How to avoid dry, painful skin in winter

Moisturiser, bath oils and turning the heating down will help keep your skin in good condition

Our skin tends to get drier in the winter, not only because of the cooler air, but also because of central heating, which can cause conditions such as eczema to flare up. Consider turning the thermostat to a lower temperature: 16C-18C is best. If you can, invest in a humidifier, which puts moisture back into the air.

Moisturiser is especially important in winter, so use a richer product than in other seasons – and don’t forget your hands. Your lips will benefit from balm.

It is also important to minimise exposure to agents that strip the skin of its natural oils. Water – especially hot water – dries the skin, so make sure you’re using warm or lukewarm water for baths and showers, as well as washing your hands and doing the dishes. Sweating also dries and irritates the skin, so after strenuous exercise change into something clean and dry as soon as you can.

Steer clear of alcohol-based skincare products such as cleansers and toners. Try also to avoid bubble bath and opt instead for bath oils.

Dr Anton Alexandroff of the British Association of Dermatologists was speaking to Lucy Campbell

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