If you have sensitive skin, your air con or heater might be to blame

If you have sensitive skin, your air con or heater might be to blame 1

Have you ever noticed that your skin becomes drier, more sensitive, red or irritable during winter? Various factors are to blame, but there is one in particular you may not have thought of. Heaters and air conditioning have a major effect on the skin. While they do their bit to keep us comfortable, they remove moisture from the air, and – get this – they even draw moisture from the skin.

If you work in an office, or spend several hours a day in an area that has air conditioning or indoor heating, your skin may be at risk of dehydration, irritability or sensitivity. But what can be done about it? We put some questions to industry expert Amy Knoetze, founder of Pulse Dermatology & Laser and Director of AQ Skin Solutions South Africa.

What effect do heaters and air con have on your skin if you work in an environment with temperature control for most of the day?
Heaters and air con are definitely a contributor to an impaired barrier function and inflammation, as they are stripping, and heaters may aggravate conditions such as rosacea, and any other inflammatory conditions in the skin.

Can indoor heating or air conditioning aggravate sensitivity or cause sensitivity?
Most certainly. Specifically, they may aggravate rosacea and any other inflammatory conditions in the skin, like eczema, contact dermatitis and even aggravate inflamed acne.

What type of products and ingredients should you be applying to your skin if you work under these conditions?
A human growth factor like AQ Skin Solutions Active Serum is perfect in this instance, as it regulates the cell functions in the skin and calms inflammation. This will ensure that your skin is in its healthiest state and calm. I would advise calming ingredients like centella asceatica; the Wesson therapeutics line is the best line for the most sensitive of sensitive skins.

Any products / ingredients to avoid?
Harsher ingredients like tretinoin and AHAs could make the condition worse if patients are already suffering from sensitivity.

Are there any practical day-to-day tips you can follow to minimise the effects?
Don’t sit directly under an air con or heater, drink lots of fluids and make sure the heat is not too high. Use cool water and gentle cloths when washing the face to soothe the skin after a long day at the office.

Products to manage the signs of sensitivity:

If you have sensitive skin, your air con or heater might be to blame 2

SVR Sensifine Nutri-Baume (R340.00)
Sensifine Nutri-Baum is a daily sensitive skin treatment for the face that boasts a minimalist formula of just 10 ingredients, 95% of which are of natural origin. This balm instantly comforts, soothes and intensely moisturises hypersensitive, dry skin. It contains the soothing active ingredient Panthenol – its calming properties soothe sensations of discomfort, with long-lasting results. Shea Butter and Squalane, the unbeatable nourishing duo are included in the product formula. Their emollient and hyper-nourishing properties are perfect for nourishing dry and very dry skin.

Shop online here.

If you have sensitive skin, your air con or heater might be to blame 3

Bioderma Sensibio Rich (R289.95)
Sensibio Rich is a nourishing, soothing treatment that biologically strengthens the skin’s resistance to attacks and increases the tolerance threshold of sensitive skin. A biological breakthrough for sensitive skin, the Toléridine™ patent, boosted by the D.A.F.™ (Dermatological Advanced Formulation) patented natural complex, inhibits the production of pro-inflammatory molecules and thus makes the skin less reactive. Glycyrrhetinic acid instantly soothes sensations of overheating and tightness and ensures instant comfort. Sensibio Rich moisturises and restructures the skin barrier, thus keeping irritants from penetrating. Formulated with active ingredients that have been rigorously selected for their safety, Sensibio Rich guarantees optimum tolerance.

Shop online here.

If you have sensitive skin, your air con or heater might be to blame 4

Lamelle Serra NSB Cream (R640.00)
Lamelle Serra NSB Cream is a neurosensory barrier cream that helps to repair a weakened skin barrier and soothe skin irritation. Suitable for sensitive skin with distinct hypersensitivity. Key ingredients include a potent TRPV1 suppressor that limits the expression of this protein in the skin, helping to control hypersensitivity. Amino Acids with anti-inflammatory properties. Patented Ceramide-P helps replenish the lipid structures in the skin, restoring the weakened barrier to optimal functioning. Niacinamide increases ceramide synthesis that results in a stronger, healthier skin barrier and better skin hydration. Shea Butter regenerates and soothes the skin, protects it from external factors, and is also rich in antioxidants.

Shop online here.

If you have sensitive skin, your air con or heater might be to blame 5

Dr Hauschka Soothing Day Lotion (R695.00)
Bring peace and calm to irritated skin with Dr. Hauschka Soothing Day Lotion. This moisturising lotion is especially suitable for skin prone to redness. It has a silky-smooth texture and offers the skin long-lasting protection throughout the day, while strengthening sensitive skin to make it more resilient. Formulated with medicinal plants and rose, this moisturiser is free from harsh and artificial ingredients that may lead to irritation.

Shop online here.

