With winter well and truly upon us, our skincare routine is about to go into a major overhaul.
Spending time indoors and central heating can wreak havoc with your skin, making it become dehydrated, dull and seriously lacking moisture.
We spoke to make-up artist Sonia Allen for her top tips on keeping your skin in tip-top shape during the colder months.
Re-asses your skin
Has it changed since summer? If not, keep using the same products. If you are finding it is more dehydrated (tight in feeling) and/or dry (patches of dry flaky skin) think about investing in a hydrating serum to layer underneath your moisturiser. Hylamide Low-Molecular HA Booster ($29.99 from Priceline) is a good option as it is packed with the purest form of hyaluronic acid, an ingredient which holds up to 1000 times its weight in water.
It is just as important to exfoliate the skin in winter as it is in summer. Skincare won’t absorb as well when it has to work through layers of dead skin and the build up won’t improve the appearance of dull skin either. For the face you can try Vigour Skin Therapy’s Intense Exfoliation Therapy ($44) which uses AHAs and BHAs along with bamboo powder to loosen dead skin cells while being oil based means skin is left replenished and hydrated after use.
For exfoliating the body you can’t go past C-Lab & Co coffee scrub ($24.95 from Priceline or Terry White Pharmacies), the perfect cocktail of roasted and ground coffee, Vitamin E, sweet almond oil and sea salt (less abrasive than sugar!), everything winter skin needs for natural exfoliation. Follow with the Natralus Paw Paw 95% Pure Moisturiser or Sun Bum Cool Down dry body oil (Beautyhq, $16.99) to lock in all the moisture and your skin will look like you’ve come back from holidays.
Know your ingredients
Oil free formulas might not cut it in winter when skin is less likely to retain moisture. Look for ingredients like glycerin, jojoba oil, almond oil & hyaluronic acid in your moisturisers, primers and foundations. Avoid ingredients with high levels of alcohol, mineral oil, menthol, sulfates, camphor or strong essential oils like rosemary or pine. The iT Cosmetics No.50 Serum ($68 from Sephora) is packed with great ingredients your winter skin will love (botanicals, antioxidants, hyaluronic acid) and doubles up as a primer. The Touch in Sol Feel Like Honey Moon Skin Base ($39.99 from Priceline) uses honey extract to help keep skin hydrated and protected and is another great option (and fun to use) for prepping winter skin before makeup application.
As well as topical ingredients, food is often a very overlooked source of nutrients for healthy hydrated skin. Supplement skincare with a diet high in fatty fish (salmon), aloe vera (great in smoothies), macadamia nuts, avocados, pumpkin seeds and avocados. And needless to say, drink plenty of water.
When skin is not properly hydrated or exfoliated it can look dull. Get around this by mixing illuminators into your moisturiser. A few drops of the Hylamide Photography Foundation ($29.99 from Priceline) or Nars Liquid Illuminator in Copacabana ($44 from Mecca Cosmetica) into your regular moisturiser will bring back that glow on days you don’t want to wear makeup but still want to look fresh. They can also be applied over foundation for a subtle highlight on cheekbones.
Extremes of temperature can cause damage to capillaries on the face, especially when coming from the cold into a central heated environment. If you suffer from broken/damaged capillaries, avoid hot showers and always make sure your face is protected with a suitable moisturiser. Concealers and CC Creams will help to disguise the redness, opt for ones that have an easy texture to work with so that application doesn’t cause further damage to the skin (no rubbing or tugging at the skin). The iT Cosmetics CC Cream with SPF 50+($58 from Sephora) is full coverage and helps to even out skintone/discolouration while being easy to apply with fingers or a brush.
Face mists (that aren’t just water) are a great way of delivering hydration to the skin throughout the day and for refreshing makeup also. The ylang ylang and grapeseed extract in the Vigour Skin Therapy Rejuvenate Conditioner makes it a great mist to keep on your desk/bathroom/coffee table while the aloe vera in the Jane Iredale Pommist works wonders on parched skin and is a convenient handbag friendly size to take with you in your handbag or when traveling.