Over the past couple of days the MET office has recorded the UK's coldest day in 7 years. It got to -14.4 degrees C in Braemar which is part of north-east Scotland. The Met office have said that it was the lowest temperature in the UK since Holbeach, Lincolnshire reached -15.6C in 2012.
Extremely low temperatures are not just uncomfortable but they actually can be very damaging to exposed skin. Especially the fragile and delicate skin of the face, which is the most exposed area when going outside in these extreme low temperatures.
Harsh winds and low humidity, generally accompany extreme low weather conditions. Harsh winds buffeting the skin with low humidity is extremely abrasive on the skin. We can clearly see this when we have been outside for some time in the extreme cold and our cheeks and noses get very red and the skin on sensitive areas such as our lips get extremely dry and chapped. This dryness is caused by the moisture in our skin and lips being drawn out due to the low humidity in the air. Even in cold conditions without winds, the extreme cold and low humidity will draw all the natural moisture and oils out of the skin and cause dryness in sensitive exposed areas.
The root cause of dry flaky skin is always a loss of the natural oils in the epidermis of the skin. It can lead to a number of very serious conditions including; eczema, dermatitis, painful cracks in skin, wrinkles and early aging, itchiness and even cause thickening of skin in areas exposed regularly. When extreme cold weather has caused serious moisture loss in our skin often we will resolve this by putting artificial moisture back into our skin by using things such as moisturisers like petroleum jelly products or other over the counter moisturisers. Though if we want to truly address the root cause of this problem we need to maintain the natural oils in our skin and also continue to combat anything which might additionally remove those natural oils.
This is where a shower filter comes in really handy. Tap water and shower water contains chlorine which is a solvent along with other chemicals that strips away the body's natural oils. If we live in a hard water area, the hard particles in the water hitting our skin at high speeds and pressure in the shower, will also contribute to stripping away the natural oils in our body's skin. Having a shower filter will help to remove chemicals such as chlorine and hardness from our water- which will allow our body's skin the ability to maintain its natural moisture and natural oils. Before we go out into extreme cold weather conditions if we maintain the body's natural skin oils when we go out into the cold, the exposed areas of our skin already have a natural barrier against the cold and low humidity. This natural barrier will give us protection from the cold and low humidity of extreme weather conditions and therefore protect us from our skin becoming overly dry and cracking.
After we are exposed to cold weather conditions often (such as during this very biting winter) some of the natural oils which protect us will be leached out due to the cold weather conditions. So it is vital that we need to continue to shower in filtered water to ensure that we create that natural oil barrier anew, this habit of creating and maintaining that natural oil barrier and skin moisture must be kept throughout the winter months. It's vitally important to continue to shower with a shower filter and wash our hands under a tap filter. If we take baths, we should ensure that the bath water is also filtered with a bath filter.
If you are out in these extreme cold weather conditions and you are experiencing any of the things we've mentioned in this article - please leave us a comment below or email us so we can help you find a solution to how shower filters can help to protect your skin from extreme cold exposure.