Cold weather can cause a raft of problems for some skin-types. Fortune favours the prepared and now is the time to winter-ready your face and body.
Do I need to start shopping for a rich moisturiser?
Those with oily, normal and combination skin-types won’t benefit by slathering on heavy creams. A gentle cleanser, antioxidant serum, and lightweight, broad-spectrum UV-protection should do for the winter.
If you have sun-damaged skin (ask your facialist for a Visia scan to confirm), have been through menopause or suffer from atopic conditions, such as eczema, your skin won’t easily retain moisture. It has lost the substances that regulate hydration. You may experience dryness every season, but most severely in winter.
All skin-types should be treated to a cleanser free from soap, non-fatty alcohols, fragrance and potentially irritating plant-extracts. The below products remove dirt and make-up effectively, while keeping skin’s natural moisture barrier intact.
Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Cleanser, €17.50; La Roche-Posay Toleriane Dermo-Cleanser, €14.25 and DHC Make-Off Sheets, €10.34 @feelunique.com.
Layer up: The anti-dryness arsenal
Layer on high-quality toner, serum and moisturiser to protect and replenish your skin. Like your cleanser, all moisturisers should be free from potential irritants. The ingredients that dry skin needs are emollients (to lubricate and prevent water loss), antioxidants (to reduce environmental damage), skin-repairers (naturally-occurring ingredients that bind and fortify cells, eg, ceramides), anti-inflammatories (de-puffers) and cell-communicators (eg, retinol, peptides — to catalyse healthy cell growth).
Elizabeth Arden Ceramide Capsules Daily Youth-Restoring Serum, €100; Algenist Regenerative Anti-Ageing Lotion, €75.80 @beautybay.com; Estee Lauder Re-Nutriv Comfort Creme, €152.50; Olay Regenerist 3 Point Super Age-Defying Cream (fragrance-free), €40.69 and Clinique Super Rescue Antioxidant Night Moisturiser, €54.
Protect and Prime
It may seem strange to think of sun protection for November, but it is vital to skin’s health year-round. Many of us rely on a foundation with SPF, but if you skimp on sunscreen, you’re really missing out. UV rays, more than any other agent of ageing, impair skin’s ability to glow and feel silky. Use a broad-spectrum sunscreen with some of the ingredients mentioned above. Assign it double-duty by choosing a formula that creates a smooth make-up base.
Estee Lauder DayWear UV Base SPF50, €42; Clinique City Block Sheer SPF25, €23; Sarah McNamara Miracle Skin Transformer SPF20 in Clear, €42 (including ROI delivery) @ Amazon.co.uk and Elemis Liquid Layer Sunblock SPF30, €29.50.
Why a long soak isn’t soothing
Luxuriating in the tub feels good, but frequent, lengthy soaks can damage skin. High temperatures weaken skin’s protective barrier, stealing the substances that keep its outer layers smooth. Keep baths short and the water temperature warm, not hot.
MooGoo Milk Wash, €14.95, is a detergent-free, glucose-based cleanser that cleans effectively without drying. The formula is gentle enough to use on the face; La Roche-Posay Lipikar Baume AP+, €19, treats skin to emollients and a high concentration of niacinamide, a potent antioxidant that can dramatically improve skin’s moisture barrier and improve overall tone and texture. This face-and-body balm is formulated for both dry skin and atopic disorders; use non-fragrant plant oils on stubborn dry areas. Avocado and coconut oils are especially high in essential fatty acids and Jason Natural Mineral Sunscreen SPF30, €16.65, provides gentle, broad-spectrum sun protection for face and body.
Troubleshooting Winter Dry Spots
Flaky skin can benefit from a fragrance-free Alpha Hydroxy Acid exfoliant, which increases moisture content and clears dead cells. Try Olay Regenerist Night Renewal Elixir, €27.12, on unbroken skin only.
Chapped lips may be inflamed by lip products that prompt a cooling/tingling sensation. These balms can irritate an already vulnerable area. Gently slough off rough skin with a damp face- cloth. Apply a rich, fragrance-free cream, like La Roche-Posay Cicaplast Lips, €6.50, liberally and frequently.
Rough hands require diligent application and reapplication of a rich moisturiser every time you wash your hands. Keep fragrance-free lotion in your bag, at your desk, and in every bathroom at home. Strivectin SD Volumising Hand Treatment, €30, contains plenty of proven, potent antioxidants to encourage youthful skin.
Overloading the eye area with rich creams can cause discomfort and puffiness. Tap on a hydrating, antioxidant-packed product like Algenist Firming & Lifting Eye Gel, €56.50 @ www.StrawberryNet.com , under your sun protection.
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