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Surviving the winter: tips for managing your skin in the colder months

As winter approaches, the temperature drops and the air becomes drier which can take a toll on your skin. Dry, flaky, and itchy skin are common skin problems during the winter months. Some people also find their acne is worse in the colder months. To keep your skin healthy and glowing throughout the winter, it is important to take extra care of your skin and make some changes to your skincare routine.

How to prepare your skin for winter?

  1. During the colder months in Southern Africa, especially inland, the air becomes drier, and the wind can strip your skin of its natural oils, leading to dry, flaky skin. To prevent this, it is important to use a natural moisturiser that will provide your skin with the hydration it needs. Look for a serum moisturiser that contains hyaluronic acid and vitamin C, which help to lock in moisture and keep your skin hydrated. The tendency is to over-hydrate our skin in the winter but be careful of using too much moisturiser as this can actually reduce your skin’s natural ability to manufacture its own hyaluronic acid, leading to drier skin.
  2. In the colder weather, it is even more important to use a gentle, hydrating cleanser that will clean your skin without drying it out. Look for a cleanser that is sulphate-free, paraben-free and formulated at an acidic pH (below 6.0).
  3. Exfoliating is a key step in any skincare routine, but it's especially important during the winter months when dry, flaky skin is common. Regular exfoliation helps to remove dead skin cells, which can clog pores and lead to acne breakouts. However, make sure to use a gentle exfoliator, as harsh exfoliators can cause irritation and dryness. Look for an exfoliator that contains gentle, natural ingredients such as oatmeal.
  4. Cold, dry air can cause your skin to lose moisture and become dry and flaky. To protect your skin from the cold, wear a scarf, hat, and gloves when you go outside. This will help to trap moisture and prevent your skin from becoming dry and irritated.
  5. While a hot shower or bath may be tempting during the winter months, it can strip your skin of its natural oils and lead to dryness and irritation. Instead, take lukewarm showers or baths, and limit your time in the water to no more than 10 minutes. Afterwards, be sure to moisturise your skin to lock in the remaining moisture.
  6. Using a humidifier in your home can help to add moisture to the air, which can prevent your skin from becoming dry and flaky. Be sure to keep the humidifier clean to prevent the growth of bacteria and mould.

Dealing with seasonal acne

Acne is a common skin condition that affects people of all ages, and it can be frustrating and embarrassing. Unfortunately, acne often gets worse during the winter because the skin is drier and lacks hydration. Your skin responds to the dryness by producing more sebum, which is natural lubrication but if your skin makes too much it can plug the hair follicles leading to spots. These can become infected and cause cysts. While there is no guaranteed way to prevent acne, there are steps you can take to reduce your risk of developing acne and minimize the severity of your breakouts.

  • One of the most important steps in preventing acne is to keep your skin clean. Wash your face twice a day with a gentle clear gel cleanser as mentioned to remove any dirt, oil, and bacteria that can clog pores and lead to breakouts. This is important after playing sports or going to the gym. Avoid using harsh or abrasive cleansers, or soap, which can irritate your skin and make acne worse.
  • Your hands encounter a lot of bacteria throughout the day. Avoid touching your face as this transfers the bacteria to your skin, leading to breakouts. Luckily the medical-grade hypochlorous acid in our GF2 formulations helps to control acne by killing the bacteria that causes it in the first place (Cutibacterium acnes). GF2 will also open the oil glands, making it possible for their contents to drain freely onto the skin. The spray will suppress inflammation that gives rise to scarring and help to balance your skin's natural hydration as well.

An important aspect of acne that is becoming clear in medicine is the issue of biofilm. Biofilm is a complex form of infection that develops when bacteria secrete a microscopic slime layer to protect themselves from the environment. This protection is so effective that antibiotics and ordinary antiseptics have no effect on the infection (in this case, acne). Fortunately, a pure solution of hypochlorous acid, like that found in our GF2 formulations, is also very effective against biofilm - not only killing the layer of slime but also the bacteria hiding underneath it. This makes GF2 the new frontier in the battle against acne. Apply the GF2 as a spray twice daily on clean skin and experience the miracle of this wonder ingredient.

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