Wednesday, June 12, 2013


Change your beauty products to suit the weather: A glowing complexion can be hard to maintain in the winter months. The reason? “Cold air lacks moisture, while wind further dehydrates.”  “Dehydration works like the sun – it can cause the same DNA damage, leading to wrinkles and hyper-pigmentation.” Think of your beauty regimen a little like going to the gym. Come the icy weather, this means establishing a gentle and regular care routine boosted with treatments designed to improve your barrier function. “You can even layer your moisturisers for added hydration and to combat environmental exposure.” 

Moisturise at least twice a day: It’s essential that you follow your cold-weather regimen both morning and evening for best results.  “Clinical observation shows that applying moisturiser at least twice a day is optimal as the skin is a very busy organ - over 12 hours there has been enough activity to need more hydration. Combine that with make-up, perspiration, dirt and environmental pollution and you need to clean it all off and start fresh."

Cleansing is just as important in winter: Commence with a calming cleanser and toner combination, built to prepare your complexion without stripping. You’ll also need a barrier-boosting moisturiser, pivotal to protecting your face in winter. 

Add another layer: Once you’ve established these basics, consider adding targeted moisture boosters, too. Introduce a hydrating serum to combat wintry elements from beneath your moisturiser, and enlist a weekly cream mask to fight dehydration. 

Combat seasonal flareups: Despite the most diligent regimen, seasonal flare-ups can happen. Combine cold weather with stress, travel, even changes in diet and you might suddenly find yourself suffering. “Signs of a compromised skin barrier can include redness, sensitivity to touch, dryness, flakiness or discomfort.”  “If you notice these problems, stop what you’re doing.” He suggests that temporarily simplifying your program is the best way to work out what’s irritating you.

Don’t neglect your body: Trapped under tights and swaddled in sweaters, you might think your limbs are out of danger when it comes to seasonal dryness. Be warned: they’re just as likely to succumb as your face. Hot baths and showers combined with central heating can sap your body of much-needed moisture. The same face care principles are true for the body, especially legs and arms. Hydrated skin can better withstand the environment, whereas dry skin is much more fragile. He adds that it’s essential to remember the body’s immune system reaches right up into the skin, which is why maintaining a healthy barrier function from top to toe is so important.

Gentle Exfoliation is key: If your legs are looking flaky, it can be tempting to work them over with a grainy scrub. Don’t. Abrasive textures make matters worse. Instead, employ a creamy exfoliant enriched with oils and buff it on gently to remove scales and boost glow. Twice weekly in winter is enough.

Treat your body with moisture: You’ll also need stock up on rich body treatments designed not only to moisturise but to create a protective layer on the surface of your skin. Once hydrated, you want to keep those hydrating elements in the skin. Apply liberally, and religiously, after bathing.

Diet and exercise count too: While a winter-ready beauty routine is key for staying smooth, you’ll need to address what you’re putting into your body, too. “Diet, exercise and hydration are key. You need a good care regimen combined with regular workouts at the gym, good nutrition, and to limit excessive alcohol consumption and avoid smoking – both of which are very dehydrating for the skin. Be holistic about your skincare and remember that beauty is more than skin deep: what’s below your skin – the muscles and bones – need to be kept healthy, too.

Up your water intake: When it’s cold, be diligent about consuming around two litres of water daily to maintain moisture levels. You can also consume essential fatty acids to increase suppleness and address dehydration. Ocean fish, chia and flax seeds and walnuts are smart sources.

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