
Olive squalene is a particularly powerful moisture-restoring ingredient. Squalene is an ingredient that occurs naturally in the skin, working to protect the skin from damage and lock in moisture. As we age, our squalene levels begin to deplete, leading to dry skin that isn’t able to defend itself as effectively against environmental damage. Olive squalene is a 100% natural ingredient that mimics the squalene occurring naturally in our skin, making it perfect for restoring moisture, boosting cell reproduction and defending the skin against free radical damage. The Botani Olive range, particularly the Olive Skin Serum, is rich in ethically and organically sourced Olive squalene, to deliver the skin with an immediate moisture boost as well as long-lasting hydration.
Our lips are often the first part of the body to show signs of dryness and dehydration. This is because the skin on your lips is much thinner than the rest of the skin on your face and body, making it far more susceptible to environmental damage. The lips also don’t contain any oil-producing glands, so they’re unable to work to restore lost moisture naturally. To counteract this, you can apply the Olive Skin Serum to your lips as you do the rest of your face, or try our Healing Lip Balm to both restore moisture and protect your lips from future damage.
Exfoliating Is Essential
Exfoliation also plays a key role in ridding the skin of dry, dead and damaged cells. An exfoliant will contain tiny granules that work to buff away dry skin cells. It will reveal bright, fresh skin, as well as stimulate circulation to boost the skin’s natural cell turnover. Where many scrubs still contain plastic microbeads, our Exfoliating 2 in 1 Scrub & Mask is made with jojoba spheres – nature’s alternative to plastic microbeads.
Your body is just as susceptible to dryness as your face is, so the same treatment principles apply. Use a physical exfoliant to scrub away dry skin, then restore your skin’s moisture levels with daily application of an Olive Squalene rich body oil. While the course of action is the same, different products need to be used for your face and your body – they each have different needs, as the skin on your face is thinner and more sensitive than the thick skin on your body.
How To Treat Itchy Skin In Winter
If your skin is itchy and irritated, look for products that contain rehydrating properties as well as soothing, anti-inflammatory ingredients.
Calendula is a natural antiseptic with a potent anti-inflammatory quality, making it perfect for soothing dry, irritated and inflamed skin. Known as a natural treatment for eczema, psoriasis and dermatitis, calendula is combined with olive squalene in our Olivène Repair Balm making it the perfect natural remedy for itchy winter skin.
Your first instinct with any itch is to scratch it, a full body scrub in a hot shower sound like the best choice for an itchy body. However, this isn’t the case. Hot water sucks moisture from the skin just as quickly as the cold winter air does, and many traditional body washes strip the skin of its natural oil. Stripping the skin of this natural oil removes your skins natural ability to rehydrate and restore itself. Keep hot showers to a minimum, and opt for an anti-bacterial body wash with naturally soothing ingredients to ensure you aren’t stripping the skin of its natural oils. Our PhytoBody Wash is the perfect treatment, particularly when followed up with our Phytoseptic Anti-Fungal Skin Cream to soothe inflammation.
Our hands are the most common place to suffer from itchiness during winter. Think about how many times you wash your hands each day, and how much moisture is being drained from them! To soothe itchy and irritated hands, give them some additional TLC. Our Olive Hand Cream contains olive squalene to immediately deliver a hit of moisture to dry hands, while soothing chamomile works to heal any irritation.