Protect your skin in winter

By Ellyn Peratikou

We’re in the depths of winter, so here are 5 tips to keep your skin looking fresh, young, and protected from the freezing cold…

1) Use sunblock – most ageing and wrinkling of skin is due to sun exposure. Even when it seems grey and cloudy, using an SPF of at least 15 will keep your skin free of those un-seen rays.
2) Moisturise as regularly as you are able to. In patients with skin disease, this can sometimes be every half hour. For those of us who work, try and aim for 3–4 times daily.
3) Avoid soap and use emollients to wash with. Oils and creams clean the skin adequately, but leave a layer of emollient rather than irritant soap.
4) Exfoliate very gently in the shower with a slightly abrasive glove or loofa.
5) Keep your skin and immune system in great health by sleeping as much as you need, and maintaining a healthy diet.

Moisturising the skin replaces the oils that are lost through daily wear and tear. It helps to keen the skin in better condition. Top tips for skin moisturising:

1) Emollients can be oil-based (ointments) or water-based (creams). Thickened dry areas of skin do better with ointments whilst in delicate areas such as the face, creams are better tolerated.
2) Many creams contain perfumes, preservatives and wool extracts. It is possible to develop allergy to these things, so dermatologists advise the use of a ‘bland’, fragrance-free products.
3) Use emollients at least twice a day and as often as is practical in between these times.
4) Washing with an emollient in place of soap removes the irritant and caustic effects of soap from the skin and can help improve most forms of dermatitis.
5) Some emollients contain sunscreen – these are useful for the face. Remember, sunscreens should have both SPF and UVA protection to reduce damage from all types of ultraviolet.

About the author

Dr Friedmann is a UK-trained consultant Dermatologist and clinical director of the Harley Street Dermatology Clinic. He trained at King’s College School of Medicine, London and has worked at many of London’s teaching hospitals. With more than a decade’s experience in the field, Dr Friedmann has conducted and published research on skin cancer at the Melanoma Institute in Sydney, Australia and has been a consultant since 2008. Dr Friedmann consults on all general dermatology in both adults and children, and will treat conditions such as acne, eczema, allergy and psoriasis. His special interests include emergency dermatology, skin cancer, moles and blistering conditions. Visit

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