If you have sensitive skin, your air con or heater might be to blame 6

Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser (R214.99)
Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser is specially formulated with a dermatologist backed blend of vitamins B3, B5 and hydrating glycerin to improve the resilience of sensitive skin. This creamy formula is clinically proven to provide continuous hydration to protect against dryness. Ideal for sensitive, dry to normal skin.

Shop online here.

If you have sensitive skin, your air con or heater might be to blame 7

Cetaphil Moisturizing Cream (R391.99)
Cetaphil Moisturizing Cream is specially formulated with a dermatologist backed blend of Vitamins B3, B5 and hydrating glycerin to work together to help repair the skin’s moisture barrier. This rich cream is clinically proven to provide immediate and lasting 48-hour hydration.

Shop online here.

Products to restore your skin’s barrier function, or increase your hydration levels:

If you have sensitive skin, your air con or heater might be to blame 8

Lamelle Correctives HA+ Serum (R700.00)
Lamelle Correctives HA + Serum is a luxurious smoothing serum that offers lasting skin hydration and plumping of the skin, improving ageing fine lines. Suitable for dry, sensitive skin with early and mature ageing. Key ingredients include multiple forms of Hyaluronic Acid. Hydrolyzed HA penetrates further for deeper skin hydration. Acetyl HA lingers for continued hydration over a longer period. Phyto HA help retain hydration by reducing water loss through the skin. Hyaluronic Acid fragment (HAFI) (a very specific size of hydrolysed HA) increase the HA production in both fibroblasts and keratinocytes in the skin and can also improve in healing skin where there is an injury. Two types of Hyaluronidase inhibitors help to preserve the skin’s natural HA levels.

Shop online here.

If you have sensitive skin, your air con or heater might be to blame 9

Skin Functional Barrier Support Rescue Oil (R270.00)
A pure blend of Squalane and Cannabis Sativa Oil to inhibit loss of hydration that reduces skin suppleness. Rescue Oil actively reduces inflammation and irritancy while restoring the barrier function of the skin. 100% plant-derived Squalane restores the skin’s natural barrier, while Cannabis Sativa Oil offers the perfect balance of omega 3:6 lipids to the skin.

Shop online here.

If you have sensitive skin, your air con or heater might be to blame 10

Elizabeth Arden Flawless Start Hydrating Serum Primer (R475.00)
Add an extra hydration boost to your regime with Elizabeth Arden’s one-of-a-kind hydrating primer. Formulated with hyaluronic acid to hydrate and care for skin, this makeup primer creates a smooth, even canvas for flawless start. Improves the look of fine lines, while restoring skin’s youthful glow.

Shop online here.

If you have sensitive skin, your air con or heater might be to blame 11

Filorga Nutri-Filler Nutri-Replenishing Cream (R744.00)
Nutri-Filler Nutri-Replenishing Cream is a rich day cream that deeply nourishes and replenishes skin, whilst redefining the facial contours. It targets the major effects of ageing by providing intense nourishment, extreme regeneration and a lifting effect for the U-zone, the rounded area along the chin and jawline of the face. With continued use, even extremely dry skin is soothed and suppler. The facial contour is more defined and the skin becomes denser day after day. Provides an incomparable sensation of comfort in a non-greasy formula.

Shop online here.

If you have sensitive skin, your air con or heater might be to blame 12

Healing Earth Hyaluronic Serum (R762.00)
By now we all know the hydrating benefits of hyaluronic acid: it can hold up to 1000 times its weight in water, making it an incredible hydrator for the skin. When applied to the surface of the skin, hyaluronic acid serums can reduce wrinkles, redness and dermatitis. It also plays a key role in wound healing. Healing Earth’s industry-leading Hyaluronic Serum contains 100% pure hyaluronic acid of the highest quality and efficacy.

Shop online here.

If you have sensitive skin, your air con or heater might be to blame 13

Neutrogena Hydro Boost Awakening Eye Cream (R143.99)
Neutrogena Hydro Boost Eye Awakening Gel-Cream offers a shot of intense hydration to the eye area, instantly replenishing the skin using their hyaluronic gel matrix to boost hydration and strengthen the skin barrier. Its lightweight gel formula awakens tired eyes and helps fade away signs of fatigue while instantly absorbing into skin to smartly smooth the way for make-up. It locks in hydration for 24 hours to prevent loss of suppleness and keep eyes looking fresh every day.

Shop online here.

If you have sensitive skin, your air con or heater might be to blame 14

AQ Skin Solutions Active Serum (R1771.00)
Designed to promote rejuvenation, the AQ Active Serum contains patented Growth Factor Technology to help stimulate natural growth, organization and maintenance of your own skin cells. AQ Active Serum has been formulated to maintain a stable conformation of high-purity fibroblast growth factors that are genetically similar to those naturally made by the body. Supplementing the face and neck with AQ Active Serum can help the skin naturally rejuvenate itself, returning the skin to its youthful state.

Shop online here.

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