Making sure that your family’s skin is well-hydrated isn’t always at the top of the list, right? Especially now, smack-dab in the middle of winter when life still doesn’t seem to stop – with active, indoor, and outdoor activities still steaming ahead. With weekend sports like footy, soccer, basketball, dance and swimming. Not to mention the seasonal change: that can lead to dry, dehydrated, winter skin!
So, we thought we’d come up with the kind of easy-to-explain answers that are clear and easy to digest winter skin care tips. To not only explain the importance of keeping your kid’s skin hydrated in Winter - but why it is essential to the health and wellbeing of your whole entire family.
firstly … your skin is the door to your body’s health
The epidermis is so delicate: from the time we’re babies, to the time we’re adults. As baby’s skin layers is vulnerable and thin, making them especially delicate and sensitive to UV, dryness, and chemicals. As we become adults, our skin structure starts to change again. There’s a decrease in cell circulation of our dermis: meaning less nourishment to the top layer of the skin, leaving the skin looking thinner and flatter. The metabolism of our skin cells starts to slow down, resulting in skin moisture loss, dryness, and an increase in fine lines and wrinkles. Our adult skin’s hydration also loses elasticity, making our skin appear loose, rather than firm.
So, as these natural changes in our skin occurs, this is precisely why we must support our family ten-fold: by finding ways to hydrate and nourish their skin, especially our winter skin - it is the harshest season of the year!
what is happening to our skin in Winter?
When it’s freezing outside, the pores of our skin shrink, which causes heat to get trapped inside the skin, resulting in an excess of oil. Without a proper winter skin care ritual, this can lead to a flare-up of redness, irritation, and even acne (in the bigger kids and grown-ups).
To combat this, we need to embrace two new skincare habits of hydrating our skin on the inside and out. One is to hydrate. The other? To moisturise.
How to keep hydrated during winter
In these wintery months, it can get a little bit complicated. As fresh as the breezy cold air feels on our faces, it makes us susceptible to skin dryness, flakiness, stiffness, infections, and skin flare-ups – whilst wiping away our skin’s moisture. Explaining the benefits of physical hydration to children and why they need to drink more is hard enough. Add the question of skin hydration to the mix: and boy, don’t we have some explaining to do!
diving into the depths of h20
Ok, I’ll admit it, drinking water through winter is hard enough as an adult. So, making sure that our kids are consuming enough water is no easy feat! Especially for their growing, active little bodies. In the winter months, it can get a little bit complicated: explaining to children why they need to drink: when they are not feeling thirsty or even feeling hot. Good hydration habits are just as important to tackle in the winter as in the summer, as hydration boosts our children’s immune systems, and prevents them from getting sick during (hello!) peak cold and flu season.
understanding water in the body
Having enough hydration is essential for living well and for functioning at our very best. Since our bodies are naturally made up of 70 percent water, it helps us regulate our body’s temperature and digest food optimally. Water also has the power to carry nutrients and oxygen to our cells, helps cushion our joints, protects our organs, and tissues, and removes waste from our bodies. The benefit of water affects our brain function as well - in boosting our concentration and mental performance.
In fact, staying hydrated is the key to staying heathy and happy, especially in Winter.
The fact is, the dry winter air leaves our lungs working harder than usual to warm up, causing even further dehydration in our bodies. What’s even worse for us Mums … is that winter dehydration is often overlooked, and we aren’t always aware of what we need to be doing to prevent our kids from feeling dehydrated in the body as well as on their skin!
first … dehydration - the warning signs
Dehydration in a child, especially in winter, can often be hard for a parent to detect. In babies, a parched mouth, lack of tears when crying and making sure they have been wetting up to 6-8 diapers a day is a start. In younger children, paediatricians often cite crankiness, irritability and next-to-no toilet stops as a sign of dehydration. In older children: cloudy thinking, dizziness, fatigue, headaches, poor sports performance, and nausea are also signalling that something is not quite right. Always consult a health professional if you are worried.
so, start good water habits early
Early childhood is a good time to start shaping good drinking habits and promoting regular water intake. The amount your little one needs depends on a few factors; their age, size, and level of activity. As a general guide, kiddies under 8 should drink between 4-5 glasses of water. For the bigger kids 9 years plus, a minimum of 6 glasses is recommended (according to betterhealth.vic.gov.au). Make sure water and cups are easily accessible to kids of all ages and give regular reminders throughout the day. Go on, ‘water’ you are waiting for!
