Why heavier moisturisers are important in winter.
WINTER TEMPERATURES REQUIRE A HEAVIER MOISTURISER, ADVISES JULIETTE 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.