Protect your skin this Winter
Let’s face it (no pun intended), Winter is not kind to your skin. The colder weather and lower humidity that occurs over winter results in drier air, which can rob the moisture from your skin. This can result in redness and peeling, and in more severe cases, cracking and bleeding skin. The tendency to turn up the indoor heat and take hot baths and showers can further deplete your skin’s moisture levels.
To ensure your skin survives Winter in the best shape possible, it’s time to change from your lighter Summer skincare products to a more more moisturising regime for Autumn/Winter. It’s fairly simple – Winter skin is all about the hydration, and keeping your skin moisturised as it faces the harsher winds and changes in temperature between the indoors and outdoors over the season. Let’s look at some great products to keep us looking our best over Winter.
The secret to cleansing skin over Autumn/Winter is to look for a cleanser with hydrating ingredients (such as oils or glycerin), and only use lukewarm water to cleanse, as warm to hot water can strip your skin of essential moisture. It’s best to look for a gentle cleanser over Winter, as they are formulated not to irritate already compromised skin. We like Shu Uemura Nutri Nectar Gentle Cleansing Oil in Emulsion, for delicate skin. Inspired by their iconic cleansing oils, the Gentle Nutri Nectar Oil-In-Emulsion Cleanser is a revolutionary facial cleanser in a soft-cushiony formula, to gently cleanse your skin. The oil and emulsion blend seamlessly to create a texture that efficiently, yet oh-so-gently cleanses your skin. The formula is infused with a blend of potent botanicals to go above and beyond cleansing – acai to soothe, magnolia to moisturise, and Reishi mushroom to fortify your skin. 150ml RRP $58.00 (also available in 450ml). Or, if you prefer a cream cleanser, you can try Dr. LeWinn’s Private Formula Gentle Cream Cleanser, enriched with vitamin A, apricot, and avocado oils to gently cleanse, condition and soften the skin while effectively removing make-up and impurities. The cleanser is recommended for dry skin, so is great for winter. 120ml RRP $24.95.
During Winter, when skin can feel dry and brittle, too much, or too rough, exfoliation can exacerbate the skin dryness and redness you experience, yet with mature skin, it is still important to exfoliate regularly, as skin cell turnover decreases, and dullness can occur (which impedes other products working on your skin). So, what to do, what to do. The answer is to look for an exfoliator which will dissolve the dead skin cells, or a gentle exfoliator, which will not irritate dry, delicate skin. We like June Jacobs Papaya Purifying Enzyme Masque, which is applied to skin as a mask, and the luscious fruit enzymes go to work dissolving dead skin cells and leave your skin replenished and protected afterwards. The scents of papaya, pineapple and mango leave your senses invigorated, whilst vitamin E and sweet almond oils nourish and soften your skin, leaving it hydrated and glowing. 120ml RRP $87.00 (also available in a 30ml pouch, perfect for travel). If you prefer manual exfoliation (ie rubbing the exfoliator into your skin yourself), Clarins Gentle Exfoliating Cream, with dual action micro-beads containing soothing mimosa extract, very gently exfoliates away dull skin cells, whilst leaving your skin silky smooth and not tight or sore. The gentle beads encourage your skins naturally healthy glow and leaves it looking fresh and refined. 50ml RRP $48.00. Note, if your skin is red, or sore, wait until it heals before exfoliating, so as not to further irritate delicate skin.
After cleansing and/or exfoliating, pop a water activator on your skin. They work by opening up the water channels of your skin, to allow the products that follow afterwards to work more effectively, increasing the hydration to your skin. We like Jurlique Activating Water Essence, which hydrates your skin, enhancing the performance of the serum or moisturiser to follow. The formula captures the vital living energy of plants to continuously hydrate, soften and revitalise your skin. Marshmallow root extract deeply hydrates the skin while improving its ability to retain moisture. 150ml RRP $73.00. Or try the Estée Lauder Nutritious Vitality8™ Radiant Energy Lotion Intense Moist, a high-performance, energising treatment lotion with Pomegranate8 Complex™ that deeply hydrates and prepares your skin to receive the maximum benefits from the treatments that follow. 200ml RRP $72.00.
