The five ways you can avoid damaged skin this winter – EXCLUSIVE

With party season under way, it’s easy for our skin to take the brunt of too much partying and become damaged as a result.

And to avoid festive damage, not just from Christmas parties but from the cold too, Dr Mervyn Patterson is on hand, a Cosmetic Doctor at Woodford Medical.

From alcohol to ice cold temperatures, Dr Mervyn shares the way in which you can keep your skin healthy this Christmas and avoid the things that are making skin suffer.

Alcohol

“Too much alcohol can affect your skin as the toxins in alcohol are absorbed by the skin and result in weakening of the repair mechanisms that maintain the skin as our first line of defence against the environment. Alcohol is a toxin that has to be managed and broken down by the body.”

“Morning after-effects are mostly due to dehydration and poor sleep and are often most obvious around the eyes. Gradual prolonged drinking simply accelerates the ageing process with the skin showing less resistance to damage.

“Chronic inflammation worsens and from this stems unwanted vessel formation, like spider veins, wrinkling and pigmentation.

“Alcohol causes vasodilation – an expansion of blood vessels making blood flow into them. The result is larger numbers of veins with more blood close to the surface leading to more extensive flushing, continuous redness and actual visible blood vessels just under the skin. Commonly they appear on the cheeks, nose and chin.

“Inflammatory processes are triggered leading to a deterioration in skin health, disruption of collagen and increases in redness and vascularity. It is for these reasons that the skin can start to loose its brightness, firmness and fine lines can start to appear.

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“Try Epionce Intense Nourishing Cream as it contains the correct mixture of the three key lipids cholesterol, ceramide and free fatty acids to help renew the integrity of the skin’s barrier. Intensive Nourishing Cream also contains a wide raft of anti inflammatories to dampen inflammation so you protect collagen, prevent redness and reduce sensitivity.”

Lack of sleep

“Often overlooked, a good nights sleep is very important, as poor sleep patterns can contribute to deterioration in the look of the skin, particularly around the eye. It is overnight when the skin repairs itself.

“Getting the right amount of sleep is so important so don’t spend all evening on your phone and avoid being tempted to leave it by your bed as you will just be tempted to check it. Just clearing the mind and allowing your body to relax will help give you a better sleep pattern.


“Studies have shown that in people who are stressed their skin tends to be less healthy with a measurable deterioration in the function of the external skin barrier.

"Try to find ways to reduce your overall stress levels by looking at your day and finding ways to have breaks such as short walks or periods of meditation. It may be that sleep is disturbed by the use of phones and constant checking of social media or work related material late at night.

Ice cold temperatures

“Dry, cold weather can lead to dehydration and fracturing of the stratum corneum barrier. What is particularly harmful is the sudden contrast as we move from the cold outdoors to the warm heated environment in our homes and offices.

"Essentially what happens is the surface barrier consisting of flattened epidermal cells and thin layers of lipids that lie between the cells becomes disrupted.

“This ‘external skin barrier’ is the roof of the skin and is essential to protect us from elements in the environment and also helps retain water in the deeper skin.

“As seasons change, temperature and humidity decreases, impacting the equilibrium the skin has established to deal with the environmental insults during the summer. Skin loses moisture and often will start itching.

“With the harsher weather of winter it is often worth responding by using a moisturiser that has greater emollience alongside that all important barrier repair technology. We see a lot of our clients switching up to Epionce Intensive Nourishing Cream which is a richer product and really helps combat winter dryness.

“Topical solutions such as those containing benzoyl peroxide, certain antibiotics and retinoids can be used in various combinations.

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“Retinoids act as exfoliators to help remove pore blockages and dry up acne spots but their usefulness is limited by the fact that most find them irritating and too drying with sustained use.

"The best strategy is finding a helpful skincare routine and combining this with in clinic procedures such as microdermabrasion, skin peels and the DermaFrac.

Eating the right foods

“A good diet with a spread of carbohydrates, protein, vitamins and minerals is what will deliver the best possible skin and a healthy body overall. As always it’s not about eating an excess of any one thing but in finding the right proportions of things to achieve a healthy balance.

"There are some studies that show a possible link to acne and the consumption of milk, particularly skimmed milk, and also carbohydrates with a high glycemic index but one has to be careful in interpreting these studies.

"We shouldn’t assume that changing our diet will make a vast difference as acne is a complex condition with many factors at play.

Always remove make-up

“At night our skin needs more help, especially as this time of year due to colder temperatures and indoor heating, which can all affect our skin in a negative way by affecting the skin’s barrier function and leaving it vulnerable to dehydration.

“It is important that all traces of makeup are removed but also the external factors that have been beating against your skin all day in terms of pollution and dirt are also removed.

“Clean clean and clean the skin (cleanse every night and exfoliate 2 or 3 times a week) then hydrate choosing a more intensive moisturiser for the night and most likely a serum too so you skin gets its dose of antioxidants as well as hydration, a moisturiser essentially seals the skin whist the antioxidants protect it.–

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