DiscreteHeat in News

Are your radiators ruining your looks?

This might be the reason your hair is lifeless and your skin is dull and sallow in the winter

Surveys show the average thermostat is turned up to 23 degrees

While keeping you warm it's not doing you any favours beauty-wise

Here we have the best products on offer to ward off winter beauty woes

Are your radiators ruining your looks?

Thankfully, we live in an era where houses can be warm, even in the deep mid-winter. A recent survey discovered that the average thermostat is turned up to 23 degrees, which is warmer than a summer’s day. One in 20 of us has it at a tropical 30 degrees.

But beauty-wise, central heating is doing us no favours. Ever wondered why hair is lifeless and dull and skin sallow and dry from October to March? Read on...

The average household is likely to have their thermostat turned up to 23 degrees during the cold weather at this time of year


Central heating is dreadful for lips as they don’t have oil glands, and they can chap and crack if you don’t replace the lost moisture. Never lick them — the digestive juices in your saliva will dry them out more.

Once lips are damaged, the dead dry skin layer on top may prevent products from penetrating properly. If you do get this chapped top layer, don’t scrub at your lips, as this will damage the fragile skin and make it worse. Use a product containing a gentle exfoliant contains a small amount of citric acid to remove flaky bits.

After your shower or bath, when lips are wet, rub them gently with a towel to slough away any dead skin that is ready to go. Next, slather on a layer of ointment.


Never put hands on radiators to warm them up, tempting as it may be when they’re freezing cold. Heating skin too quickly is one of the main causes of unsightly and uncomfortable chilblains — itchy and sore swellings. The blood vessels can’t always cope with increased blood flow, which can leak into surrounding tissues.

Skin on your hands is thicker than that on the rest of your body, but it is always exposed. Central heating will dry out hands, too. Once they’re chapped, irritants such as chemicals in household products can get in and cause further irritation, so you end up in a vicious cycle.


The climate created by central heating — a high temperature combined with low humidity (meaing little moisture in the air) — is not kind to facial skin. ‘The higher the temperature inside, the drier your skin is likely to be,’ says consultant dermatologist Dr Emma Wedgeworth at European Dermatology London.

‘Think of the skin as being like a brick wall — a barrier against the environment. When skin feels dry, cracks are developing in this wall. Irritants can get in and water gets out. ‘Over the past few years we have understood a great deal more about skin barrier function.

‘There has been research into the make up of the outermost layer of the skin, called the stratum corneum, which is dead cells sitting on top of the epidermis. ‘We now understand that in low humidity, such as a room warmed by central heating, there is increased water loss and lower water reserves.’

Because of this, we all need to amend our skincare routine in the winter. ‘Be wary of potential irritants such as salicylic and glycolic acid-based products or retinol. You may need to use these less frequently or adjust your regime until the heating goes off in spring.’


Around 20 per cent of people in Britain suffer from dry eye syndrome in winter, triggered or exacerbated by heating. It’s especially bad if you use contact lenses. ‘Use lubricating eye drops to keep eyes hydrated and relieve itching and burning,’ says Dr Steve Schallhorn, medical director of Optical Express. ‘Don’t use those designed to decrease redness as they may cause more irritation.’ Dr Schallhorn also suggests investing in a humidifier to increase moisture levels in the air or place bowls of water around the house. ‘The water will evaporate and increase humidity.’


Flat, dry hair in the winter? No surprises there. ‘Hair is a hygroscopic substance, which means that it absorbs or expels moisture according to the atmosphere around it,’ says consultant trichologist Iain Sallis. ‘As far as your hair is concerned, a centrally heated house is like an arid desert. ‘Maintain a good haircare regime. It’s almost impossible to restore moisture to hair without making it frizzy, but you can protect hair using products containing oils. ‘These will coat it and prevent more moisture being lost.’


‘The drying effects of central heating seriously affects nail health,’ says Alex Dmitruk, expert nail technician at Neville hair and beauty in Mayfair. ‘The skin around the nails dries out and sometimes tears, which can result in unsightly cuticles and even infections.’ The dry heat can also exacerbate brittle nails.


Just as the face loses moisture when blasted with central heating, so does the body. Arms and legs may become scaly. Ideally, moisturise every day (we all know this and yes, it’s a huge effort). ‘Tailor your cream to your needs,’ says Dr Wedgeworth. ‘Mild dryness can be treated with lotion. If you have dry legs or arms, use a richer cream. Very dry skin needs a body oil. People are great at moisturising faces, but much less so with their body at this time of year.’ She also recommends steering clear of products containing drying agents if you have a tendency to scaly skin, so try to avoid shower gel and soap, as well as strong fragrances.

Daily Mail - 5th January 2015


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