In Winter, a good serum is a must, to protect and repair your skin. Serums should be used in addition to a moisturiser, as their lighter texture helps them penetrate deeper into your skin, for more benefits. Look for a serum that says it’s hydrating, as your skin really needs this deeper moisturising benefit over winter. (For more information on how serums work, click here). Two serums we really like for Winter are the Peter Thomas Roth Water Drench Serum, and L’Oreal Paris Golden Age Radiance Re-Activating Serum. Peter Thomas Roth Water Drench Serum, is enriched with 75 percent hyaluronic acid to help keep skin super hydrated. Hyaluronic acid is a natural moisture magnet that attracts up to 1,000 times its weight in water from the atmosphere. The soothing serum complex replenishes dehydrated skin with vital nourishment, imparts a look of youthful radiance, and smooths the appearance of fine lines and rough skin texture. 30ml RRP $89.00 (also comes with a matching moisturiser). L’Oreal Paris Age Perfect Golden Age Radiance Re-Activating Serum is especially formulated for the needs of mature skin. The caring formula hydrates and brightens a dull complexion. The formula is boosted with illuminating pink-hued micro-pearls to help achieve a radiant glow. 125ml RRP $39.95 (also comes with a matching moisturiser).
A good moisturiser is a must over Winter. Look to change from a lighter moisturiser you may have been using over Summer and early Autumn, into one that promises extra hydration. Keeping your skin nourished and protected is the key to it emerging looking fresh and glowing come Spring. Moisturisers we like, that provide intense hydration are endota spa organics Deep Hydration Face Moisturiser, and Lancome Hydra Zen Anti-Stress Cream Gel. endota spa organics Deep Hydration Face Moisturiser is made in Australia for Australian conditions. The formula contains omega-3, -6 and -9, grapeseed oil, avocado oil, rosehip oil and vitamin C, and intensely hydrates and works to strengthen skin elasticity and restore moisture loss. 60ml RRP $60.00. Lancome Hydra Zen Anti-Stress Cream-Gel is enriched with botanical extracts, and provides intense hydration for up to 12 hours, soothing the skin from dehydration cause by external influences such as the wind, and heating. The ultra moisturising formula is instantly refreshing and deeply comforting for dry skin. 50ml RRP $90.00.
Just because it’s Winter doesn’t mean you can forgo your sunscreen. The sun is still shining, and Winter activities such as skiing and snowboarding can still result in nasty sunburn. In fact, sunburn on skin that is already irritated by the cold and wind can be very sore. So, to minimise the chance of sunburn, you still need to wear sunscreen. Look for a formula that is non-irritating, or suitable for sensitive skin, to ensure it is gentle on your skin. Avène Sunscreen Emulsion SPF 50+ is specially formulated for your face. It offers high quality, broad spectrum sun protection, and tolerance for even the most sensitive skin. The patented SunSitive® Protection formula uses an exclusive combination of ingredients with a minimal number of chemical filters to respect sensitive skin, while still offering protection from both UVA and UVB rays. 50ml RRP $26.95 (also available as a lotion for face and body). If you do plan on some snow activity this Winter, Ella Bache Great 50+ Facesaver Active is especially formulated for long sun exposure on a daily basis. The formula combines UVA and UVB broad-spectrum SPF 50+ protection with enriching super-fruit oils, pomegranate, cranberry, grapeseed, shea butter, jojoba and lanolin, to help moisturise your skin and protect it from the dehydrating effects of the sun. 50ml RRP $49.00.
