It has only been this year as I hit the mid-30 mark (sob) that it has dawned on me that winter travel and its weather is also damaging to my skin, obviously not to the same extent and with less long-term effects as sun damage, but damaging nonetheless. I have never had particularly dry skin, up until the past couple of years or so, particularly this winter, maybe it’s another one of those fabulous things that occur as you get older (*eye roll*). I’m sure you will agree it has been a long cold winter, even seeing snow here in England up until last week thanks to the Beast from the East and the mini Beast from the East. It is also forecast to come back over the Easter weekend which does not me with joy AT ALL.Over the past 5 months or so I have tried anything and everything to battle the dryness. Within those 5 months, I have also taken 8 flights and visitedRotterdam, Frankfurt, Basel, Gdanskand Gouda, all of which were colder, snowier and windier than England! Combine the air travel with the constant sub-zero temperatures and I needed help and quickly. Therefore, I did my research, I tried some new products and found some easy and cost-effective ways of keeping my skin hydrated which I will continue to use both at home and while travelling until spring has finally sprung!
Everyone knows the importance of staying hydrated and drinking at least eight glasses of water. Not only is it great for our skin but also has a number of other health benefits. If you are like me, you may let that slip, especially during the winter months and especially while travelling? When it’s hot, it’s more than likely you will reach for a glass or bottle of water to cool yourself down whereas if it’s cold outside you may opt for a cup of tea or a big mug of hot chocolate instead, which of course in moderation as a winter warmer is fine, but alongside water. Also, when Mr ESLT and I are travelling, regardless of summer or winter we usually opt for a couple of glasses of local beer or wine (or both –tut) to accompany our lunch and dinner and as one of the effects alcohol has is dehydration again, it should not be chosen above water, but as well as. This is something I personally need to work on further.
All Year Sun Protection
Whenever I thought of protecting my skin while travelling, my mind always shoots straight to protecting it from the sun and sun damage. I am a massive advocate of sun lotion, sun cream, sun spray – whatever it may be to stop those pesky damaging rays getting to my skin. Our skin is the largest organ we have and we should look after it especially as the number of skin cancer cases has increased 128% since the early 90s. Yet, the second October hits, the sun lotion is binned, which for someone as pale as me is ridiculous, I could get moon burn – seriously it’s happened before. Yes, my moisturiser has SPF15 in it, but I’m now of the opinion that it isn’t high enough, as someone with a ruddy complexion as standard, extra redness is not needed and certainly not wanted. Therefore, I have started using a light spray of Factor 30 every morning on my face, which has actually made my makeup go on easier – bonus!
Look After Your Lips
Again I have never really had dry flaky lips but then again maybe that’s because I have ALWAYS used a Chapstick or lip balm ever since I can remember and often choosing those over an actual lipstick. Sore lips always look so painful and I am a picker, so if I ever suffered from them I know I would only make them worse by touching them and biting the skin away. Nowadays I do not leave the house without a handy little tin of Vaseline, or if I do I hunt one down in the nearest shop as soon as possible. For £1.50(ish) it really is my number one beauty buy. In summer I tend to swap the Vaseline for a high SPF protection stick as I am prone to burnt lips and cold sores but during the winter months, I whack the Vaseline on liberally every hour or so to keep my lips soft, supple and oh so kissable – Mr ESLT is a lucky guy!
Cleanse & Moisturise
Having never heard of the brand Cetraben I was eager to try the lotions and potions in the winter survival kit I was sent. I made a passing comment to a friend that I had been sent it and she told me that her son had been prescribed it when he was a baby for his eczema and on closer inspection of the bottles it says clearly ‘for problematic dry, sensitive or eczema-prone skin. I always worry about trying new products, especially on my face in case it leads to a dreaded breakout. I have always had relatively clear skin and have only had problems with a handful of products over the years and finding out that it had been prescribed for a baby and it had worked, it put my mind at ease and reassured me that I would be ok. In my kit I received:
- Cetraben Daily Cleansing Cream, 200ml (£7.00)
- Cetraben Cream, 50ml (£4.99)
- Cetraben Lotion, 50ml (£4.99)
Having used the products for the past month or so, together with a number of the other things mentioned in this post, my skin has been a lot less dry. I had my make up professionally done a couple of weeks ago and even the makeup artist commented on how soft my skin was and how easy the makeup was going on, even on forehead and nose which have always been the driest. I have been using the cleansing cream every morning and the cream on my face every night before bed. I always like to moisturise before bed, then I can put that bit extra on and allow it to absorb as I sleep rather than having a shiny face during the day. The lotion I have been using on my hands and legs which haven’t seen daylight for so long, as the formula is that bit thicker than the cream. The cream and lotion are perfect sizes for travelling with as they are both 50ml bottles meaning even when travelling with only hand luggage it is not a problem.
- Light Liquid Paraffin – replaces lost skin oils
- White Soft Paraffin – forms a protective barrier on the skin surface
- Glycerin – brings moisture up from deep down in the skin
As I do not have eczema I cannot comment on how effective it is for that but following a lot of research on the net, it appears there are a number of case studies that show it has worked well and doctors have even said it is a brand that they would use themselves, which is surely high praise indeed. Have you ever used this brand for eczema? We’d love to hear if it worked for you.
It’s Getting Hot In Here
The first thing most of us do when the weather starts to turn cold outside is turn up the heating up inside and rightly so, you don’t want to live in an igloo. However, it is recommended that you do not turn it up too much, as central heating is very drying. Fires also have the same effect, especially the wood burning stove type which do not have a temperature control on them. Instead keep your heating at a slightly increased temperature to ensure your home, hotel room, Airbnb etc is livable and simply wear an extra layer to keep your body warm and don’t forget to set your timer to ensure it switches itself off at night. When sharing accommodation with someone who is naturally colder (or warmer) than you can prove a problem i.e. Mr ESLT likes the heating quite high so he can hang around in shorts and a t-shirt which does nothing for me and my quest to eliminate my lizard-like (ok, maybe not quite that bad) complexion.
One of the easiest ways of warming up, especially after a long day of exploring, is to jump in a hot shower or bath. It is instant relief and warms you up straight away. Frequent hot showers, even in reasonable temperatures can leave you with dry, itchy skin or even a rash and even more so when you are cold to start with. I don’t know about you but I’ve often jumped out of the shower and noticed my skin is red – the obvious sign that the water was too hot. It is recommended that we only take short showers with warm or tepid water to ensure we do not damage our skin. Also, a number of shower gels and bath products we use can actually strip our bodies of their natural oils, again drying it out, therefore it is essential we check the ingredients before buying and opt for a product with no surfactants, which is the chemical that strips the oil from our skin which in turn leaves it dry and often rough, so maybe give the free toiletries found in hotels a wide berth too?
- This post contains links to articles which offer further reading, items that were gifted, affiliate links and products I simply love.