5 Annoying winter skin issues, solved!
Here’s how to get everything smooth, glowy and back on track – fast.
Get everything smooth, glowy and back on track
THE CAUSE “At its most basic level, acne is hormonal,” says dermatologist Dr Joshua Zeichner. And it can be trickier to treat in the winter since many typical acne fighters like benzoyl peroxide and salicylic acid are, by nature, very drying, adds dermatologist Dr Jennifer Lee.
THE SOLUTION We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again. Moisturise! Breakout-prone skin needs it, too – because overdry skin can get even more inflamed. Swap your usual formulas for lower-strength versions around 2% when cold weather strikes. And don’t skip that crucial application of hydrating face cream or oil (yes, certain oils work for oily types by balancing skin), says Dr Lee. We like Cetaphil Dermacontrol Oil Control Moisturiser (R201.98).
Redness or broken capillaries
THE CAUSE Broken capillaries are the sad souvenir of skin damage from UV rays. “Once the tan fades, they’re what’s left,” says Dr Zeichner. And all-over redness can happen when you experience extreme and sudden changes in temperature (common in winter when it’s eight degrees outside and 24 degrees inside), or when you drink hot beverages or alcohol.
THE SOLUTION First, the bad news: “Once a capillary is broken, there’s no home remedy to fix it. You need laser in a dermatologist’s office,” says Dr Lee. The good news: laser is quick. From about R460 for five pulses (you’d need a consultation to determine how much you need), it can get rid of spidery red lines. If general redness is your issue, look for formulas with niacinamide, liquorice, camomile or feverfew. TRY Eucerin Antiredness Concealing Day Care Cream (R229.99).
THE CAUSE “When the air is drier, skin can be drier. And you get that illusion of dullness when you have old, dead skin cells on the top layer of your skin,” says Dr Lee. They’re a sign you’re not exfoliating well enough and that you might not be adequately hydrated.
THE SOLUTION Exfoliation is your best friend; an oscillating face brush in the shower or a twice-weekly chemical peel can loosen that build-up, says Dr Zeichner. Other important tools to have in your night-time glow-boosting kit include serums with vitamin C, an antioxidant that fades discolouration or retinol, which spurs cell turnover. And remember to moisturise afterward, says Dr Lee. Face masks often do double duty, says Dr Zeichner, brightening and deeply hydrating simultaneously. We love Glamglow Flashmud Brightening Treatment Mask (R850).
THE CAUSE Dry heat blasting 24/7 is a primary culprit, but so are the long, hot showers you might be taking.
THE SOLUTION The first impulse is to scrub away all the roughness – “but pay attention,” warns Dr Zeichner. “If you’re doing a lot of exfoliation and your skin is really parched and patchy, that’s a sign you may be disrupting the skin’s protective moisture barrier.” Instead of exfoliating, try hydrating. First, he says, swap out regular face washes for creamy and non-foaming cleansers or micellar water. We love Dior Hydra Life Micellar Water (R580). Look for moisturising creams and serums with colloidal oatmeal, sweet almond oil or ceramides. Shower in lukewarm water, and apply hydrator within five minutes of exiting the shower. Only then can you go for a mild chemical exfoliant, like one with lactic acid, says Dr Lee.
THE CAUSE Fluid retention: what happens when you’ve overloaded on salty chips, sushi and canapés. Lack of sleep and drinking too much can also bring on that puffy feeling.
THE SOLUTION Your quickest fix for under-eye bags is the old tea bag trick. Lightly dampen two green tea bags with cool water and place them under your eyes for 10 minutes. “Caffeine constricts blood vessels,” explains Dr Zeichner. “Plus you get the added antioxidants from the green tea.” And start chugging water like a marathoner, says Dr Lee. “Staying wellhydrated with plain water means you’ll urinate out excess salt and bring down puffiness,” she explains. At night, massage in an eye cream with peptides, which help to improve firmness. TRY Environ C-quence Eye Gel (R395). And if puffiness is a chronic everymorning issue, elevate your head with an extra pillow at night to help with drainage.