Cold com­fort


Why heav­ier mois­turis­ers are im­por­tant in win­ter.


When the mer­cury drops, it’s tempt­ing to treat your skin much like a win­ter wardrobe — just add ex­tra lay­ers! “There’s no doubt that skin needs a heav­ier mois­turiser in win­ter than in sum­mer,” says Mel­bourne-based Luca Mora of Skeyn­dor Australia. “Look at the Inuit — they cover their faces with seal fat so that the skin doesn’t freeze in the mi­nus 40 de­gree weather!” How­ever, out­side the Arc­tic cir­cle, just slather­ing on an ex­tra thick lo­tion isn’t go­ing to get you a healthy win­ter glow. Lay­er­ing with a hy­drat­ing serum or nour­ish­ing eye cream is help­ful, but qual­ity is more im­por­tant than quan­tity. Pre­vent­ing de­hy­dra­tion re­quires feed­ing the skin with key in­gre­di­ents — vi­ta­min C, ce­ramides, an­tiox­i­dants, hyaluronic acid and botan­i­cal oils should take cen­tre stage at this time of year. “Look for a serum that will fo­cus on hy­dra­tion with in­gre­di­ents such as hy­lau­ronic acid, vi­ta­mins C and E, and an­tiox­i­dants,” says Joanna Ne­wham, of Syd­ney’s Joanna Ne­wham Skin + Spa Ther­a­pies. “Hyaluronic acid is of­ten re­ferred to as the ‘foun­tain of youth’. It holds 1000 times its weight in wa­ter, mak­ing it an ex­cep­tional mois­turiser that, in our youth, is nat­u­rally plen­ti­ful in the skin.” Re­tain­ing wa­ter in the skin is vi­tal. “The wa­ter in the skin rep­re­sents 15 to 18 per cent of the wa­ter in the en­tire hu­man body,” says Kim Thomas­son of Syd­ney’s BLC Cos­met­ics. “Around 60 to 70 per cent is con­cen­trated in the der­mis, while only 13 per cent is held in the most su­per­fi­cial lay­ers of the epi­der­mis. This wa­ter con­tent con­trib­utes to the sup­ple­ness, com­fort and qual­ity of the skin, and helps to slow down the skin-age­ing process.”

But how do you hold on to wa­ter in the skin? For starters, it’s wise to drink plenty of H O, and re­place cof­fee, tea and al­co­hol with f lavour­some hy­drat­ing liq­uids, such as co­conut wa­ter. “Tak­ing oils in­ter­nally may also help dry skin,” Luca says. “A few cap­sules of evening prim­rose oil daily can help keep dry skin at bay.” Then start read­ing your skin­care la­bels care­fully: as well as hyaluronic acid and free-rad­i­cal fight­ing an­tiox­i­dants, ce­ramides are a big plus. “Ce­ramides act like the mor­tar be­tween bricks,” Luca says. “They stick the skin cells to­gether and help pre­vent los­ing wa­ter from the deeper lay­ers of the skin.” While a wa­ter-based serum can tem­po­rar­ily plump up thirsty skin, botan­i­cal oils can help lock that mois­ture in place for longer. “Dry win­ter skin benefits the most from ap­ply­ing an oil to sup­ply un­sat­u­rated fatty acids to the deeper lay­ers of the skin, and then adding a cream rich in waxes and sat­u­rated fats on top to lock in the mois­ture,” says Liezel Barnard, a Weleda natur­opath, who adds that oils can also help pre­vent con­ges­tion. “When the skin is de­hy­drated, se­bum can’t se­crete eas­ily out of the pores to lu­bri­cate the skin’s sur­face. In­stead, it be­comes thick and hard­ened, and gets lodged in the pores. This then be­comes a breed­ing ground for bac­te­ria.” Even adding a few drops of plain jo­joba, rose hip or macadamia oil to your regular mois­turiser or to your bath wa­ter is a sim­ple way to help boost hy­dra­tion lev­els. “The big­gest mis­take women make is stick­ing to the same old, same old,” Luca says. “What works dur­ing sum­mer will not carry the ex­tra weight for skin in win­ter.”

FROM LEFT ‘Leon’ metal top ta­ble, $499, from Pro­vin­cial Home Living. Turk­ish towel, $64, from The DEA Store. Striped towel, $30, from Sally Camp­bell. Lid­ded jar, $35, from The Coun­try Trader. Iris bath brush, $34, from Funkis. Mar­ble basin, $950, from Ar­chi­tec­tural El­e­ments. Per­rin & Rowe ‘Io­nian’ taps, $1345, from The English Tap­ware Com­pany. Sponge, $35, from Cot­ton Love. Per­rin & Rowe mir­ror, $645, from The English Tap­ware Com­pany. Iris shav­ing cup with soap, $90, and brush, $60, both from Funkis. Savon de Mar­seille soap, $10.95, from Pa­per2. Lad­der, $195, from Doug Up On Bourke. Large striped towel, $75 from Sally Camp­bell. Cot­ton towel, $69.90, from Citta De­sign. All other items, stylist’s own. For stock­ist de­tails, see page 137.

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