According to Lindsay Carney, Kiehl’s Educator, “during the winter, our skin is more susceptible to the harsher, colder conditions due to water loss in the skin. This results in a cracked skin barrier which can become dry and irritated”. To provide an extra boost of hydration if your skin needs it, a face mask works wonders, and is one of our must have beauty products for Winter. Ingredients provide an intense boost of moisture, which hydrates skin instantly, and remains over time, to stop your skin looking dull and lacklustre. Masks come as either sheet masks (becoming increasingly popular in Australia), or the more traditional cream or gel masks. “Formulated with three plant-derived Amazonian oils, the Kiehl’s Instant Renewal Concentrate Mask is an oil-infused two- piece hydrogel mask, replenishing skin with nourishing oils and moisture for softer, brighter looking skin.” says Carney. Being in 2 pieces, the mask can more easily be molded to your skin, and it really does give your skin an instant hydrated glow (we speak from experience – having tried it, or skin felt super smooth, and really glowed with hydration afterwards). Pack of 4 masks, RRP $46.00. If you prefer a more traditional mask, we absolutely love the Jurlique Rose Moisture Plus Moisturising Cream Mask, a rich, deeply hydrating treatment mask that helps improve skin’s moisture levels for dehydrated and dry skin. As a bonus, you can use it as an night mask while you sleep, so not only are you lulled to sleep with the gorgeous (gorgeous) delicate scent of rose, you wake up to beautifully soft, soothed, hydrated skin. We’ve also tried this one, and it’s sensational (as you may have gathered, we believe in Masks!) 100ml RRP $55.00.
If your skin is super dry, and you find your moisturiser is not lasting all day, or you are experiencing a period of dehydration, Facial Oils provide an extra boost of moisture, and will leave your skin feeling hydrated all day, without adding oiliness. Look for a facial oil with added benefits and anti-oxidants, to keep your skin soothed and hydrated over Winter. Australian brand Simplicite Rosewood Face Oil is perfect for mature dry skin and has been especially formulated for deep rehydration of your skin. The formula is a luxurious and deeply rehydrating combination of fine-textured plant oils and extracts that provide essential nutrients and natural liposomes to benefit your skin. The addition of medicinal grade plant extracts help to reduce the appearance of sun damage and early ageing. 55ml RRP $43.20. Best selling Trilogy Rosehip Oil Antioxidant+ is certified organic, 100 per cent natural, and uses powerful ingredients to help restore your skin. Using an advanced formulation called Rosapene, Antioxidant+ combines the benefits of Trilogy’s award-winning Certified Organic Rosehip Oil with red berry super antioxidants to deliver intensive nourishment to your skin. The seed oil replenishes softness and elasticity as well as provides daily antioxidant protection for healthier looking skin. 30ml RRP $35.95.
The skin around our eyes has fewer oil glands than the rest of our facial skin, and it is prone to dryness and dehydration. This is especially true in Winter, when the cold wind and lack of humidity can lead to dry, sore skin around your eyes. That’s why it’s vital to use an eye cream twice a day (morning and night), and remember to apply the cream with your ring finger, to minimise tugging and pulling of this delicate skin. For Winter, we absolutely love Dr. Hauschka Eye Balm. Being slightly richer than a cream, it soothes, tones and strengthens the delicate skin around your eyes with special plant extracts and oils. The balm helps maintain the tone and elasticity of the eyelids. It soothes irritations from the effects of conditions such as wind burn in the eye area. 10ml RRP $65.00. If you find the skin around your eyes is sensitive and irritated due to the cold and wind, we love La Roche-Posay Toleriane Ultra Eye Contour, a super gentle eye cream which calms irritation and stops it from recurring. The formula contains niacinamide to calm and moisturise your skin and to reduce the impact of environmental triggers. It also contains thermal spring water, which is known for its anti-free radical, anti-irritation, soothing and healing properties. 20ml RRP $33.95.
