How to deal with dry air when you have rosacea
After a long, hot summer, autumn is finally here. The fans have been put away and we’re slowly switching them out for hot water bottles and blankets. October is when you really start to notice the crisp air in the mornings and wonder if it’s too early to get your heavy winter coat out. While there are mixed feelings about summer ending, it can be quite cozy getting back into the scarves and woolly jumpers. The less romantic side of autumn/winter though is also looming, if you happen to suffer from skin sensitivities or allergies.
Some people are under the impression that the colder months pose fewer risks to the skin. Be careful though as this is a bit of a myth. Don’t let the cold winds, temperatures, dry air and winter sun catch you off guard. If you suffer with rosacea, you probably know that this time of year can be difficult. The cold, low humidity doesn’t do sensitive skin any favors. When humidity levels drop we become more prone to the dryness, stinging, pimples and redness that we try hard to avoid. Luckily, there are measures you can take to protect your skin from dry air flares.
What is humidity?
Simply put, humidity is the percentage of water vapor in the air at any given time. Humidity can vary based on the season and weather, but in your home you should be aiming for 30-50% on average. Usually the natural humidity in the air is higher in the summer and lower in winter. If the air is too humid or not humid enough, you’ll experience issues. High humidity can cause condensation and stuffiness which can make bacteria and harmful molds grow. This can trigger allergies, sensitivities and asthma flare ups. On the other hand, when humidity is low it can cause skin and eye dryness and irritate your nose and throat.
Low humidity and rosacea
When the temperature starts dropping, cold air can’t hold as much water as the warmer temperatures. This is what causes low humidity. In turn, your skin sacrifices its moisture to the atmosphere through a process called transepidermal water loss.
When trying to stay comfortable throughout the colder months, we often stick on the central heating to warm up. While it’s of course important to stay warm in winter, central heating can cause unwanted problems if you have asthma or skin issues. Warming up this dry, cold outdoor air to bring it into the home further lowers the humidity level. This means that you’re essentially drying out the skin around the clock as the air is dry when outside and even drier when at home or in work with heating on.
If you suffer from rosacea, the chances are that you’ll feel this change in your skin before seeing it. Especially if you suffer from subtype 1. The lack of oils and water cause that tight feeling in the skin. Those with rosacea or certain skin sensitivities have been shown to have a low ability to attract and retain water according to an NCBI article. A study of theirs evaluated 135 patients with rosacea that weren’t being treated, and showed that subtype 1 (ETR) rosacea is more common if you have dry skin.
How can I protect my skin in winter?
Increase air humidity levels at home
One way to increase humidity levels in your home or at the office is to buy a humidifier. These are plugged into the wall and send out small amounts of water into the air in the form of vapor. These range in price, usually starting at around €20.
If you don’t have spare cash at the moment, or don’t want to spend money on a humidifier right now, there are other cheaper yet still effective things that you can do. Placing a bowl of water on top of your radiators when they’re on can produce the same effect without having to spend a thing! However, you might find the water that evaporates from a bowl or two just isn't enough. Cue the wet clothes and towels - hanging your washing over the radiator is another way to get that moisture back into the air. As the clothes dry, the water that was once on them is now in the previously dry air and your dry sensitive skin will feel the relief. This solution isn’t recommended if you or someone you live with is asthmatic.
Buy eye drops
Just as low humidity takes the moisture from your skin, it does the same to your eyes. Eye drops help to combat this by lubricating your eyes and giving them the extra moisture that they need. Eyelogic eye drops are the one we like and stock. They’re particularly good as they contain hyaluronic acid. This naturally occurring substance has the ability to attract and retain water, and you should look for it in skincare products as well as eye drops if you suffer from dryness. Some people really don’t like the sensation of putting drops in their eyes, so we also sell a spray that you can put directly on your eyelids to also give some relief.
If you suffer from rosacea it’s likely that the moisture barrier on your face is compromised. This results in more water loss than normal which in turn leads to irritation and inflammation. This is why moisturising well in the morning and at night is essential. Preferably just after showering. If you’re using any topical medications, apply this and allow to dry before putting your moisturiser on.
Our Moisturising Balm was made to provide protection for sensitive faces from the elements. It also contains raspberry seed which is a powerful natural SPF. Research has shown that raspberry seed oil has the highest UVA and UVB protection of all the plant oils. We’ve used a good dose of this in our balm for that reason.
It’s always best to moisturise straight after a shower if possible, as it traps the extra moisture into your skin.
Hydrate from the inside out
One of the best ways you can keep the moisture in your skin in times of low humidity is keeping yourself hydrated on the inside. Drinking plenty of water is key and adding an Omega 3 capsule to your daily routine may help even further.
Hopefully some of these tips help you to keep your rosacea or sensitive skin at bay in the colder months. My radiators always have wet towels on them in winter to dry. It doesn’t look the best but my skin always appreciates it!
All Finca Skin Organics products are made using a minimal, plant-based ingredients list and formulated by me, a rosacea sufferer.
The Finca Skin Organics range has undergone a Harley Street clinical study. After using our products, 87% felt the appearance of their skin significantly improved.
View the entire range of Finca products here or find out what subtype your skin is.
When in doubt, always refer to your doctor or dermatologist as the condition differs for everyone. It’s always best to talk to your dermatologist first and work out your treatment plan together.
If you have any queries regarding your rosacea or how to use our products get in contact with us, we'd love to hear from you.
With love from Ireland,
*Clinical evaluation by Harley St. dermatologists on 23 subjects after 8 weeks of use.
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