SOS: SAVE OUR SKIN
Has your skin recently developed an unquenchable thirst? Hot showers, heating and hibernating indoors can all cause dehydration, dryness and sensitivity. Lucy Slight discovers how to beat those winter skin blues.
How to beat the winter beauty blues
There’s nothing quite like a long hot bath or an electric blanket-heated bed when the chilly temperatures hit. And cosying up with a glass of red next to a roaring fire truly is one of the most luxurious things about winter. But these indulgent rituals can wreak havoc on our skin. The cooler weather causes skin to naturally suffer from dryness and dehydration. And adding extra heat to our bodies can compromise the skin’s protective barrier, leading to dryness, breakouts and increased vulnerability to UV exposure. The good news is that by changing up your skincare regimen between seasons you can crank up that heater and keep your complexion in top condition. We asked some of the country’s best beauty minds to share their skinsaving secrets.
The skin’s outermost layer acts as its protective barrier, ensuring water and nutrients don’t evaporate and other irritants can’t enter the body. You’ll know you’ve got a healthy barrier function if your skin feels soft and looks plump and hydrated. If it’s compromised, your skin will look and feel dry, appear dull, and you might find you become more sensitive to certain products.
“The biggest challenge skin faces in winter is staying hydrated,” says Trilogy’s in-house beauty expert, Corinne Morley. “Lovely as it may be to step in from the cold and head straight for the heater to warm up, it’s best to avoid sudden changes in temperature as this is the main cause of skin dehydration during this season.” Morley recommends switching to a richer moisturiser in winter or adding a natural beauty oil to your skincare regimen; this will help provide essential fatty acids for boosting lipid loss, particularly in ageing skin. If heavy-weight moisturisers have led to skin congestion in the past, try layering targeted treatment products such as a hydrating toner and serum underneath your regular moisturiser instead. Perfectly clean
Using products that strip rather than hydrate the skin (such as many foaming cleansers) can lead to a more alkaline skin pH level in winter. In cold weather the skin naturally produces less sebum (oil) and sweat – both of which help to make up your protective barrier – which leaves skin more vulnerable to irritation and pathogenic bacteria. Sara Quilter, founder of Tailor Skincare, says using a gentler cream cleanser or oil cleanser can help keep skin at its optimum pH level, as they won’t strip away the natural oils. “But if you can’t part with your foaming cleanser, you may like to include a toner in your skincare to assist the skin back to its balanced acidity level of around 5.5,” she says. This will also help to keep those bad bacteria at bay and reduce breakouts.
With a compromised skin barrier it’s even more important to minimise UV exposure, with UVA rays being the number one cause of premature ageing. They penetrate the skin’s upper layer and cause damage at a deeper level, leading to fine lines, wrinkles, pigmentation and skin cancer. “Not wearing daily sunscreen all year round can have dire consequences,” says Elizabeth Arden boutique manager Lidean Erasmus. “UVA rays aren’t affected by a change in altitude or weather. They’re present all day and every day of the year.” Choose a lightweight, broad spectrum sunscreen as the first step in your morning skincare regimen after cleansing.
1 2 3 Swap your light moisturiser for a rich cream or add natural beauty oils for an extra hydration boost. 1. Plantae Rose Hip Fruit & Seed Serum, $45. 2. Pure Fiji Anti-Aging Dilo Booster Oil, $65 3. Ultraceuticals Ultra Rich Moisturiser Cream, $112.
1 2 Switch to bath oil or oil-based body wash when showering to help lock in moisture rather than stripping skin with a foaming product. 1. Lush Floating Island Solid Bath Oil, $6. 2. L’Occitane Shea Shower Oil, $45.
2 Nourish skin with a hydrating mask to help protect against moisture loss and give you back your glow. 1. Estée Lauder Advanced Night Repair Concentrated Recovery PowerFoil Mask, $80 (pack of 4). 2. Lancôme Énergie de Vie The Overnight Recovery...