The skin on our lips is very thin, and has no oil glands, so it is really prone to drying out year round. When you add the cold Winter winds, and indoor heating, your lips can easily become super dry and chapped. A good lip balm in Winter is a must – carry it in your hand bag or pocket, and re-apply frequently to ward off the dreaded cracked lips. Look for a heavy duty Lip Balm, such as Blistex Ultra Lip Balm SPF 50+, which is infused with conditioners and antioxidants to keep your lips hydrated and supple, as well as a SPF 50+ sunscreen to protect your lips against both UVA and UVB rays over Winter (and Summer). The balm forms a moisturising barrier to prevent dry and damaged lips, and minimise the chance of chapping and cracking. 4.25g RRP $3.95. For extra moisture, try Burt’s Bees Natural Hydrating Lip Balm with Coconut & Pear, formulated with naturally moisturising ingredients coconut oil, pear extract and shea butter. The hydrating lip balm moisturises and replenishes your lips to prevent chapping, and it smells great too! 4.25g RRP $6.95.
Winter is a great time to switch to a soap free, or moisturising body wash, to ensure your naturall oils are protected, and your skin is left hydrated and nourished after your shower or bath. If you like a Winter bath, QV Bath Oil is wonderfully hydrating. The formula revives your body and helps to restore skin’s natural suppleness and healthy glow. Whilst hydrating the skin, the oil works as a water dispersible formula over the whole body to ensure the clear non-greasy formula rejuvenates large areas of dry skin, and can even help relieve symptoms of atopic eczema and psoriasis. It is suitable for use with dry dermatological conditions such dry, scaly skin, winter itch, ichthyosis, xerosis, and dermatitis. 250ml RRP $11.20 (also available in 500ml and 1L). If you prefer a shower, CLINIQUE Deep Comfort Body Wash is a luxurious cream mousse wash that gently cleanses even the driest of skins without stripping skin of its natural moisture. The luxurious formula lathers into a rich cream that maintains optimal moisture levels in your skin, leaving it feeling hydrated and nourished. 200ml RRP $38.00.
Following your bath or shower with a rich hydrating body lotion will ensure your skin stays hydrated and nourished all Winter long, and will minimise the chances of suffering from the dreaded winter itch, and stinging skin (not to mention that hydrated body skin can take years off your age!). JERGENS Ultra Healing Extra Dry Skin Moisturiser is a rich body moisturiser for very dry skin and is suitable for use all over your body, including on heels, elbows and knees. Formulated with a unique HydraLucence™ blend and vitamins C, E and B5, the gorgeously scented lotion heals dryness, absorbs quickly and locks in moisture for up to 48 hours. We tried this lotion on skin that had been exposed to wind (and neglect), and it was soothed and hydrated within 10 minutes. 400ml RRP $8.99 (also available in 650ml). Another wonderfully hydrating body lotion is NIVEA Repair & Care Body Lotion, is formulated to provide relief for dry, tight skin. The delicately scented body lotion strengthens the skin’s protective barrier, optimises moisture content and alleviates the tightness of your skin. Dexpanthenol (panthenol) delivers moisture to the skin and calms it with its anti-inflammatory action, while Hydra IQ improves hydration levels in the skin. 400ml RRP $7.99.
Exposure to extreme heat or cold can induce skin sensitivities and redness in some people, as can prolonged illness. In fact, according to Philip Tong, MBBS (Hons) PhD, Clinical Lecturer, Sydney Medical School. “Skin becomes sensitive because we have a tendency to use more hot water and have longer showers during winter. This strips away the natural oils that is made by our skin. When the skin is dry and cracked, it can become more sensitive. Products containing urea and glycerin can restore skin hydration. There is emerging evidence for ceramides in moisturisers to also restore and prevent this.” If this happens to you in Winter, it can be worth seeking out skincare especially formulated to deal with skin sensitivities.
