Layer up: seasonal skincare


As the temperature begins to drop - and we to reach for the extra layers our wardrobe – it’s time to think about doing the same for our skin

When we think of autumn and winter, dry, sensitive and red skin springs to mind. “There is no question that the cold air wreaks havoc on our skin,” says Celebrity skin health therapist Louise Thomas-Minns. “Environmental changes start to disrupt the skin’s delicate lipid barrier and allows water to escape. It can also lead to increased sensitivity and even spotty outbreaks.”

Fortunately, there are few small changes that we can make to help our skin through the colder months.

The more the merrier

Facial oil

Swap your cleanser for a gentle product that doesn’t strip the skin of its nature oils; twice a week, use an enzyme-based exfoliator - they are less harsh than traditional face scrubs but do the same job. Follow up with a hydrating spritz to top up moisture levels, then apply your serums, an eye cream and moisturiser to ‘seal’ it all in. For an extra boost, apply a layer of oil to your skin after moisturising in the evening or mix a few drops into your night cream. You could add in a comforting face mask one or twice a week, too. 

During the day its vital to apply an SPF over your moisturiser. “UVA rays are present all year round and snow will reflect and enhance this.” explains Louise. It provides an extra layer of protection, too.

Double up

Moisturiser

Resist the temptation to slather on one super-rich moisturiser after cleansing and toning. A series of lighter layers, using hydrating ingredients like Hyaluronic acid, will be more beneficial. Different skincare ingredients act in different ways on the skin: a thicker moisturiser may form a protective barrier but it can also clog your pores causing spots and breakouts.

Facialist to the stars Linda Meredith says there are three categories of ingredients in skincare products: humectants, emollients and occlusives. Humectants draw moisture from the environment into our skin, emollients soften the skin and occlusives remain on the surface to cause a protective barrier. It’s important to use all three in the winter, and in the order above, to get the most out of them. 

At home

Body moisturiser

Resist the temptation to put the heating on full blast as this will dry out your skin – not to mention heighten your heating bills. Avoid long hot showers and baths, too – these can dissolve the protective barrier in the skin causing dryness. Opt for a short, warm shower using products with gentle and nourishing ingredients. Apply a body butter or moisturiser afterwards to form a barrier between your skin and the elements.

So listen to your skin, work out what it needs and layer up…you’ll thank us later.

Spa Spy Smart swaps

Bathroom

You don’t need to spend a fortune and change your whole routine – here are of our favourite winter skincare swaps…

Gently cleanse with The Dermalogica UltraCalming cleanser (£32, 250ml)

Swap your usual toner for the Linda Meredith Hydrating Mist (50ml, £29)

Try an enzyme-based exfoliator. We love the Elemis Dynamic Resurfacing Pads (£39 for 60)

Treat your skin to a comforting mask. Louise recommends the Vitage Hydrating Mask (£22, 75ml)

Treat your skin to an oil, we love the Germaine De Cappucicni Multi Regenerating Rose Hip Oil (30ml, £39.60)

Add in a serum –

Feeling sensitive? Try Temple Spa Be Strong Serum (£40, 30ml)

Need a shot of hydration? Try the Skin Regimen HA booster (£76, 25ml)

For a mature skin try Caudalie Premier Cru the Serum (£90, 30ml)


Editors note - this article was originally published in October 2014, it was completely updated and re-written in November 2018 for accuracy and comprehensiveness

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