Whether you’re standing at the summit of Val Thorens – taking in the spectacular views, about to snowboard down to Club Med for a little après ski – or braving the cold ocean coves of Sydney, one thing that always bears the brunt of winter is your skin.
Yes, your complexion can be on the receiving end of an absolute thrashing thanks to cold temps, freezing rain and icy winds. With the change of season, comes a call for a change in skin care. But, there’s a little more to it than just reaching for a thicker, more emollient moisturiser (which could lead to breakouts and congestion if it’s the wrong one for your skin type). There are ingredients like retinol or glycolic acid that can work wonders on your skin one month — then, with a drop in temperatures, suddenly turn on you! So, while there’s little we can do to warm up our days and nights, we can improve the health of our skin with a few easy additions and subtractions to your current routine.
If you suddenly notice your skin has dry patches, it’s peeling in places, or stings when exposed to the cold, then FYI – it’s time to switch your cleanser STAT.
Anything highly foaming, artificially fragranced, with scrubbing beads, glycolic acid, or high levels of acne-fighting ingredients like benzoyl peroxide may over-strip your skin’s natural oils, remove too many cells, and compromise the skin’s barrier. Instead, switch to a nourishing oil cleanser like Tom Ford Purifying Cleansing Oil or EVE LOM Cleanser for the winter months. Your skin should not feel tight or look red once you’ve towelled off. If travelling and don’t want to lug your jumbo face wash with you (we don’t blame you!), try Cleanse by Lauren Napier – these travel-friendly cleansing wipes are enriched with soothing chamomile, cucumber and oat kernel extract to gently remove makeup and clean skin.
Ever been told you should avoid exfoliating completely when temperatures drop? It’s bollocks. In fact, gently sloughing away flaky cells will brighten your complexion and aid your soothing serum and face cream to get in deep and do their jobs like a boss. Be sure to choose a micro daily exfoliation product like The Beauty Chef Probiotic Skin Refiner rather than using power tools (like at-home dermabrasion gadgets and spinning brushes), crushed nut shells, or concentrated acids. An exfoliating fluid like this one contains lactic acid, which stimulates new cells from below and is best applied on a cotton pad before your moisturiser.
While you’re at it, swap your ol’ summer serum for a more intense, hydrating version. We like SK-II’s new Genoptics Aura Essence (hello brighter, spot-less skin) for its milky texture, sweet-smelling fragrance and instantaneous mother-of-pearl finish.
And as the heater goes into overdrive racking up a bill along with it, your skin can become even more dehydrated going from cold to hot to cold again. Keep a bottle of SK-II Mid-Night Miracle Essence stashed on your desk (or in the pocket of your ski jacket) for moisturising face spritzes on the fly.
Beat it White Walkers – winter is here and we’re ready!