The new anti-age­ing win­ter beauty rules

Think the se­cret to dewy skin in win­ter is lash­ings of mois­turiser? Think again. b+ s beauty ed­i­tor Kelsey Feren­cak re­veals how to look age­less all sea­son

The Sunday Telegraph (Sydney) - Body and Soul - - FRONT PAGE -

Amid all the other sea­sonal changes at this time of year, it’s easy to for­get that your skin­care reg­i­men needs to change, too. But even just the cooler, drier air in win­ter is enough to cause a whole range of skin is­sues.

“A lack of mois­ture com­pro­mises the in­tegrity of the bar­rier layer, which in­creases sen­si­tiv­ity, lead­ing to in­flam­ma­tion and age­ing,” ex­plains der­ma­tol­o­gist Dr Natasha Cook, of Sydney skin clinic Dar­linghurst Der­ma­tol­ogy.

While you might think the so­lu­tion is to sim­ply slop on some mois­turiser, that isn’t go­ing to cut it. So get your win­ter game-face on with th­ese ex­pert tips to look­ing and feel­ing fresh all sea­son.


“Get rid of all foam­ing and scrub-like washes as they de­hy­drate the skin and strip it of its good oils as well as ir­ri­tat­ing your skin’s bar­rier func­tion,” Cook says. In­stead, switch to a re­plen­ish­ing oil or lotion.

Next, turn your focus to your make-up bag. Pow­der prod­ucts ex­ac­er­bate fine lines, wrin­kles, red­ness and any dry­ness at this time of year, so opt for liq­uid and cream for­mu­las that give skin an ex­tra hit of hy­dra­tion, smooth over fine lines and cam­ou­flage any dis­coloura­tion.


Do you reach for the heav­i­est cream as soon as your skin shows any hint of dry­ness? You’re hy­drat­ing all wrong! Smoth­er­ing your skin in thick creams again and again can make it re­liant. Not only does this cause it to stop pro­duc­ing its own nat­u­ral hy­dra­tion, but its rate of cell re­newal also de­creases, collagen pro­duc­tion slows down and you’re left with lazy, older-look­ing skin. To get it work­ing at its hy­drated best, quench your skin with a mois­tur­is­ing prod­uct that con­tains ei­ther squalane or hyaluronic acid. Th­ese hy­drat­ing su­per­heroes are eas­ily ab­sorbed and also have age-fight­ing ben­e­fits, so you don’t have to rely on thick for­mu­las.


A US study found that win­ter can age women by al­most five years. “A de­fi­ciency in vi­ta­mins K and D [the lat­ter of which is very com­mon in win­ter, even in Aus­tralia] has a con­sid­er­able neg­a­tive ef­fect on the ap­pear­ance of dark cir­cles and puffy eyes, and can age a woman by 4.7 years,” says anti-age­ing ex­pert Dr Mark Binette. Sea­sonal fa­tigue is more com­mon at this time of year, and dark cir­cles are more ob­vi­ous on skin that hasn’t seen much sun­light, par­tic­u­larly in the un­der-eye area, where it’s thinnest.

To coun­ter­act this, ap­ply a bright­en­ing con­cealer un­der the eye in an in­verted tri­an­gle shape – this will cre­ate a lift­ing ef­fect and help to mask any dark­ness.

If you’re not see­ing much sun­light this win­ter and want to power up your vi­ta­min D lev­els, Cook says that tak­ing a daily oral sup­ple­ment of at least 1000 IU can help to re­duce your risk of a de­fi­ciency.


Wear­ing the same blush, eye­shadow and bronzer shades in win­ter as you do in sum­mer can age you, es­pe­cially if your skin tone and tex­ture has changed with the sea­son. Steer clear of shim­mers, pas­tels and browns if you’re paler than usual at this time of year as they can wash out your com­plex­ion and high­light age spots and wrin­kles. In­stead, stick to neu­tral shades in dewy fin­ishes that com­pli­ment your skin tone – think rosy pinks, soft bronzes and rich nudes.


Dull skin is caused by a build-up of dead skin cells, yet most of us seem to leave ex­fo­li­at­ing for the sum­mer months. Although skin can be­come flakey and sen­si­tive in win­ter that doesn’t mean you should avoid ex­fo­li­at­ing, be­cause it’s pos­si­ble to have a ra­di­ant and clear com­plex­ion all year round.

A gen­tle acid ex­fo­liant will keep skin look­ing healthy and bright.

How­ever, if you have sen­si­tive skin, try a gran­ule-based cream (look for sooth­ing in­gre­di­ents such as oat) and al­ter­nate with a gen­tle lac­tic acid ex­fo­liant – lac­tic acid also has humec­tant prop­er­ties so it will hy­drate your skin as it sloughs away the dead cells.


Steer clear of prod­ucts that con­tain as­trin­gents and al­co­hol as th­ese ex­ac­er­bate dry­ness and sen­si­tiv­ity.

“Be care­ful of retinoids as overuse can also in­flame skin dry­ness and sen­si­tiv­ity,” Cook ad­vises. “And up­grade your mois­turiser to one that con­tains humec­tants like shea but­ter, glyc­er­ine or lano­lin as they’ll hold mois­ture in.”


As well as age­ing your skin, win­ter can also age your hair, and it’s not just the sea­sonal changes such as fluc­tu­at­ing tem­per­a­tures and dry­ness you need to look out for. Even the fric­tion from wear­ing scarves and hats can cause hair break­age.

To pro­tect and pre­vent dam­age, de­hy­dra­tion and loss of shine, up your pro­tein in­take – and that means top­i­cally as well as through your diet. Once a week, smooth on a pro­tein hair treat­ment af­ter sham­poo­ing and leave on for at least 10 min­utes to help re­con­struct and re­pair brit­tle strands.

“Lack­ing in vi­ta­mins D and K has a neg­a­tive ef­fect [on skin] and can age a woman by 4.7 years”

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