eat hydrating foods
Water-boosting foods such as green leafy vegetables, milk, oranges, strawberries, lychees, oatmeal, cantaloupe, celery, and yogurt are all a great way to sneak in more water into your daily diet. Also, try to limit your intake of fried and processed foods (such as cake, pasta, pastries, chips, white bread, and pizza) as they draw out moisture from the body, leaving you feeling thirsty afterwards.
say hello to winter moisturising
To eliminate the patchy, flaky, dehydrating effects of our skin in winter, it’s important to keep our children’s skin feeling nourished and supple. Moisturising using all-natural, multi-functional skincare is the perfect antidote to winter dryness.
try all-natural skincare products
All-natural products are kind, nourishing, and hydrating for the skin. They often contain healing properties that assist with a range of childhood skin conditions such as dryness, redness and ithciness. You can find all-natural moisturisers that are packed with a nutrient-rich, nourishing blend of oils and butters including shea, jojoba, and coconut oil, that are all-natural - to help restore the skin’s natural PH levels: by supporting and protecting the skin’s natural, optimal oil production. Shea butter, for instance, is derived from seeds of African Shea Tree. It is extremely moisturising and hydrating, helping to keep skin soft and smooth in pregnancy, for bubs, and for the whole family.
for added moisture… try b.box hydrate
For top-to-toe smoothness before putting the kiddies to bed, try hydrate, a moisture-rich formula packed with the natural botanical goodness of aloe vera, jojoba oil and shea butter to help replenish moisture. Free from chemical nasties, hydrate is plant-based, vegan-friendly and dermatologically tested, with nutrient-rich Kakadu plum and green tea extract to assist in leaving the skin feeling soft, and aromatic essentials oils of calendula and chamomile to help calm the skin, soothe irritation, and smell amazing!
Apply hydrate generously to face and body and massage gently until absorbed leaving kiddo’s (and you) feeling perfectly moisturised!
or for softness … try b.box soothe
Got someone in the family suffering from ‘the Winter itchies’? Sensitive or dry, irritated skin that need a little extra TLC? In addition to moisturising with hydrate, indulge baby and kids with soothe, a soap-free sensitive skin treatment that delivers more intensive care to the hair and body. It contains calming botanical elements of aloe vera, kakadu plum and jojoba oil to help hydrate, teamed with kaolin clay to remove impurities from the skin.
Simply add directly to bath water for a luxurious milky soak, with no need to rinse.
and remember … make lukewarm baths
Although it’s tempting to draw a hot bath in winter, choosing a lukewarm bath instead has a few healthy benefits. Rinsing your face and hands in lukewarm water avoids stripping away the oils we need on our skin to stay hydrated.
avoid excessive bathing
Although bath time can be a precious time for a fulfilling caregiver/children connection, it may help kid’s skin by cutting back on number of baths or cutting the time shorter. This is because excessive time spent in water can create or sometimes result in dry skin and irritated conditions.
use a humidifier or evapotranspiration
What we don’t realise in the cold winter months, is that by using our heater or fireplace excessively, it can become dry inside our homes, and then dry out our children’s sensitive skins. By purchasing a humidifier, it can create moistness and reduce the dry air in the room.
Or, instead of a humidifier, you can place a few indoor plants in your child’s room, creating a process called ‘evapotranspiration’: a process whereby water from the plant’s soil makes its way up through the roots and stems of the plants, and then lastly up to the leaves, where the water evaporates into the air through the pores on the leaves. Peace lily, Snake plants, Jade plants, Boston fern and English ivy are some of the many plants you can invest in for this purpose!
let your kids play outdoors and in layers
It may seem safer to keep the kids indoors on a cold winter’s day, but the truth is, playing all day in a heated house can dry everyone out. Instead, let your children play outside in the sunshine, and let the cold air’s moisture penetrate naturally into your child’s body. Fresh, cold air can be refreshing and so beneficial to your child’s health – as long as your kids are dressed warmly and in layers.
Despite what we may think about the coldness of winter, dressing your baby or toddler in a heavy-duty woollen winter coat or wrapped in a heavy blanket may not necessarily keep them as warm as
you think, and may even cause sweatiness and itchiness to occur. Sweating may reduce their body’s ability to regulate temperature, and your body may have to work harder to cool the body down. So instead, dress them in layered, breathable clothing. This helps absorb your child’s perspiration, and helps keep their bodies warm, insulated and above all, hydrated.
Winter is a season for fun and togetherness. For families to stay happy, healthy, warm, and cosy. It is up to us to teach our children about hydrating their bodies inside and out, with the right skincare ritual to fight off wintry skin wobbles. So, when the cold strikes in wintertime, don’t hesitate to boost your family’s skin: by hydrating it mindfully, adequately, and thoroughly.