A red, itchy, and inflamed face is something most of us have to deal with during winters. Almost like a cold-weather requisite. The barrier of our skin is compromised during these months due to a drop in humidity in the air, and a lot of the barrier's components (cholesterol, fatty acids, ceramides) that protect our skin from the environment, and lock in moisture are affected in winters. This increases the sensitivity of our skin, especially if suffering from inflammatory conditions like rosacea and eczema.
When your barrier is damaged, there are a lot of products that irritate the skin — fragrances, dyes, colours, alcohol, and irritants alike. They penetrate the skin easily and lead to inflammation. And inflammation doesn't just cause dryness. It can trigger flare-ups as well. There you have it. The science behind the much-dreaded winter skin. But what can you do to prevent the problem all together? We've curated a list of five skincare ingredients for the body and face that you must work into your regimen during the colder months to avoid having to deal with inflamed skin again.
01. Aloe Vera
There's no denying the anti-inflammatory abilities of this gel-packed plant. It's a cooling ingredient that treats inflammation, reduces swelling and pain, moisturises dry skin, and heals, eczema, rosacea, sunburn, and rashes. And because it is packed with antibacterial and antifungal properties, it can control acne-causing bacteria as well.
This is one of the best moisturisers for dry, cracked skin. It's a humectant, which means that it traps moisture from the air, and infuses this moisture into our skin for instant hydration. Glycerin treats inflammation as well. And since it is oil-free and non-comedogenic in nature, it won't clog your pores — so say bye, bye to acne.
03. Shea Butter
This moisturising ingredient is as soft on the skin as it sounds rolling off the tongue. It's loaded with anti-inflammatory properties that soothe the skin and prevent itching. And this is particularly beneficial for those suffering from conditions like eczema and psoriasis. Since shea seeps into the skin quickly, it provides rapid relief from flare-ups.
04. Witch Hazel
This is such an understated ingredient. It is known to soothe inflammation and irritation, and prevent acne as it clears your skin of excess oil. Studies indicate that it treats conditions like psoriasis and eczema as well.
Niacinamide, derived from vitamin B3, is another anti-inflammatory ingredient that is known to reduce inflammation. This means that it can ease redness associated with acne - especially pauses and pustules — eczema, and conditions alike. All of this contributes to an improvement in the texture of your skin.