The Skin Nerd: How to prep and pep that played-out January skin

If you're down in the epidermal dumps, exfoliation, hydration and decongesting is what you need.

The Skin Nerd: How to prep and pep that played-out January skin

If you're down in the epidermal dumps, exfoliation, hydration and decongesting is what you need.

The January slump can affect our skin, too. Our skin is just recovering from the party season, and this can take longer than you expect.

A skin cycle takes 28 days, and therefore it takes at least 28 to show improvement.

You might be waiting for that improvement to show itself right about now.

If Christmas took its toll on your skin, then it’s only beginning to inch towards recovery now, and may only be starting to show the damage.

The main skin issues in January are dehydration, congestion, tiredness, dullness, and lack of vim and vigour (much like the human attached to it).

Happily, this, too, shall pass, and, before we know it, January will be behind us and spring will be here. Until then, however, there are things we can do.

January might mean that your skin is congested. Dietary indulgences (or alcoholic ones) can affect our skin, which may flare-up after the festive period.

If you’ve been battling a tell-tale trail of whiteheads, blackheads, or proper Franks (spots so large they have their own address), then look no further.

Congestion-prone skin can often be more oil-prone than average.

For tackling congestion, a favourite of mine is the Environ Focus Caer Clarity+ Sebu-Clear Masque (€54, selected salons, and, as part of Nerd Network membership). You can apply this mask up to three times a week, when you’ve gotten used to it.

It contains salicylic acid, which is an exfoliating acid and good for cutting through oil and clearing out pores. This is a great way to introduce salicylic acid slowly into your routine, and tackle congestion.

In January, skin can feel quite parched. The festive season can dehydrate our skin, and the rapid changes in temperature, as we go from hot to cold environments, can weaken our skin’s barrier.

The weaker our barrier, the more prone we become to losing our skin’s hydration through transepidermal water loss (TEWL). Strengthening our skin barrier keeps the good stuff in and the bad stuff out.

Ceramide-rich products can strengthen your barrier and keep your skin hydrated.

Those who suffer from excessive dryness and irritation in winter love Skingredients Skin Good Fats (€42, selected salons, pharmacies and department stores, and, as is evident from all of the feedback we’ve received!

It’s rich in ceramides and skin-soothing ingredients, such as the shea butter glycerides, derived from shea butter fatty acids, but without the comedogenic factor.

You can use a dollop prior to SPF in the morning, for a boost of moisturiser, and use it as your night cream before bed, too.

If your skin is dull or a bit lifeless, then I would recommend reaching for REN Ready Steady Glow Daily AHA Tonic (€32.00, available from selected pharmacies and department stores).

I don’t recommend the typical, astringent toners, but exfoliating treatment cleansers like this one really help to bring about a glow.

It uses lactic acid and willow bark extract to stimulate the skin’s natural exfoliation process, and can help to reduce the appearance of pore size.

It’s also handy for evening out skin tone, making it a really useful January product.

January can feel like an uphill battle, but it’ll be spring before you know it, and, soon enough, this skin cycle will be over.


If you’re a very, very oily human, you’ll need some extra help with keeping the slick deslicked.

The Neostrata Oil Control Gel contains the more niche alphahydroxy acid mandelic acid to help control oil as well as gluconolactone, a polyhydroxy acid that works to exfoliate the surface of the skin.

Neostrata are great for using new and under-used ingredients in exceedingly clever ways!

Massage it in after your serums have sunk in to stay matte all day long and temporarily reduce the appearance of your pores — bonus.

■ Neostrata Oil Control Gel (€45.50, available from selected pharmacies and

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