We have previously written about sensitive skin specialists Avene and La Roche-Posay (click here to read the article), and we also like Bioderma Atoderm, a range dedicated to very dry, sensitive skin, and those prone to atopy (e.g. Dermatitis, Eczema). The Atoderm Range helps to nourish, soothe and provide intense hydration to your skin all day long, without irritation. Used daily, the Atoderm Range can help your skin regain/retain optimum hydration, and is especially useful to treat atopic skin conditions, such as Eczema, during flare-up periods, so you know it’s gentle enough to use on sensitised skin. We recommend a simple skincare regime to start if your skin is sensitised – Atoderm Foaming Gel, formulated for very dry skin, and skin prone to atopy, Atoderm Foaming Gel is a universal product that can be used by the whole family (babies, children, adults) on both the body and face. Atoderm Foaming Gel is soap-free and fragrance-free, allowing it to cleanse very gently, soothes and soften the skin to keep it comfortable during the day. 500ml RRP $34.99. Follow this with BIODERMA Atoderm Cream is an ultra-rich moisturising and restructuring daily cream that can be used on the face and body by the whole family. The fragrance free and hypoallergenic cream absorbs quickly to moisturise and soothe skin red and irritated skin. 200ml RRP $29.99 (also available in 500ml size). If your body skin is really irritated, try instead, the Atoderm Intensive Balm, a 2-in-1 soothing and dermo-strengthening treatment to restore healthy, comfortable skin. Atoderm Intensive Balm, restores your skin barrier, nourishes your skin and reduces the urge to scratch. Enriched with soothing and purifying agents, it instantly soothes irritation. 200ml RRP $32.99.
The Soothe Regime from Rodan + Fields is also wonderful for sensitive, irritated skin. The collection is formulated to calm your complexion, visibly improve skin texture, and fortify the skin’s natural moisture barrier to improve resistance to sensitivities in the longer term. The set is made up of a simple 4 step system for sensitive skin. Start with Soothe Gentle Cream Wash, a cleanser without harsh surfactants, with moisturising ceramides to protect the skin’s barrier to support its resiliency. 125ml RRP $58.00. Follow with Soothe Sensitive Skin Treatment, a hydrating lotion with exclusive R+F Peptide Technology to help reduce the visible signs of dry and sensitive skin. Dimethicone and allantoin fortify your skin’s barrier to help relieve dryness and reduce the signs of sensitivity, whilst optical filters neutralise the look of visible redness. 50ml RRP $115.00. Step 3 is the Moisture Replenishing Cream, a moisturiser that soothes, hydrates and nourishes your skin. The rich, dewy formula replenishes your skin’s natural moisturising factors without the use of traditional emulsifiers, which can cause irritation. 50ml RRP $77.00. Calming Lotion SPF 15 completes the regimen, by protecting your skin without compromising the delicate moisture barrier. The lightweight formula calms and soothes your skin, and minimises visible redness associated with dryness. 50ml RRP $57.00. NB, The regimen is available as a set for $232.00, a saving of $75.00.
Tips and Tricks
We’ve looked at the beauty products that will help keep your skin protected and in tip top condition this Winter, and there are a few extra tips that will help stop your skin drying out, and keep it hydrated.
Drink lots of water. This isn’t just a Summer tip – your skin needs hydration from the inside out over Winter too. If water seems too cold on some days, try herbal teas, or lemon in hot water. Try to steer away from salty drinks (such as some soups), as the salt will only dehydrate your skin further.
Take warm, rather than hot, showers and baths. It can be tempting to turn the temperature up when it’s cold, but the hotter the water, the more moisture is lost from your skin. Very hot water can also damage the capillaries in your skin and lead to further sensitivity.
Pat your skin dry rather than rubbing when you get out of the bath or shower. Patting your skin helps retain the natural oils, maximising hydration, whereas rubbing can remove some of your precious skin moisture.
Don’t turn the heating up too high. Put on an extra jumper when indoors instead, and this will prevent the heating removing too much moisture from your skin (and it’s better for the electricity/gas bill too)!
If your skin is extremely dry, consider investing in a humidifier, which will add moisture back into the air while you sleep, and will stop your skin drying out as much.
So there you have it – everything you need to keep your skin looking gorgeous over Winter, so you will emerge glowing into Spring. What are your Winter beauty tips – let us know in the comments below.