Sunday, 4 May 2014

A Winter Skincare Guide for Families

*This is a sponsored post on behalf of Vaseline Australia.

I am not a big fan of Winter. I quite like it for about 3 weeks, which is just long enough for the novelty of a bit of rain, a warm jumper and a cup of hot chocolate by the fire to weave its soothing magic.
And then the reality sets in: It's cold, miserable, kids get sick, washing won't dry, kids get sick again (then Mum and Dad) and then to top it all off, the Winter skin conditions start under all that environmental bombardment that comes with the cooler months.

In my family, Winter means dry, scaly skin for some and for others, bouts of painful eczema. Considering we are all related, we couldn't have more differing skincare needs at this time of year. It seems, half of my family has tanned, resilient skin and the other half suffer from fair, hyper-reactive, sensitive skin. (Finger pointing directly to self here.)
Like all families, it's the differences that make us unique but it can be a challenge catering to all those needs under this one roof of ours.

I thought I would write this guide to Winter skincare as I know we are not alone in our issues. It is quite common to feel the wrath of the cold for many and different ages and skin types have differing needs.

For Baby: Babies are so blessed aren't they? Skin on these little Heavenly creatures is just perfect; smooth, delicate, fine, plump. Babies are best left to Nature too. Hopefully your baby has perfect skin. My little Miss has lovely skin and while she is still going strong with the breastfeeding, I am counting on this fact to continue. The most we have had to deal with is nappy rash which is all quite normal and certainly not seasonal. A bit of zinc cream and away she goes. There's been no sign of dribble rash either. Counting my blessings twice over.
For babies, stick to natural and use brands made especially for babies. Not only do they smell lovely, but most are tested to be sure they are 100% safe for use on little people. If baby does become dry, avoid unnecessary bathing and bathe every few days instead of every day. A simple warm wash cloth with nothing but water does a great job of cleaning up and baby won't suffer for it. There are plenty of good quality lotions and potions on the market for babies if skin does become inflamed. Use sparingly, according to each manufacturer's instructions and with care.

For Kids: Kids are hardy, tough little critters for the most part. One thing about children that always fascinates me is their ability to flourish in so many ways and no matter what they do. Children bounce back from illness, swim in Winter, eat anything with little regard and spend hours doing all kinds of things that make grown-ups cringe and yet still thrive. Youth!
For children, as with adults, many off the shelf supermarket products are quite fine for their Winter skin care needs. A daily bath or every second day, a mild soap and a moisturiser that's light and effective will do the trick.

If you have a child who suffers eczema, extra caution is needed. Visit your chemist for advice and see a doctor if a more aggressive treatment plan is required. There are some great products around for eczema but the best treatment is prevention. It may be worth finding the cause which may be a food allergy or a reaction to an environmental factor like dust mites etc.

My Son Taite (pictured), suffered eczema from the moment he weaned himself at 16 months. While it would be easy to assume that dairy foods are responsible, I have been unable to identify his particular sensitivity. We eliminated dairy from his diet for several months and still the eczema persists. Several years later, he still suffers outbreaks but is now on a soy based diet. I would like to have this boy tested with a skin-prick study to help identify his issue.

Adults and General Skin Care Tips: Adult skins are quite vulnerable to the strains of Winter too. We sit in artificially heated homes, offices and cars, drink alcohol, eat processed foods and so on. Generally speaking, our skins can benefit with some consideration of the following:

Turn down the heater thermostat. Heat dries the skin and sucks moisture from it. Pop another jumper on and either turn it down or off altogether if it's not too cold.

Reduce caffeine intake. Caffeine is a diuretic which means it can speed up the loss of fluids from your body. One of the first places this will be seen and felt is your skin.

Check your laundry liquid. Is it for sensitive skins? Does it have too much fragrance? Can you find a more natural alternative which is just as effective? Skin can become very irritated by the scents and cleansing agents in washing powders and liquids. Keep an eye on everyone when you switch brands too, for any signs of sensitivity.

Shorten the length and temperature of your showers or baths. As tempting as it is to have a long hot shower on long cold days, these are directly responsible for drying you up to nothing! (My number one cause of skin dryness right there!)

Moisturise: Invest in a simple moisturiser such as those available in the great range produced by Vaseline Australia and moisturise at least daily or even twice a day if you are very dry. Even better, pop a pump on the top of the bottle (if it doesn't already have one) and encourage every family member to take care of themselves.

Finally, drink water regularly and eat well. Don't forget skin needs nourishing from the inside too.

Do you suffer from Winter skin ailments?
What methods do you use to overcome skin conditions?

Read my review of ShuPeas Infant Shoes and enter the giveaway to win a pair for your child here.


  1. I'm already getting dry hands - even my 3yo son commented on it this morning! I've got several different hand creams which I use, none of which seem super effective:(

    1. I know all about dry hands! Mine seem to be like this all year round and never more so than when there's a baby in the house. Babies not only extract all your energy but it seems they take your moisture too! Let me know if you find a hand cure!

  2. my skin took a serious beating in the winter

  3. I use coconut oil on everyone for everything. It is the only thing that I have found to help treat my sons eczema. It is rich, hydrating, not oily, gentle, nature, cheapl and smells good.

    1. I have to try this coconut oil thing. It sounds great and I love the scent of coconut oil too. I will look into this for my little eczema sufferer - thanks so much for sharing this tip!

  4. Oh I'm feeling you on the winter skincare front. A single weekend has left my face, arms and bizarrely, legs (even though they've been encased in jeans) dry, scaly and horrible. Seems the toddler has inherited his mum's skin as well as he's been sporting some windburnt patches on his little cheeks. Definitely time to pull out the bath oils and thick moisturiser!

    1. I sometimes wonder if it's not all that clothing rubbing the entire surface of our skins from our bodies Naomi! I have noticed I have started to get that grey skin look - pale with dry skin dullness - so attractive! (Not.) Even worse are those intensely dry patches that just don't respond to moisturiser at all. I just want Summer back!

  5. I've just removed my cotton gloves to respond to this post! I've had eczema since I was a kid, and if loves to flare up during the cooler months. I have possibly tried EVERY moisturiser ever made, at the moment I'm having success with MooGoo & I wear cotton gloves after I moisturise to lock it in. This in combination with my medicated cream (which I have to use unfortunately) seem to do the trick. Touch wood neither of our boys have showed any signs of eczema or any other skin problems. Bring back summer I say!!

  6. I love these tips! I think one of the things I need to stop doing this winter is having such a hot shower, that completely dries out my skin!

  7. I never had my babies in a sling but now as I babysit my grandson and bbay #2 due soon I think it would be a godsend for me

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