Suffering from dry skin? You’re not alone. A recent study in the British Journal of Dermatology noted that many people suffer more from dry skin in winter because the harsh climatic changes affects our skin’s natural barrier function by breaking down a key protein in the skin called filaggrin. In winter, rapidly changing temperatures, from heated indoors to cold outdoor environments, can affect the capillaries, and prolonged exposure to wet weather can strip the skin’s barrier function.
“Both children and adults suffer from red cheeks in winter and some may even develop more permanent skin conditions such as atopic eczema and rosacea,” said senior author Dr. Jacob Thyssen, of the University of Copenhagen.
The solution? It’s important to protect your skin and treat dryness with good-quality skincare products and emollients in winter and focus on sunscreen to reduce the risk of UVB and UVA damage.
Not sure where to start with the right products? You’re in luck! We’ve found the best skincare products for dry skin – which show visible results. So, go ahead and pamper yourself, as well as treat dry skin with these expert tips and reviving buys to keep your skin soft, smooth and supple.
Replace lost moisture
We all love the words “firm” and “tighten”… Sorbet’s Salon Body Bust & Neck Firming Cream, R165 for 200ml, is jam-packed with vitamins A, C and E to deliver on these fronts, leaving you with supple skin. Plus, it smells divine, too!
Beat bath time dryness
Slip into a luxe bath topped up with Eucerin AtoControl Bath & Shower Oil, R188 for 400ml. Its specially formulated with omegas and other nourishing ingredients to protect the skin from daily cleaning.
Treat parched skin
For seriously parched skin, try Africology Skin Conditioning Marula Oil, R395 for 50ml. It contains a hydrating, soothing blend of marula oil, and rooibos-and aloe-vera extracts.
Soothe dry, cracked hands
Gorgeous scent aside, The Body Shop British Rose Petal Soft Hand Cream, R70 for 30ml, reduces the appearance of dark spots from sun damage and is brilliant at treating cracked, dry cuticles. A must-buy for your handbag.
Look after your feet
Pop on Clicks Exfoliating Foot Masks, R145 for one application, and relax with your feet up for 90 minutes. Dead skin cells fall away naturally over the next few days, leaving you with super-soft soles.
Prep and buff skin
The grape-seed oil in the Kalahari Desert Mineral Exfoliator, R372 for 200ml, replenishes moisture, while the Kalahari salt gently buffs away dry skin and impurities. Great for prepping skin ahead of polishing or moisturising.
Use a gentle exfoliator
Clarins Tonic Body Polisher, R585 for 250g, is perfect for addressing areas prone to rough, dry skin – think feet, elbows, and knees. Use it once a week after exfoliation, and let its essential-oil blend smooth and tone skin for positively glowing results.
Nourish and protect
Ditch your regular moisturiser for the richer, silkier Oh So Heavenly Butter Me Up Naturally Nourishing Body Butter, R49,99 for 200ml.
Keep it fresh
Dr Teals Foot Care Therapy Gentle Exfoliant, R129 contains soothing Epsom salts, aloe and coconut oil to gently exfoliate and soften feet, while refreshing feet at the same time.
The one product we can’t live without…
Want transformed skin? Kalahari Phyto Salve, R250 for 150ml, is a powerhouse product that instantly relieves dryness and boosts hydration. Our Editorial Director, Frith Thomas swears by this product and says she loves how versatile it is, as the rich blend of ingredients not only soothes dryness, but is also effective at treating insect bites, rashes, skin irritations and eczema.
The best natural remedy for dry skin
No debate, we love coconut oil – used topically, it soothes dry winter skin. Lemcke Organic Virgin Coconut Oil, R159 is best to use on your skin as well as in cooking as it’s 100% organic and cold pressed.
How to use it
Slather onto dry skin, or added to smoothies and healthy recipes. Coconut-oil supremo Lucy Bee has some ideas…
On the outside
“Coconut oil is ideal for moisturising skin. It contains lauric acid, which has antifungal and antibacterial properties,” she says.
Try Lucy’s lush scrub:
- Mix 1tbsp coconut oil, 1tbsp Himalayan salt, 8 to 12 drops essential oil (rose for calming; eucalyptus for energising; lemon for detoxing), thoroughly combine and place in a shallow dish.
- Dip a dry body brush into the oil, and brush it all over your body.
- Always work the strokes of the brush toward your heart. Then rinse.
On the inside
What you eat and drink is just as important as what you put on your skin. Focus on skin nourishing foods and you’ll see a difference from the inside!
Try Lucy’s smoothie:
- Take 1tsp coconut oil, 50g frozen blueberries, 1 small or ½ medium banana, 100ml natural yoghurt, and 50ml coconut milk.
- Blitz all the ingredients in a blender until smooth and thick. Serve immediately. Find more recipes in Lucy’s book, Coconut Oil: Nature’s Perfect Ingredient (Pan Macmillan)
Skin still itchy? Follow Dr Rosemary Leonard’s advice:
In my experience, I’ve found that itchy skin occurs most commonly when slightly dry skin is irritated by perfumes or chemicals in washing products. Enzymes found in biological detergents are often to blame, so switch to a non-biological one (it doesn’t matter whether it’s powder or liquid), with no added perfume.
Similarly, if you use a fabric softener, check that it’s suitable for sensitive skin. Bathe with a cream wash formulated for sensitive skin, and try to avoid soap bars, which can be drying. I’ve recently seen several nasty red irritated areas on backs caused by bra labels. Cut them off, as close to the fabric as possible, so the remnants don’t scratch either!