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Peau bébé hiver.

How to protect children's skin in winter?

Winter is a season that puts the skin through a tough test, especially that of children, which is more delicate. Dry skin, irritations, redness... It's not just about hydrating the skin to protect it, but about establishing a whole defensive routine. Here are some tips to help you protect your children's skin during the winter period.

Summary
Published March 4, 2024, by Pauline, Head of Scientific Communication — 6 min read

The effects of cold on children's skin.

The cold brought on by the winter season can have detrimental effects on the skin. Indeed, cold and dry air, low humidity levels, and indoor heating tend to cause a dehydration of the skin and the emergence of redness and irritation. Moreover, when temperatures drop, the blood circulation slows down on the skin's surface as the body prioritizes blood flow to vital organs, reducing blood flow at the dermis level. While everyone is subject to these inconveniences, the effects of the cold are more noticeable in individuals with relatively sensitive skin, such as children.

Furthermore, the skin structures of young children are still developing during the early years of life: studies have shown that the full function of the skin barrier is not achieved until the age of six. Thinner and more fragile, children's skin is also almost devoid of hydrolipidic film on its surface. This vulnerability is exacerbated in winter when water losses are more significant. Negative temperatures indeed lead to a decrease in sebum levels, intercellular lipid components, and natural moisturizing factors (NMF).

In the face of cold, chapping and cracks are likely to appear, particularly on the face, lips, and hands, which are naturally more exposed areas. Moreover, winter is a season conducive to outbreaks ofeczema, a skin condition primarily affecting young children.

How to take care of children's skin in winter?

To protect the delicate, fragile, and sensitive skin of children during winter, it is appropriate to combat dryness on multiple fronts.

Heat the interior moderately.

While it may be tempting to keep your home warm, it is recommended to keep the thermostat at a moderate temperature to ensure an optimal level of humidity in the dwelling. Indeed, warm and dry air can tend to dry out the skin and exacerbate winter-related issues. To avoid them, do not hesitate to place a humidifier in your home to maintain a humidity level between 40 and 60%, which is ideal for preventing skin dryness.

Opt for short showers.

It is well-known that prolonged contact with water tends to make the skin dry. To avoid further weakening their skin barrier, we recommend children to favor short showers over baths and to ensure to not use excessively hot water. A temperature above 96.8°F can damage the skin's hydrolipidic film and cause it to lose its hydration. Moreover, in addition to protecting children's skin, short showers also help to conserve water.

Use moisturizing and nourishing skincare products.

Protecting children's skin also involves the regular application of a moisturizing and nourishing cream. Indeed, to retain water in the deeper layers of the skin and counteract the effects of cold, it is important to strengthen the skin's hydrolipidic barrier. Opt for care products containing humectants or emollients, such as hyaluronic acid, glycerin, polyglutamic acid, aloe vera, squalane, ceramides... The application of certain vegetable oils like sweet almond oil, grape seed oil, or avocado oil is also recommended to replenish the skin by filling the spaces between the cells of the horny layer and sealing in moisture. Applying a nourishing product is particularly useful after a shower, to help the skin rehydrate.

We recommend choosing skincare products with the simplest formulation possible for your child, in order to reduce the risk of allergies. Furthermore, colorants, fragrances, alcohol derivatives, and foaming agents should be avoided as they often prove to be irritating and can cause redness and itching, far from the soothing effect sought in winter. At Typology, we offer our lipid-replenishing balm which combines a postbiotic complex and ceramides to help restore the skin's intercellular cement and soothe feelings of discomfort. Suitable for the whole family, from birth, this treatment contains 99% natural ingredients and provides a wrapping effect for a more supple and softer skin, ready for winter.

Protect the vulnerable parts of the body.

Beyond the face, the extremities of the body are highly sensitive to cold and can quickly become dehydrated in winter. Furthermore, the regular washing of hands throughout the day tends to weaken them and promote the appearance of cracks. To avoid these inconveniences, it is important for your children to remember to regularly apply a moisturizing hand cream.

The same goes for the lips, whose thinness makes them particularly prone to dryness. Moreover, this sensitive part of the face harbors only a minuscule number of sebaceous glands, which are responsible for the synthesis of sebum. As a result, during the cold season, the skin of the lips can easily become chapped, and sensations of burning and tightness can be felt. Therefore, they need to be moisturized and protected with a protective lip balm composed of fatty substances, occlusive agents, and healing agents.

Tip : To encourage your children to regularly hydrate their hands and lips, you can provide them with daily cues to do so (after putting on their gloves, after washing their hands, before going to sleep...).

Sources

  • DARMSTADT G. L. & others. Neonatal skin care. Pediatric Clinics of North America (2000).

  • DARMSTADT G. L. & others. Traditional practice of oil massage for newborns in Bangladesh. Journal of Health, Population and Nutrition (2002).

  • LODÈN M. Role of topical emollients and moisturizers in the treatment of dry skin barrier disorders. American Journal of Clinical Dermatology (2003).

  • THYSSEN J. P. & others. The impact of environmental humidity and temperature on skin barrier function and dermatitis. Journal of the European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology (2016).

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