SKIN’S BAR­RIER

Sunday Herald Sun - Body and Soul - - B+S BEAUTY -

mois­ture and help to soothe any sting­ing or itch­i­ness.

Try: Avène Eu­lage Ex­tremely Gen­tle Cleanser, $ 32.95, and Avène Eu­lage Rich Cream, $ 63.95, 1800 678 302. Gaia Fa­cial Ex­fo­liant, $10.95, ( 03) 9703 1707. Ella Baché En­er­gis­ing Crème Masque, $ 65, 1800 789 234.

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Ex­tend your skin­care

You will be wear­ing heavy cloth­ing and fab­rics at this time of year, so it’s nat­u­ral that you might for­get to nur­ture the skin be­low your dé­col­letage, but re­mem­ber that it can suf­fer just as much.

Choose your body cleanser care­fully, ex­fo­li­ate weekly and mois­turise your whole body af­ter ev­ery shower.

Swap your daily body lo­tion for oil, which seems to have bet­ter affin­ity with the skin, as it is close in struc­ture to our nat­u­rally oc­cur­ring se­bum.

Try: En­dota Spa Or­ganic Olive & Macadamia Mas­sage Oil, $ 28, www.en­do­ta­dayspa.com.au (1).

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Sen­si­tive con­di­tions

If your skin doesn’t im­prove, visit a der­ma­tol­o­gist to check that you don’t have eczema or der­mati­tis.

“Eczema and der­mati­tis are in­ter­change­able terms for itchy, scaly and in­flamed skin,” says Dr Greg Good­man, an as­so­ci­ate pro­fes­sor at the Der­ma­tol­ogy In­sti­tute of Vic­to­ria.

“There are many forms, most of which worsen in win­ter due to an up­set bar­rier func­tion. Any­thing that changes the lipid layer ag­gra­vates the prob­lem.”

Then there is rosacea, which is usu­ally a ge­netic con­di­tion. It can be trig­gered by both in­ter­nal (emo­tional) and ex­ter­nal (en­vi­ron­men­tal) stress. It causes the cheeks, the skin across the nose and some­times the neck and dé­col­letage to red­den and can even lead to per­ma­nent bro­ken cap­il­lar­ies and acne rosacea, where pus­tule-like blem­ishes oc­cur.

Es­tab­lish your rosacea trig­gers and try to avoid them. They could be sleep de­pri­va­tion, al­co­hol (in par­tic­u­lar red wine), spicy foods or hot liq­uids.

Don’t steam your skin and never smoke. Keep out of the sun and use a good sun­block ev­ery day. Anti-red­ness creams will help too. Look for skin­care that is calm­ing, strength­en­ing and heal­ing, and that tar­gets weak­ened blood ves­sels.

“Avoid any prod­uct that con­tains ac­tive in­gre­di­ents such as acids or vi­ta­min A,” Good­man says. “Aze­laic acid, green tea and other an­tiox­i­dants are ideal. Al­ways use non-ir­ri­tat­ing cleansers and mois­turis­ers and a water-based or light liq­uid sun­screen ap­plied daily is es­sen­tial.”

Good­man says you should make sure that any prod­uct you ap­ply to your skin can be eas­ily re­moved.

“You don’t want to ap­ply any­thing that is too thick, that re­quires a lot of rub­bing when cleans­ing,” he says.

Try: Clin­ique Red­ness So­lu­tions Daily Pro­tec­tive Base, $ 36, 1800 556 948 ( 2).

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bodyand­soul.com.au Shonagh shares her cold-weather skin­care tips at bodyand­soul.com.au

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